– Strangely, about six weeks ago, our little barfly, who liked to stay at daycare playing with me until the folks there threw us out at 6 p.m. each day, started wanting to go home immediately upon seeing me. So much for her being the Norm Peterson of the place. She still runs to me and gives me a big hug when I arrive, but now, rather than struggling to unbutton my jacket and urging me to stay, she then runs to her coat and says, “I want to go bye-bye.” Don’t know why this change occurred when it did, after more than a year of ritualized behavior, but there you are.
– For some reason, Lily didn’t want to take home three of her art projects (a painted apple, a painted pumpkin, and a colored turkey) from daycare. She spotted them packed in her lunch bag and said, “I don’t want to take those home. Leave them here.” Well, the pieces had been taken down and replaced with new projects, so I said, “No, they either get thrown in the trash can here, or we take them home. Why don’t we take them home, so Daddy can see them?” I thought for sure that the prospect of tossing them would alter her thinking on the matter. But by now, Mommy should know better than to try to outsmart a toddler. “Let’s throw them in the trash,” she said, grabbing them and walking toward the cabinet where the room’s wastebasket was. She dumped them in without a thought and went to do her new, patented coat flip so we could go home. Bizarre. And so random.
But something that was heartbreakingly sweet that came of the whole thing was that before Lily threw out the pieces, and I was asking if we could please take them home, she looked at me earnestly, brought her palm to her chest and said, “You can take me home, Mommy. But you can’t take the apple or the pumpkin.” She said this again as we walked home together, and I said, “I will happily take you home, sweetie, because I love you like crazy.” And it’s true.
The push-pull of parenting is so baffling. I make sure to give myself a little me-time each day before walking over to pick her up from daycare, but once I start heading there, I always have the urge to sprint there, because I suddenly can’t wait anymore to see her. It’s like I’m suddenly going to burst from missing her. Yes, she’ll surely do something to drive me absolutely batty shortly thereafter; but there’s just no explaining this crazy experience. Contradictions abound.
– Now, in addition to hot dogs and mac and cheese (two of the only dinner items she’ll eat at home), peanut butter has earned the approval of Lily’s palette. So that’s progress of a sort. And she’ll occasionally deign to eat a grilled cheese sandwich we make for her, as well as ravioli. But involving her in the cooking process is still never a sure thing. She loves making pancakes with Joe on weekend mornings, but one recent evening, Joe involved her in making home-made chicken nuggets – wherein the chicken’s rolled in crushed corn flakes – and she wasn’t having any of it. Not even a “try it” bite. But we’ll keep plugging away at this issue.
– Suddenly, Lily hates, and fights, taking baths – an unfortunate development, to be sure. She hated them as an infant, but for a long time, she’d play and have a great time. Now we just mention that a bath is coming and she gets all weepy. Honestly, I think part of it is that in recent weeks, not only has she battled constipation (which has seemingly caused some backtracking on potty-training, unfortunately), but she’s had some serious redness in her nether regions. We’ve been applying anti-fungal cream, and it finally seems to be doing the trick, after a frustrating time when it didn’t. But even after it got better, Lily fights the bath. Not sure if it’s a holdover negative association thing or whether the two things have nothing to do with each other, but either way, I hope this is a phase with an ending in the foreseeable future. Adding another regular battle into the mix makes me less than enthusiastic.
– And while we’re on the subject of baths, Lily was weeping and clenched throughout her bath this evening, so I was hurriedly trying to work as quickly as possible, and to distract her, Joe started singing songs from “Mary Poppins” and “The Sound of Music” while inserting the word “poop,” or “poopy,” into the lyrics. This made Lily’s cries turn into giggles for at least the time that he sang. So there you have it. The secret to stand-up comedy for two year olds: the word poop repeatedly used in songs. You’re welcome. (Side-note: I knew all things scatalogical would come up eventually as being part of raising a child, but I thought it would come later, and that maybe girls didn’t think “poop” to be quite as hilarious as boys. I was wrong. The girls are totally down with it, too.)
– So Joe has a trial in Toledo this week and next, leaving me and Lily to fend for ourselves, largely. In my wisdom (?), I planned to FINALLY visit my best friend, a new mom, and take Lily with me to Pennsylvania. Will this prove a brilliant scheme or my downfall? Tune back in later this month to find out. And in the meantime, cross your fingers for me, will you?
– Being a marching band veteran, I’ve long HATED parades, and generally, I’ve never much understood the appeal. But on Thanksgiving morning, I decided to record the Macy’s Parade (I was hoping to see Broadway numbers, but I was ripped off on that score as they only had one real one), just in case Lily might like it. Well, when I showed it to her later, she was over the moon. The giant character balloons were her favorite (though she already is a little marching band geek, too). My father was up for the holiday and came over to our house for a while that day, and while watching, Lily kept pointing at the screen and saying, “Do you see that big balloon, Grandpa? Do you see that?” It was hands-down the best time I’ve ever, ever had watching a parade. Lily just ate it up, and nothing warms your heart like seeing your kid excited by something.