I just watch this!
I just watch this!
Rocking you to sleep tonight, I think about how we barely fit in this rocking chair anymore. I have to sit at an angle, your long legs stretched out along my legs, your head squished between my arm and the armrest. You’re getting bigger, and you’re growing up. I know this is supposed to happen, but I still have to pause and think how you were so tiny not long ago, fitting in my two hands. I used to carry you around resting on one arm. Now you hardly want to be carried at all. You’re independent and full of energy and curiosity. You want to do it all by “self.” I affectionately call you my little problem-solver.
You’re graduating to a new class at school, the “Toddler Class,” and it looks like a little classroom. You love your visits there, with pretend play stations, group snack time, potty training, and circle time with sign language, songs, and dancing! It makes me so happy to see you walk in by yourself, eager to begin your day at school, confident and carefree. And I think when I first had to leave you there, that first day when you were 3 months old and we were both unsure. We have both come a long way!
Your eyes are closed now, your breathing has slowed to a nice calm rhythm. You have curled yourself around me and lay solidly in my lap. I could hold you like this forever, my sweet girl. I now understand the meaning when a parent says, “she’ll always be my baby.” Lucy, you will always and forever be my baby. I’m so lucky to be your mom.
Woah. It’s been one of those days. A trying day. I know I have nothing to complain about, and that isn’t the point of this post. I’m more just lying in bed reflecting on the train wreck that my daughter became tonight. Poor thing has an ear infection (again), and daddy’s on the road. Both of those factors make for one incredibly unhappy toddler. Can I start calling her Sharknado, just for times like these? Look at this picture and you’ll see why…
This was her while I was making (attempting, really) dinner tonight. I know it’s blurry, but it speaks to the chaos of that moment. Poor Lucy just couldn’t handle that I wasn’t able to hold her while standing at the stove sautéing spinach. I did try wearing her in the Ergo but she was vehemently opposed to that as well. Nothing would satisfy her. When I finally threw together spinach quesadillas for the two of us, she had another huge meltdown because her bib wasn’t long enough to tuck under her high chair tray. She was sitting there crying “bib! biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiib!” over and over… My sweet, suffering girl. I had to turn away a minute so she didn’t see me laughing at that one. Finally, after dinner (she ate a total of 5 bites – now I know she doesn’t feel well), I decided we both needed a break. We headed to the park while still waiting on her prescription to be filled. And like a beacon of light, there it was at the park…a gelato food truck. Sign these girls up! Lucy and I spent almost $10 on 2 small gelatos. Seeing her face light up and her little spoon go directly into her mouth (who doesn’t love cold ice cream when their throat hurts and they feel miserable?) made that gourmet frozen treat worth every penny!
After that, hyped up on sugar and delirious from fighting her infection, I pushed my girl on the swing for a LONG time. She laughed and “weeeeee”‘d the whole time. What started out as a terrible evening (mood-wise) changed in a matter of seconds with that icy goodness. That stuff is magical. Sweet Lucy has now had her first dose of antibiotics, along with some Ibuprofen, and will hopefully get a good night’s rest after her romp at the park and a nice long bath. Silly ear infection.
Lucy is starting to sing along with all the silly songs she’s learning at home and school. Here’s one of my favorites that she does. 🙂
We’re entering a new phase that makes Mama very happy! Lucy loves to help. Give that girl a job and she’s on top of it. That’s my kind of girl! I started dreaming up ways she could “help” me get things done around the house a few weeks ago, as hubby is gone many more evenings and weekends now, leaving Lu and I to fend for ourselves. Here are a few jobs she’s getting pretty good at:
Laundry. While I’m folding PILES of clothes (we really need to make a trip to Goodwill), Lucy can sort socks! What toddler doesn’t love sorting? Life skills, people!
Dishes. Lucy is now a confident “cutlery manager.” I rinse (washing any sharp knives by hand), and she puts it in the dishwasher. Teamwork!
Gardening. One of our favorite activities during these dog days of summer is to head out in the backyard, in the early morning, and see what’s ripe. She’s getting better at only picking the blue blueberries (not the white, green, or purple ones), and we’re working on colors so she can search for red tomatoes on the vine. Besides that, Lucy Lu can weed! This obviously requires supervision, to be sure she isn’t “weeding” any beautiful blooms, but she really gets into it. Often I will be the one pulling weeds and she organizes them in a “pi” (pile).
Vacuuming. Lucy used to be terrified of the vacuum. Well, really anything that made a loud noise. In fact, while we’ve made progress with the hair dryer and air conditioner, she’s still not so sure about the coffee grinder. I think our cleaning has suffered tremendously because we couldn’t ever vacuum during awake hours with Lucy, and didn’t want to risk waking her up at naptime (this is really just a great excuse for why we hardly ever vacuum, but a good one, right??). Anyway, a couple weeks ago we started letting Lucy play with the DustBuster. By golly, suddenly that thing had purpose! If you need any corners, nooks, or crannies cleaned, I’ll send my girl and her pink toddler-sized vacuum on over!
Cooking. This is the hardest one for me to manage. Hot pans, sizzling oil, raw eggs, and flour usually don’t go well with an active toddler. And if I’m in the kitchen, I can’t follow Lucy around the house. I’m still thinking up ways I can get her involved in cooking, though. Besides the fact that she and I have to eat, even when daddy’s not around to help (I should note, when he’s home, he does most of the cooking), Lucy also loves being in the kitchen and loves watching all the different steps involved in creating food. I think teaching a child about cooking is also a great way to teach about following directions, making mistakes, and problem-solving (“Why is the batter so dry? Oh! We forgot the milk. Let’s try again!”). So far we have allowed Lucy to help with anything that needs mixed. She can stir it up with the best of them! Pancakes, waffles, cornbread, quinoa salad, etc. And when she can’t help and I have to be manning the stove, thank goodness for markers, crayons, stickers, and paper. I bring her activity table into the middle of the kitchen and let her go to town on her art.
Now, before you go thinking about child labor laws, don’t you worry. Lucy is well aware of her rights and will go on strike at a moment’s notice if she feels slighted, or hungry, or tired, or thirsty, or really if there’s anything else she’d rather be doing at the moment. But for the most part, Lu and I are finding a balance of how I can manage full-time working mom duties with housework. Let’s make cleaning time quality time! 🙂
Sweet Lucy and I have added a new piece to our nighttime routine. A couple months ago, after books and before singing and rocking my girl to sleep, I started telling her about her “busy day.” I say something like, “Today was a busy day! You woke up, read books with mama, played with daddy, went to school…” etc. I didn’t think she cared that much about it, until last week when she started adamantly asking for something one night that I couldn’t decipher. I thought she was saying “b c” (asking for the alphabet song?) until I finally figured out she was saying “busy.” I had forgotten to review her day that night. I was pleasantly surprised to know she really wanted to talk about her day! So we reviewed all the activities of her toddler world. She’s started asking for it every night now before I can get to it, and each time she stares at me throughout with wide eyes, saying “uh huh” after I name each activity. Lucy, sometimes I feel like you can’t possibly get any cooler, and then you do. It’s pretty amazing watching my girl reflect on her day and ask to talk to me about something. She’s really growing up, folks! She’s started asking for “busy” in the morning, too, so we review what the day has in store. I love you, my little busy bee!
20 months and rocking with daddy. Note: this is one of Lucy’s favorite things to do (shades optional).