Listen, I am just as guilty as the next guy. I find myself either saying or thinking, "Man I can't wait until..." Until what really? What exactly am I waiting for? More time to spend alone? Each stage comes with its highs and lows and I don't foresee the next phases of my daughter's life getting much easier. I look back at her as a baby and think "wow, why did I think that was so hard?" She literally laid there, ate and drank. But it was. Sometimes I look at her and think to myself "who are you?" We are in what everyone refers to as the "Toddler Stage" and I don't get it. She doesn't toddle around, she is a raging ball of energy that consumes every ounce of my daily sanity. I have in fact re-named this stage to the "Trying to keep her alive" stage :). If you are a mother of a child around this age, then you totally know what I am talking about. I could make a million excuses why I have not blogged in forever but it is because when I do get a minute to myself I would rather watch some stupid mindless TV or shove my face full of food then to try to prompt my brain to work. Over the past few weeks I have had 2 working moms tell me they have no idea how I stay home with her because they are going crazy during the Summer. Yes, I do have my crazy days and I like to think I am getting good at crazy! Like my previous blog post, I have so much respect for working moms as I don't know how YOU all do it. But we are women and we always figure it out :). I don't want anyone to think that I complaining, because I am not at all! I am just sharing one mother's stories to share a laugh with that one mother who can relate. This is real life. Back to the stage I call "Trying to keep her alive". Seriously, the second I turn around she is into something she shouldn't be and she knows it! Making an extra mess on top of the one I am currently cleaning up. Then when I turn around to start on that mess, she has mastered the door handles and helped herself into the garage and has started learing how to use the power tools. It is quite comedic to see a 25 pound child carry a leaf blower, I guess I should just be thankful she can't start the mower. I don't know what I will do next when she learns how to unlock the doors....A few weeks ago I was calling her name because she was quiet and we all know that is NEVER a good thing, no response. So I kept calling and getting more anxious with each yell. I heard a few squeaks and laughs from her only to eventually find her in the dryer.....yes you heard me right. Happy as a clam making the dryer spin by crawling in it.
I am seriously thankful each night that she is alive and well after the day's end because with each day it gets more and more risky! If I told everyone everything my sweet child has done, I would expect DHS to show up at my door step. I swear that is why play dates were invented. A mother's vent session on how we suck as parents, but hey it could be worse, right?! Like I said though, why do I keep wishing it away? With all of the stress and work that comes with raising a child, these are the memories I will always cherish and the stories I can't wait to share with her. Still when people ask me about having another baby, I kindly state that when God gives you perfection the first time, you just stop :) Haha. I don't tell them that in reality I would be in the loony bin with another child like the one I have. Her energy and spunk succeeds mine ten fold....and I AM young....or at least I tell myself that.
I have heard of the "why" stage but we are in a whole other stage that is taking the cake. Everything right now is followed by two words. They may sound simple to you but when you live them daily, I am lucky I still have hair. She says "touch it" after EVERYTHING. Almost to the point where my husband I am actually looked it up on good ol' Google making sure she didn't have some disorder. I am not kidding. She is so inquisitive which is great, but does she really need to touch everything? At Target for instance, those stupid big red balls outside scream to children "TOUCH ME". So I am that parent taking her over to the ball to touch it to avoid a melt down. Or for instancec, we can be at home and she will say "fan" then I will say "yes, that is a fan. Good job." And with that comes a "touch it." WHY? Why in the world do I have to reason with my child in every department store as to why I cannot reach the lights on the 20 foot ceiling and that she really can't touch everything? So after another trusty Google search, I ran across an article that made me stop and think. She is learning, her brain is telling her body to explore and to touch what she is saying. Go ahead and laugh, yes I already know she is learning but to hear someone put it down in less harmful words changed my thinking a little. Like as if the article was like "which idiot googles with concerns of her child learning?". Really though, why do I let it bother me so much? What is a couple more seconds out of my day to allow her to explore? Well a lot actually. I have this plan and agenda for the day of how it should go and I did not put in pit stops for touches! Sounds so stupid when I type it out how I actually think. What could really be that important? I doubt if I don't let her touch somethings she will end up in a slow learning class because of it and no I don't remember if my mother let me touch and explore as much as the next person, but I am a very hands on visual learner and I have a feeling she is the same. I have to learn to let go of some of the control. It is a slow process but taking that step back is good for your body. I am not kidding. Being able to laugh about somethings and skip other things is kind of freeing. It's like the Island people. You go on vacation and they have no clue what time it is, no schedule and seem to have no worries. She has a way of knowing just what I need in life. I needed that small reminder to slow down and just enjoy this ride. It doesn't last forever. I want to be that Grandma walking into Target someday smirking at the sweet mommy and daughter touching that big red ball and remembering how I used to do that and how simple it seems.
Finally what really inspired me to finally sit down and write a small post was at dinner last night. My husband works a lot of long hours and 95% of the time I cook dinner at home. It is much easier and I like to do it. Of course the other reason is that I have a 20 month old. Now you get it. So there is this new Mexican restaurant literally 1 mile from our house and they are usually not formal quiet places to eat so I thought perfect place to grab a bite. I made the mistake of telling the gentleman that we did not need a high chair if we had a booth. For the first 3 minutes she sat down then proceeded to spill the chips, knock over her water, and get the refried beans all over the seat. Nothing to harmful, just stressful when you are trying to eat and not piss other customers off in the process. I know I shouldn't care what they think or say but if I am honest, I do. I get anxious thinking that I am a bad parent and I can't get my child to behave. I could be like that woman in the paper who fed her child a margarita in her sippy cup and claimed she didn't know it had alcohol in it, but then I would be lying. EVERY mother knows what has alcohol in it :)
My husband was sitting across from me, not helping the situation of course and I found myself getting mad, like almost snapping at her. She was climbing all over me, standing behind me on the booth pushing me forward, playing with my hair, and hands around my neck in a hug like form. I snarled and told her that I am with her all day long, you would think she would be sick of me by now. But as soon as I said that I don't know what came over me but I simply told my husband that I should just cherish it because in a few short years she won't even be eating dinner with us and she may not want to love on me like that. My mind was screaming at her but my heart was full of grace. I turned to her with my teeth still clenched together and smushed both of her cheeks with my palms and gave her nose kisses and told her that I loved her, like I try to do multiple times each day when I really just want to scream or cry. She let out a giggle and put her baby arms around my neck and said "ahh mama, lub you." My heart is hers forever. She has no idea the stress and angst she can cause me to feel but somehow she can simply make everything bad go away in an instant. Those blonde curls and gapped front teeth are the most precious thing I could wish for and here I am thinking it would just hurry up, grow up, and then all would be well. Again, just writing this out is hard because I can not think of anything worse that could happen, is her growing up and not needing me anymore and I just wished it away. So for now, stop the wishing away and start living in the present. You are needed.