I've spent a lot of time over the past 20 months staring at my daughter's face. A common thought I come back to is wondering what she's going to look like as she grows older. Comparing her face now to what it was 18 months ago, she looks so different to me. Every now and then I'll get a picture of her, though, and I'll swear I can see the tiny adult peeking out at me behind her eyes...
... and she just takes my breath away. *Sappy Mommy Moment*
I've actually been having quite a few of those this week (SMM's). I think that, maybe... aghhhh... I can't believe I'm going to say it, JINX JINX JINX...
I think we're finally starting to get through to this kid.
Lots of people remark in passing on the terrible two's, and I always volley with "Yeah, those started for us at 9 months." Then we all have a good chuckle. From the moment my daughter could walk, she started asserting her independence. The battle of wills we faced over the boob/bottle in the first few months was only a teaser for how my daughter was going to put her foot down about EVERY. LITTLE. THING. As parents we struggled to find the balance between instilling discipline and crushing a strong will that would serve her so well as an adult (no sheeple-ing for my peanut). So for the past almost year the battle has been waged between parent and daughter, and it's not easy to maintain consistency for this long and feel like it's not making a darn lick of difference. All it would take was one public tantrum for us to feel like we were raising the world's tiniest tyrant.
What deceptive little nugget of hope has ignited in me? First: Daphne has been more clingy/snuggly. We're not attachment parenting, but a large part of me mourned my prematurely independent peanut, who whined if we tried to snuggle or hug for longer than a couple seconds, and whose earliest phrases included "GET DOWN!" Imagine my astonishment this past week when my daughter insisted on sitting in my lap to eat dinner, having me carry her up to day care instead of letting her walk, and giving me extra long hug/cuddles sporadically throughout the day.
Second: Daphne's attention span is gradually expanding. I mentioned she has started watching movies, we've now added Despicable Me 1 & 2 to her list of favorites (or as D calls them "NINNYUNS NINNYUNS!"). That's right, Peanut loves a Minion.
Third: D is making progress on the picky eating thing. I have to credit Ian with this one; he suggested we start limiting her options (only giving her two instead of, say, everything) and making sure she eats what we eat. It seems to be working! We still have to take extra snacks with us everywhere since she has not mastered the art of WAITING for food, but she's been pretty good at chowing down on our dinners and on her lunch at day care. In fact, she seems to want more variety for her school lunches. I was told Tuesday that she "totally scarfed" the leftover Asian stir fry, snap peas, and hummus that I packed for her. She is also really into eating chicken off the bone. She gnaws on a drumstick until it's almost unrecognizable.
Fourth: D is playing. I mentioned the recent interest in toys, well this weekend we got to have a "first" that I've been looking forward to since I heard the words "It's a Girl": First Tea Party. D even "GlubGlubGlub'd" as she "drank" straight from the kettle.
This is not to say we haven't had our share of drama and tantrums...
... but, it feels like... they are getting shorter? Multiple times, we've managed to talk her down off the ledge of drama by just explaining to her the situation. Full bore screaming, stop, talk, calm. I keep pinching myself. It doesn't work every time, and for all I know this is just a good week and we're going to swing back to total turditude, but like all parents I cling to the hope that her entire life is not going to be a daily battle. Oh, the lies we tell ourselves to keep from going insane.
It's weeks like this that make me ponder things like quitting my job to spend more time with my kid (not happening, I need cable). I am addicted to her laugh, the smell of her skull, the way she says "Sulleeeey!" whenever we watch Monsters, Inc., the hugs she gives me when I drop her off at day care, and the little sounds she makes in her sleep over the monitor.
I feel like my little Peanut might be growing up. Not in the sappy "Wahhhh my kid is growing up too fast!" way (ok, maybe a little), but in the mentally maturing showing a real personality way. My daughter is a FUNNY, charming, clever, DRAMATIC, awesome DIVA. Who changes her mind at the drop of a hat. But it's cool.
I can work with that.
Are you addicted to your kid, too? What surprising interactions with your kid do you find the most rewarding?