– 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. Continue reading