I think my favorite times of day as a mother are the polar ends of my child's sleep: the waking and the falling.

When C wakes in the morning, I run to him – in whatever state of dress or undress I find myself in at that point in my morning routine – and I say “hi!” and snuggle him and hug him and kiss him. He leans his head against me and snuggles me. Everything is right and perfect in the world for those few small minutes before the busyness of the day snatches us from each other.

After his diaper change this morning, he set out to play with the upturned wheels of his topsy-turvy wagon and say “turn wheel” a few times before it was time to go. I heard his dad’s final boarding call – the snap of his lunch box closing shut – and announced to C “it’s time to go to Nana & Tata’s!”. He looked at me and said “here”. I told him it was time to go, and he countered by sitting down and saying “stay”.

Oh wouldn’t we all just love to “stay here” all day long! His feet kicked in wild protest when I picked him up, told him mommy has to leave too and it’d be awfully lonely in the house all alone. I wondered if he thinks I stay home all day without him, since I’m there when he leaves and there when he gets home.

Just before I passed him to his dad, I shoved a cheese stick into his hand and reminded him to say “thank you” (he did). I said “I love you!” as they walked out the door and as I bent to grab his backpack, he said it back. So, I followed them out the door like usual – only this morning I was nearly nekkid (thank goodness for garages!) – and said “I love you” a few more times just to hear him say it back.

Afterward, I stood in my bathroom feeling stunned. We all know I’ve had tough days where all I wanted to do was stay home and be with him, and that I have prayed more than once for a way to make that happen (It’s coming! We have a plan! It’s in the works!). But I hadn’t prepared myself for the day when he would want to stay home, when he would be asking me for a reprieve. And you know what? It was flattering and frightening. But mostly, it stung.

I reminded myself of the thought that occurred to me when I was trying to convince him to go about his day: tomorrow is Friday! Tomorrow is our reprieve day! And, for now, it’ll have to do.



She Says, She Says

HAVE NOT Emails: "I know when I have a child I will find it positively adorable when they learn how to say “hi” and do so to everything and everyone. However, at this moment in time, the small child out in the lobby saying “hi hi hi hi hi” is driving me CRAZY!"

HAVE Replies: "They are ALWAYS cuter when they are your own. It’s a protection mechanism built into the species so humans don’t eat their young. Higher order, and all that jazz. It also makes it practically impossible for us to see the extent to which our “cute” kid is making others wish they could eat (or seriously maim or injure) our offspring.



My Kid. My Life.

My kid is my favoritest thing in the world right now. He walks around gibbering some version of gobbledygook that sounds oddly like an Asian language. I stare in awe at new daily tokens of his developing language skills.

When he wakes up, he lays there and sings or talks until the sounds of his little voice hail me from the deepness of my sleep. Yesterday he awoke practicing intonations of "No" (Nononononono No! No. No!) and his newest opposites (open/closed and on/off).

He's a fantastic mimic! Today when he went down for a nap he said "Dad fix it fan!" Right now he is standing at the window saying "Nena (dog) whay ahyou?" (where are you). When I say "You know what?" he answers "I uhview" (I love you) and when I tell him he's my best boy, he says "buddy" and I say "that's right, you're my buddy".

He is 21 months now (!) and still loves to be worn. I recently bought an Ergo and wear it at the grocery store and sometimes while making dinner. He snuggles up next to me and squeezes me and just plain loves to be loved.

He loves jeeps and cars and buses and lights and shoes. He LOVES stools but we've had to take them away and hide them in the laundry room. He loves to be surprised and I often jump out from behind things to oblige him. He giggles at the funniest things and I am pretty sure his laughter is the best sound in the universe.

Most of the time he is very well-behaved and doesn't do much that a little redirection and a request to "go play with your toys" won't handle. He listens well to requests (most of the time) and I think we're doing pretty well in the discipline department, but I still read the books.

Every time I read a book that talks about extinguishment of a behavior by letting my kid cry (or scream) for hours on end, I get a bad taste in my mouth and have real trouble taking anything after that point seriously. The most recent book I read talked about bedtime routines in the second chapter and how a child will probably scream for 3-4 hours the first night. . . how on earth do I even go on to chapter three after a comment like that?

Especially when what I am mostly trying to avoid is the place of panic my heart retreats to when he is being particularly challenging, like yesterday when we were at a mall bookstore and he was straining against his stroller straps saying "Out!" and it was nearing bedtime and he was just done. I told him he was not getting out and then tried to readjust him in his stroller. While doing so, I hurt his leg and he starting crying in earnest. Instant heart panic rose up (was I going to have to go back on my word?), but in the end, we struck a compromise that allowed me to stick to my guns and him to be happy for another 10 minutes.

Being smothered is a delicate balance between trusting yourself and being open to learning new ways to handle things. But mostly, it's just awesome!


"May you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world." -Ray Bradbury