I know I paint a picture of Z on here that she is just a pure delight, an angel who never does anything wrong, a somehow perfect little kid. And that is mostly true, as shocking as that might seem. She is just an awesome kid, and she was a wonderful little baby. Most parents probably think this way about their kids, they probably expect them to be that way even. But not me. I expected to have some screaming ball of vomit and tears that would tear my life apart and shit in my hair. Instead I got this wonderful tiny person who rarely annoys or frustrates me and every day amazes me with how just fantastic she is. Life’s most splendid surprise.
But every now and then even my idyllic little spawn acts up. A few weeks ago we were laying down for her nap and she was fighting me on it. This is rare. Usually we have lunch then lay down for a nap, I give her boob, she falls asleep, there it is. But on this day for whatever reason she was just not having it. I kept trying and trying and she kept fighting and struggling against me. It was supremely annoying. Then she started kicking me in the face and chest. I got super pissed, sat up, took her little hand and gave it a tiny swat, saying, “That is not nice!” Which of course, my swatting her hand wasn’t nice at all either, but she was completely unfazed. She laughed and said, “Not nice not nice not nice!” So we resumed struggling and were laying down when she grabbed my water bottle and it me in the face with it. Hard. Hello rage. I was mega pissed and decided that I should take serious action against this behavior. But what action is right?
When she is being insolent or mean I give her a little time out. I put her in her crib, which she loves and just bounces happily. But if I leave the room for two minutes she will get upset. So I do that or I ask her to sit in her chair and be still for a minute or so. She doesn’t love this, but I talk to her softly the whole time and I explain calmly that whatever she was doing is wrong for whatever reason and that I love her but she has to stop doing said thing. Then I hug her, tell her I love her, thank her for listening and we move on. This works pretty well and she seems to listen and understand what is happening. But on this day, this awful kicking and hitting me in the face with a full 20 ounce bottle of water day, I was not in the mood for a soft talk in a little chair. So I turned her over and very softly spanked her butt. One time and with as much force as I would punch a butterfly, but still it was a big deal for me. I was actively hitting my kid, at least in some sense of the word hitting. Again she laughed and was completely unfazed. Which is good, because had she cried or been hurt at all I would have probably died on the spot. Her big cloth diapers pretty much ensured that she didn’t even feel it, but still…I knew I had reached a point where I was trying to get her attention from physical action and this upset me.
I stopped what I was doing, stood her up, looked at her, and asked her, “What do you want to do?” She smiled brightly and said, “Dance.” So we went outside, I turned on the stereo, popped in a Spoon CD and we danced in the sunshine. We laughed and twirled and it was awesome. So what she didn’t get a nap? So what she would be extra tired later? The kid just wanted to dance. And I was so mad about her not following some stupid schedule that I didn’t think to find out why she fought me. As if kids don’t have sense or reason, as if they are just being wild and unruly to spite us or something. I learned a massive lesson that day, one taught to me by a two year old. It was kind of wonderful.
Now I am not 100% against spanking or physical discipline. I am probably about 97% against it, but I do see where it can belong. I really think that the littles don’t need it, rather it should be reserved for teenagers. When Z is 16 and telling me she hates my ugly face I may very well smack her. Yep, that could happen. Hopefully that never does, and hopefully she never hates me, but I was a teenage girl once and I know how strong those crazy emotions are. And if I ever needed a smack in the face it was at that point in my life. Luckily I didn’t grow up in a violent home. I got slapped one time by my mom when I was 8 and believe you me I deserved it completely. Even as an 8 year old I thought, “Yeah good call mom. That was coming to me.” Other than that I never was physically hurt by my parents. And so far Z has never been hurt by us, well at least not intentionally. We have definitely hurt her on accident, but we try not to make that a habit.
