Thursday, June 30, 2011

Life Imitating Art

A few mornings ago, I began the wakeup process per usual.

You scared the crap out of me when I was drying my hair and bumped right into you in the bathroom.

Mama, you said, rubbing your eyes. I can't find Nemo.

Finding Nemo.

We found him smashed between the bed and wall. Smiling like the silly little clown fish he is.

Monday, June 27, 2011

To Get to the Other Side

We went to the park one gray, quiet morning last weekend just you and I.
Literally, the place was empty.

All you wanted to do was go across the monkey bars by yourself.
Even though you weren't convinced you actually wanted to. Or could.

Just looking at them, so high up, so wide across, made you nervous. You kept telling me you were so little.

You told me to come watch, but to not touch you.
As I eyed the distance from the bars to the tiny, gravelly pebbles below, I wondered just how hurt you'd get if you fell.
That doesn't make me a bad Mama. Just a proactive one ...

So you just hung on and swung and swung.
As I kept the camera in your face.

I kept speaking to you calmly telling you to reach for the next bar. That in order to finish, you first have to start.
Over and over I repeated myself to you. Waited and waited.
Held my breath a little.

I also told you it was OK to be scared.
Everyone, no matter how big, gets scared of reaching for the next solid thing to grasp in life.
But we have to talk ourselves into it.
There's no other way to reach the other side.

And you did.
You reached the next bar, an impressive feat.

Then, even more impressive, you asked for help.
I was right there to do just that.
I'm proud of you.
For trying to do it yourself, and for asking for help.

And I'll always be right beside you, ready to catch you if you fall. Ready to cheer you on when you get to the other side. Ready to wipe your tears if you get hurt.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


I literally feel like it was yesterday I wrote about your monumental night's sleep.
And here I am again, already updating that story. Sure, it took me two weeks to put this into words, but I'm like that. This is just one more milestone I - we - hurdled and I wanted to get it right.

A few months ago, you began asking for a bigger bed. For specific reasons; so you could have legitimate sleepovers with your besties, E., and B. You asked Daddy everyday if your new bed was here. We both knew it was time. You're tall, your toddler bed was cramping your style. The soft, pliability of your crib mattress wasn't doing you any favors. I knew it was time.

So, two weeks ago you went to Camp Grandma's and the transformation I feared took place. I emptied out your changing table, and moved that to the office. Did you know there was still a tube of diaper rash cream in it? Yeah, I kept it. I know. It's ridiculous. I know; I know. Daddy dismantled your crib, and fit the pieces onto your new double bed. I only cried once. Sorta twice. But ... it was just so bitter sweet to fold up that crib sheet for the last time. Now your bedding looks just like ours, all big and proper.

You screamed with delight when you saw your bed for the first time. You hugged Daddy hard, for making your nocturnal dreams come true. You wondered if you could even scale it; of course you did. Look at how freaking tiny you look in that big bed.

You went to immediate work assembling your entire stuffed menagerie on your new bed. I could barely pick you out of the crowd. We then spent the next two hours of pure daylight telling you it wasn't time for bed.
We gave in, at 6:42pm, and tucked you in.

You made sure you had NaNa by your face, per usual. You located your Nigh-Nigh from Auntie SG. You asked for Gloworm, and made sure she had batteries. You said goodnight to all your animals, no small feat these days. And, when there was nothing left do, you went to sleep.

For your standard weekend 15 hours, too.
I guess it's a sign you were right where you should have been.
Your bed is backed against the wall. I put it there so you could always wake up on the right side of the bed.
But, let's be honest. You're related to your Dad and you two are as far from morning people as anyone I know.
So, mornings are still rough at 7:15am, five days a week.
You know I love you, right? You know I hate to wake you up?
You know the last thing I want to do is try to dress an alternately wet noodle, straight-limbed crier into clothes, right? So we're clear?

But, I'll do it. I do it already.
Because I am your Mama.
And you're my baby.
(even if you're not)
And we have thousands and thousands of more mornings ahead of us.
Big beds and all.
You and me.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Daddy Man

Happy Father's Day to the father of my child.
Mama loves!

Around Mother's Day, the lil' dude came home from daycare with a fabulous handmade necklace, strung together with wooden beads, a giant red heart, and love. I immediately fell in love with it, and the tiny girl who brought it home.

Tonight, the Dad is wearing it.
Because she asked him to.
And ... because it's his.
It always was meant for her Daddy.

