Wednesday, July 10, 2013

An open letter to my perfect daughter Lauren

Dear Lauren,

Today I dropped you off for your third-ever day of daycare. You only go twice a week, so adjusting to part time daycare can be hard. But I still wasn’t prepared for you to cry so much and reach out for me as I left the room.
You see, you’re an independent little 19-month old. You love to play on your own or follow Anna around. You like snuggling, but you don’t always want to be chased around for kisses and hugs. (You get a little annoyed when I insist on kisses in the morning when you first wake up.) You aren’t really attached to me the way Anna was (you’re quite happy to have Grandma or Daddy cuddle and hug you. In fact, sometimes you seem like you prefer them). So when you reached out for me today because you didn’t want me to stop holding you, it broke my heart.

Yes, the rational side of my brain knows you’re having a great time there. You love all the toys and being around other kids. You eat and sleep and have fun and then come home. It’s all good.
But the emotional side of me doesn’t ever want to let go of you when you’re willing to let me hug you and hold you and comfort you.

When I pick you up and you throw yourself into my arms because you’re so happy to see me – it’s the absolute best part of my day.
When I snuggle with you as you drink your bottle of milk before you go to bed for the night, I get to stare at you. I touch your soft little feet and hands. I run my fingers through your curly hair. I look at your eyes and your cute little nose. Another great part of my day.

And the reason I’m writing this letter to you now is because sometimes life just feels like it’s rushing by. Like a river with a strong current. Sometimes I feel like I’m going to turn around and you’ll be grown up, with friends and school and a busy life. And those times when you reach out for me will be even fewer and far between.
(But I want you to know that that’s absolutely okay. You are just perfect to me. You don’t have to be glued to my side for me to know that you love me. You’re amazing and wonderful and smart and silly. And I hope you know how I feel about you).

But I also want you to be able to look back one day and know that there was one morning in July, when you were just a wee toddler, that your Mom cried in the car all the way to work because she loved you so much. And that no matter what you do, where you go, or who you are – I will always feel that way.
I will always reach back for you, Lauren.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Useful advice

Hello lovely Mamas. How are you on this fine morning?
Alright, now that that’s out of the way – enough with the niceties and on with the recounting of tales of my kids’ lives for your amusement/enjoyment/to pass 5-10 minutes of your day away.
My 19 month old is teething like a mofo. Poor thing must feel awful. When she’s not crying or fussing, she’s shoving her hand in her mouth and holding it there. (Heart. Breaking.) Sometimes she wants to be cuddled. Other times she’s mad and wants nothing to do with us. Unless we have Popsicles.
My 3 year old is super funny and cute lately. She wants to hug Lauren to make her feel better. Lauren generally wants no such support.
So, lately, Andrew and I spend most of our time trying to distract Lauren and breaking up sibling fights.
And then comes bedtime.
Last night, for what feels like the 100th night in a row, Lauren required me to rock her to sleep until she was out cold. This from the child who loves her crib. The child who will drink a bottle of milk, go to bed and either fall asleep instantly or happily talk to herself for a while before falling asleep.
Now? She thrashes around and screams and cries if you dare to put her down before she’s asleep. Yet, while you hold and rock her, she plays with my face, pulls on her eyelashes, taps her feet together and other such fidgeting. Also? The kid REFUSES to shut her eyes. They can be rolling around due to complete exhaustion and she will STILL try to force them to stay open.
She is slightly irrational.
Anyway – so things have been stressful at my house as of late. And while I was scouring the parenting articles to try and find some tips for getting through this stage, I came across this useful tidbit:
“Reduce what is making you exhausted”.
Oh. Oh, thank  you. THANK YOU so much for this helpful advice. I had never thought of trying to get Lauren to sleep without me needing to rock her for 2 hours. You know what? I will try that tonight! I will reduce my exhaustion by putting her to bed with no screaming and then skipping off to bed myself.
And by “putting her to bed with no screaming and then skipping off to bed myself” I in fact mean “putting her to bed with much screaming, caving and rocking her for 2 hours and then running to the kitchen for a glass of white wine, followed by a marathon of Keeping Up With the Kardashians just because I need some non-thinking alone time to myself on the couch.”
That should work, right?