Friday, September 14, 2012

Where Do They Get This Stuff

In a little over a week, my precious, baby daughter is going to turn 2-years old. A year ago, as she turned 1, I remember commenting that she wasn't a baby as much as she was turning into a little girl. Now that she's turning 2, I realize that there's no baby left. The transformation is complete.

At this moment, she's sitting on the floor playing by herself. She drags her Pooh bear around and says, "Come on, Pooh." She walks up to me and asks for water in her favorite cup. (Not in the babyish way of crying and saying, "Wah-wah," but actually saying, "Water, please.") She builds towers with her blocks. Right now she's putting her number flash cards back in the box after having read though them all and told me what each says. (She just brought the box to me and said, "Mama, box self, Yaya," which translates roughly to, "Mama, I put them back in the box myself!")

But it's not the large vocabulary or the physical developments that are the most striking proof that she's a kid now—it's the realization that she is not completely under my thumb as she's been for the last 24 months. 

About a week ago, she started calling me Mother—"No, Mother," "Yes, Mother," "More, please, Mother." Nobody knows where she even learned the word. Neither of her grandmothers (who are her only babysitter) ever use the word. None of the cartoons she watches even have children in them, but we're assuming that there's a story line or episode that we're just not thinking of. 

Even more mysterious is where she learned the birthday song. She recently started singing "Happy Birthday" at home. As far as we can tell, she's only heard the song twice in her life at the two birthdays she's ever attended. Once again, we've quizzed anyone she's spent any time with, right down to her Sunday School teachers, and none of them claim to have ever sung the song around her. It's baffling.

I am puzzled by these new bits of knowledge she's come home with, but obviously not upset. It could have been much worse—she's not saying cuss words or singing Katy Perry songs—but it definitely makes me feel out of control of her life. And I guess this is the beginning the process of losing control. From now until I drop her off in her dorm room, I'm going to hear her say things I didn't teach her, talk about friends I don't know, and about places I've never been. *sigh* 

But for right now, I've got her sitting at my side, leaning on my arm, and playing with my phone and I am not taking it for granted.

Pony Tail Tears

This morning, I combed my little girl's hair into a pony tail while getting her dressed. I've never done this before. For one thing, Lydia has always hated having things in her hair. Even when she was an infant, we couldn't get her to wear those adorable, stretchy headbands. But the other day, when I picked her up from Nana's house, she was wearing a ponytail! It was so cute! So this morning, while getting her ready, I tried my hand at putting her hair up. 

And I broke down in tears.

For a couple reasons.

First, this small, maternal responsibility brought to the surface a bundle of insecurities and inadequate feelings. During my elementary and middle school years, when girls are most likely to sit around "doing" each other's hair, I had no friends to practice on. This morning may have been the first time I've put a ponytail into another person's hair. I felt so inept.

Second, the ponytail was further evidence that my daughter is a little girl and not a baby anymore. I've known this for a while, but somehow it was just so real when she looked at me with her mess of curls smoothed back into the rubber band and actually looking half-way decent. 

I guess there are a couple lessons I can learn from this (maybe that's a stretch), but I did discover that if I'm willing to do things as a mom that I feel unqualified for, the results can end up better than I even hoped. Her ponytailed hair looked much better than her mop-top does on any given day and when I walked her out of the house, I actually felt pride as a mom. Yeah, she's growing up, but look what I can do! I can get a child dressed and out of the house who doesn't look like she spent the night on her own in an alley! Yay, me!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

I Survived. . . (Pretty Much)

Last Sunday was a rainy but beautiful day of celebrating that marked the end of my crazy two weeks. For the most part, it was a pretty good experience, but it ended with a bang. . . . literally. But before I get to that, let me recap the abundance of friends and family that we were blessed with.

I took Lydia to Chuck E. Cheese for the first time along with my Dad. It was quite an experience. She started out upset and overwhelmed by all the people, but as soon as we offered her some lemonade and pizza, her mood brightened. My dad quite patiently followed her all over the arcade while she rode every ride over and over and over again. 

The next day we were invaded by my beloved extended family (on my dad's side). About 20 relatives joined us at our home for our summer get-together. In addition to honoring us with their company, they were lovely enough to celebrate my cousins' and my pregnancies—Stacey's third child (first daughter), Tiffany's third and fourth child (and first daughter), and of course, my second child. My mom even bought us a cake from the talented Sonnet Medrano!

The day after the family reunion was the first day of Back Yard Bible Clubs, which I was hosting for the first year. The rain started that day and continued through the rest of the week. We were deluged. As a result, no children showed up all week. It was quite a disappointment. It had never occurred to me to tell the families I invited that we had a backup plan in case it rains—who expects it to rain in Texas in July! Every day, we prepared for the kids and every day we sat around on the front lawn waiting for the kids to not come.

The end of that week brought more birthday parties (Vincent's film festival) and a baby shower. We  were supposed to go to a friend's daughter's first birthday, but Lydia had had as much as she could bear and melted down.

Sunday, we had the privilege of celebrating Bobby Pruitt's (our pastor's) 50th birthday. As we left that party in the rain, we decided to head over to Vincent's to catch the last movie of his film festival. So that left us driving home with a sleeping toddler at 12:30. While stopped at a light, Peter and I were talking about how tired we were and how lame we had become in that we can't handle late nights any more. At that moment, a car driven by a sleepy twenty-something slammed into us. Apparently, he had noticed neither the red light or the cars stopped at it.


I'm not accustomed to so much excitement in my life and while some of it was more pleasant than others, I'm excited to be able to say I survived! Maybe I'll try this again soon. . . or in a couple months. . . maybe after the baby's born. . . next year some time. . . eventually

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Sarah's Crazy July

Yesterday I kicked off a crazy couple of weeks. From June 30-June 15, we're attending five birthday parties, a game night, Independance Day festivities, and a baby shower. Plus we're hosting a Bible club in our front yard and a family reunion!

This may not seem like a lot to you—in fact, to some of you, this may seem like the only way to live—but I am lazy and pregnant and love naps. When you're a lazy, pregnant, napper, you like down time. You like a little buffer around your socializing. You like to go out with friends, but you like to come home, sit on your back porch, and watch your daughter eat peaches while singing the alphabet song.

The coming two weeks are going to be a challenge to me, but I'm sure it's going to be worth it.

Last night I got to hang out with friends at a game night. I hadn't seen the couple hosting the party since February and had been missing them recently. I got to catch up with them and some other couples we used to go to church with. Plus, they very graciously fed us delicious hamburgers and guacamole—the truest way to a pregnant woman's heart.

This afternoon, I got to go out to celebrate my dear friend, Sonnet's, birthday at a fun, new restaurant I'd never tried before. Once again, I had the chance to sit down and hear how someone I used to go to church with is doing and once again delicious food was involved. [The restaurant in the story was Mimi's Cafe, which I realize is a chain, but it was new to me! I had the turkey salad croissant and am quite looking forward to finishing the other half for dinner tonight.]

In the coming months, when I'm nursing a newborn and too exhausted to shower, much less get out and see people, these are events that I'm going to look back on with satisfaction. But in the meantime, I'm going to have to find a way to power through (without the blessed assistance of caffeine).