You two speak your own language.
You embody the true mystique of Father-Daughter relationships.
Sometimes, you let me in.
But that doesn't matter.
From the outside, I could watch you two tango and tangle and tackle all day long.
I often do.
There's nothing more in this world I love.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


It's the middle of June already.
And we are already in love with summer at the Casa de Lil' Dude!

We have fashionable and UV-Free eyewear in tons of colors.

We have ridiculously cute summer outfits to replace lasts.
Don't tell anyone about that morning I tried to wrangle you into those 3T shorts (that you just wore to Florida in February, by the way!) and you cried, get these baby shorts off me!
I had to buy you one romper. I wore them non-stop when I was little, and I will pay any price for nostalgia. Mine were probably velour or terry-cloth, and most definitely homemade!

We're adhering to healthy, fresh eating.
Well, sorta.
There's just something SO good about McDonald's orange soda when at the park.

And we're not caring about anything else.
Not bedtimes.
Not dirt.
Not scrapes.
Not sticky hair.
Not work.

We're admiring ballerina bathing suits in a 5T.
That makes me want to cry.
But, I simply cannot shove your tiny tushie into a BABY SUIT anymore, can I?
Besides, you're taking swimming lessons next month.
The ones you failed in April.
But that's another story for another day.
(I'll preface it by saying, you're totally three years old)
You owe me $28.
So I can immediately buy more of those ballerina bathing suits.

We're asserting your independence.
You + preschool in the fall = time to get a grip on your own life, ladybug.
You want your pool filled up?
You do it yourself.
While Mama watches from her sun bathing chair.
Observing, encouraging, doting.
Daddy did give you pails and pails of warm water.

Yep, it's summertime at our house.
We're ready for the sun.
The dusk.
The sweat.
The tan lines.
The music.
The watermelon.
The hummingbirds (you told me Friday that males have red necks. My head exploded).
The friends.
The bonfire-scented fleeces.
The flip-flops.
The peonies.
The neighbors.
The molting Beagle.
The late mornings.
The Daddy brunches.
The Mama coffees.
The love.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


You are three and a half today, lil' dude.
I have been a Mama for 42 months.
36 months ago, you got your first tooth.
I cried.
You have your second dentist appointment next week.
24 months ago, you were still wearing diapers.
12 months ago, you started wearing underwear for the rest of your life.
I cried.

How can I sum you up at three and a half?
You've been at Papa and Grandma G's since Sunday. I have only had one report since you left, and it sums you up at three and a half:

"The lil' dude changed her name to Sally and has worn nothing except "patchstick" (chapstick) all day."

You're so my kid.
And I am so damn lucky.

Love you, Sally.
Have a fun week in the woods with your peeps.
Say hi to all the animals.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Girls Just Wanna Have ... Fights?

You live about 40 steps away from your best friend's front door.
You two are as close as sisters. You have your own love language, and it makes me so happy to see you developing in your relationship. You first met E. when you were only two weeks old, and she was eight weeks. I'll never forget that Friday evening, you laying on the floor, E. in her daddy's lap with a pacifier, still sad and hurting from her immunizations that afternoon. I knew right then you two ladies were about to start something very special.

We love our neighborhood and our neighbors. We are so lucky to live where we do. You two princesses think so, too.
You both love frill, glitter, shrieking, princess stories, jewelry, horses, and lip gloss.

And much to your daddies' delight, when you each were handed a tiny iron from E.'s legitimate golf set, the first thing you wanted to do was ... fight! Each other.

Little bit princess, little bit dragon.
I say it's a perfect combo.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

1,000 Faces

There's a song I think of when I look at you, little girl.
Naturally. There is a song for everything.
That song is called 1,000 Faces by Randy Montana.

The lyrics?

There's debutantes, drama queens
Glued to Bride magazine
Half caff, two pump, no whip in the Coffee Bean
Love has a 1,000 faces
Love has a 1,000 faces
But I see you
Before I ever knew you
Before I ever knew you
I dreamed of you
I dreamed of you

There's small town, itty-bitty
Tomboy in a big city
Turn your head when the light ain't red
Stop traffic, kind of pretty
Love has a 1,000 faces
Love has a 1,000 faces
But I see you
Before I ever knew you
Before I ever knew you
I dreamed of you
I dreamed of you, yeah

You're a storm at night, thunder crashing
Mystery, full of passion
Quiet as a Sunday morning
Change without any warning
Love has a 1,000 faces
Love has a 1,000 faces
But I see you
I see you
I see you
Baby, I see you
And I see you
Before I ever knew you
Before I ever knew you
Before I ever knew you

The reason?