The comedian, and my personal hero, Louis C.K. did a comedy bit once about hitting your kids. He said, “I really think it’s crazy that we hit our kids. Here’s the crazy part about it; kids are the only people in the world that you’re allowed to hit. Do you realize that? They’re the most vulnerable and the most destroyed by being hit but it’s totally OK to hit them. And they’re the only ones! if you hit a dog they will put you in jail for that shit. You can’t hit a person unless you can prove that they were trying to kill you. But a little tiny person with a head this big who trusts you implicitly: ‘FUCK ‘EM, WHO GIVES A SHIT! LET’S ALL HIT THEM!’ People want you to hit your kid. If your kid is making noise: ‘HIT HIM!!!! HIT ‘EM!!!! GRRRRRR’”
I loved that and I totally agree with it. I have tried time outs and they seem to work well. I talk to my daughter and that works very well. I tried giving her a swat on the hand and on her butt and that didn’t work at all, not even a little bit. All it did was make her laugh and make me feel bad. The next time she struggles with her nap I will know to simply ask her what she wants and I am willing to bet that her desires will be wonderful and easy for me to fulfill. Sometimes you can’t sleep because you just have to get outside, turn the music up loud, and dance. Who can’t relate to that?
Tomorrow my beloved daughter turns TWO years old. TWO!! This is very exciting, as all birthdays are. When she was born it was crazy exciting and scary and juts plain weird. Actually after I had her I went to update the myriad of Facebook comments and questions and when I posted my status all I could think to write was, “Well that was pretty weird.” Because…well…it was. Weird as all hell. I think it was Sex and the City or Murphy Brown (two shows I am just always confusing) that had a character give birth and she said, “It’s like there’s suddenly a giraffe in the room.” I thought that was perfectly said.
Then she turned one and it was like this enormous sigh of relief. I could relax a little bit more than I had in a long time. I could stop holding her during her naps or sleeping with my hand on her belly to make sure she was breathing. I could trust that her body had the whole inhale, exhale thing down pat and she would be okay. It was awesome and I loved it.
And now…she is two. Well she will be officially in 25 hours at least. Two means that she is no longer a baby. She is a kid, a toddler, a munchkin, but not a baby. Of course she will be my baby until forever, but officially she is not a baby any longer. Also it means we can stop counting months. It’s like this unspoken rule for parents: First you count days, “She is 4 days old today!”; Next it’s weeks, “She just turned 12 weeks old yesterday!”; Then months, “You are 22 months old you big girl you!” Now that she is two it is just that…Two. “How old is she?” “She’s two.” Or, “She’s almost two and a half.” You go from months to half years. Except for a brief period when they get older and clever enough to calculate time, and then you go backwards a bit to quarter years. Or in the case of one spunky little girl I know who is “Six and five eighths.”
If you ask her how old she is she says, “One Two!” It’s cute. Also her back molars are coming in. One so far, three bastards to go. Just gotta get through these last damn teeth and then we can relax in the dental area for a few years until they all fall right out of her head. Absurd design. And now that she is two we may get her a few shots, which we have yet to do. We were waiting until she was at least two so her little brain could form. It hits 85% formed at 2, 95% at 5, and 100% at like 22. That last 5% is a real doozy I guess. We will talk to our awesome doctor about the shots and see how we feel. There are only a few we are getting for her anyway, but it will end up being like 8 total shots I think. Gives me chills just thinking about putting all that crap in her. But that is for later, not for right now.
So she is all grown up, talking up a storm, dancing, singing, playing her purple ukulele, and running through the grass. Every day she learns like 72 things and retains them all, it’s incredible. If I knew what I was doing she could probably speak 8 languages by now, but I’m just so happy she’s all in one piece and mastering English that I don’t mind. I have about 17 months or so until she is smarter than me anyway so I need to milk it for all it’s worth. I don’t have any yummy stats because her doctor appointment is next week, but she is abut 3 feet tall and weighs 29 pounds. Seems pretty good to me. She can brush her own teeth, she knows her left from her right, and she is mastering colors pretty well. She can count to 3, but trips over 4. She prefers showers over baths. She can use an iPhone better than you can. Yesterday she spent 9 straight hours outside naked in the yard, running around and playing with abandon. It was great. I taught her her how to pee in the grass, which she loves. She’s just a freaking miracle. Oh and speaking of freak she still has 2 different colored eyes, so I guess that is just the way she is. So beautifully weird. I love her.
So happy birthday my darling girl. Thank you for being you and for being ours and for being spectacular. We as your parents will do everything in our power to be as awesome as you are. Pinky Promise.
One of my brilliant friends told me to blog more as a means to ease my stress and anxiety. I think he is totally right, but there is just one glitch: I don’t always have anything of interest to say. I know what you are thinking…”how could that be?” Well believe it or not I really do try to make these little posts interesting or of some value, I do. But sometimes things just mosey along and I have nothing major to share, nothing profound to give to the world, or (more accurately) no whining to do. But I have several small things to say so I will just dump those out and hope you’re not already bored.
-Z is totally potty training now, like for reals. She goes number one AND number two on the big toilet and she is a champ about it. We are using like 2 diapers a day now for sleeping and that is it! She still wears a real diaper when we go anywhere, but we never really do that so it isn’t a big deal. This kid is amazeballs.
-I got hooked on a reality show called “Sister Wives” recently. Only two seasons of it are on Netflix so I am bummed that for me it is over, but wow, so good. It’s about a polygamous Mormon family with 4 wives and 1 husband and 16 kids. Extreme religious people fascinate me, I can’t get enough. It is just too bizarre. As if on cue I saw a real life nun at the store today and almost peed myself. A nun! Just walking around being married to Jesus. Or is he her brother? Damn, I should’ve asked her. Crazy.
-My friend accidentally showed Z a few minutes of “The L Word” today. And by that I mean Z saw lesbian porn. So yeah.
-My quest for calm has not been going well. We bought Z this absurd play structure at Costco and the whole process of digging up our yard, laying tiny rubber chunks, and assembling it is just totally stressful. My poor husband is doing all of it, so I just sit around uselessly and try to make him yummy dinners. When it is all done in a few weeks it should be incredible though. Parks piss me off and I am sick of creepy older men, broken glass, needle caps, and people sleeping in their cars. We are going to have our own park damnit.
-Z is getting her first back molar and it sucks. Poor thing is in mega pain, but the awesome part is she can tell us that. She tells me her mouth hurts and asks for ice chips or teething tablets. I hate that she hurts, but I love that she can communicate. Toddlers rule, babies drool.
-Arrested Development is coming back. I could just die with joy. Oh and Master Chef starts soon, happy day!
-I’m getting all down home and made my own almond milk and lemonade. Yeah. Next I am going to make bubbles, coconut milk, and maybe toothpaste. Pinterest has taught me that I can do anything with coconut oil, a few wood palettes and Modge Podge. I will take over the world and rub oil on it.
-My birthday is in less than a month and I will be 34. Wow. 34?? When, when, when did I become 34? In fairness I feel about 72. But a few months ago a bum asked me if I had any weed so that’s good. I still seem cool enough to have weed. Yes!
-Sometimes I think about marrying J all over again because I love him so much.
-Things that should be eradicated from the world: Hate, racism, sexism, isms in general, teething, PMS, bad TV, Justin Bieber, ticks, and cream cheese. Yeah I said it.
-Things we need in the world: A pill or gel that will make pain glow on your skin so people like me who hurt don’t seem crazy all the time, super planes that get you from here to London in 30 minutes, a new amazing poet that will shake up society, more forests and less people, tiny kangaroos we could keep as pets, and love.
-I seriously, really, for all seriousness want to start a hippy commune. Not a free love one because if you touch my man I will be forced to choke you, but a loving, natural, happy commune. Several houses (yurts, teepees, whatever) with a huge shared property and an enormous garden that we all tend. Chickens and goats maybe, but we can’t eat the goats because they are like the only animals that don’t bite me. We could help each other, and home school our kids, and have big parties, and just live quietly and simply. Oh I love it. Any takers?
Okay well that is all I have for right now. It’s almost 1 so I need to go read in bed for an hour before I pass out. Kisses.