Sunday, October 28, 2012

Remember yesterday how I was shitting rainbows, puppies, and unicorns about motherhood? Today, the universe decided to laugh its shit-eating-grin head off, say, "check this out!!, and the devil's spawn was my child's replacement.

Today was a smattering of meltdowns. talking back, sticking tongues out (her, not me), demands, and just plain nastiness. She told me she didn't like me a few times, which is what every parent wants to hear, and even threw things at me when I was trying to change her clothes this morning. On top of the lovely behavior, there was no nap which means by this time of the evening (7:50pm), I feel as though I must have done something truly awful in my previous life to deserve this, even though I don't even believe in reincarnation.

So. It was the worst day we've had in a very long time.

And there, my friends, is the bi-polar part of motherhood. Days like this will make the most sane person question where the hell their mind has gone, and my sanity has always been questionable.

But, then she says things like this to break up the day:

Me: Lily, you look so cute today!
Lily: No, mom. I'm not cute. I'M AWESOME!!

Or, from last night:

Me: Lily, what do you want to be when you grow up? A doctor? A fireman?
Lily: I want to go to school to be Scooby Doo.

So, you have to love them despite the occasional demon possession. I guess that's kind of the rule.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

This is what I do with my "mama day", talk/write about my kid. I guess that's what moms do.

My {sometimes} awesome husband decided to give me a well-deserved mama day, after he received a lot of not-so-subtle hints. I just needed a break. He has been working on a few side art projects and so I have been in single mom mode for about a week and a half. Although I did get a night in a hotel this week for work, but a non-working break is in order today.

We are gearing up for Lily's 4th Halloween, which is by far the most exciting Halloween to date. She is excited and we have two costumes, one for tonight's little party at a friend's pre-school, and one for Halloween night trick-or-treating. She understood it last year but this year she can anticipate it and look forward to it, which makes a world of difference. She is also starting to talk about what she wants from Santa, so I am SO excited for Christmas this year.

I had to write a follow-up post about her previously discussed's gone now. She's doing amazing in both gymnastics and soccer. She really enjoys them both now which put this mama's mind at ease. I swore that I completely fucked her up for life, passing my issues onto her, and this was going to be the beginning of a very big battle with anxiety. Then I realized, that is just MY anxiety talking. I'm sure we're going to have some challenges with new environments but now I know that she will overcome her fears, just like we ALL can.

She is genuinely coming out of her shell. She really prefers soccer but I think that's just because she has taken a shine to "Coach Taz", a flamboyant, young, fun man who Lily just finds fascinating. She talks about him at home often and keeps saying we have to invite him over to play.


Right now I'm living the life that I imagined motherhood to be. I really love this age and want to truly freeze time. I might have said that before but I didn't mean it. Now, I mean it.

Newborn and infant phases are for the birds, in my opinion. And I'm not even going to justify what I'm saying with a "It's a precious time, sure", or "It's a miracle to watch your little one grow, sure" comment. No. I'm sticking with "it sucks" and I really hated not knowing what I was doing during those phases. I knew as soon as Lily hit the 16 month mark that toddler > baby. I could have done without the terrible two's and early three's, but there has to be some bad, right?

Now? It's amazing. She's growing into a personality. A person. A kid. It's entertaining and engaging. There are most certainly challenges that I did not foresee pre-motherhood but this is more of what I envisioned: social calendars filling with kid activities, humorous conversations and banter, the "why" phase (albeit annoying, it can be funny), the "I love you's" and heartfelt comments and questions from an innocent, naive being. This stage is defining motherhood for me. I love it.

And no, I will not be having another, so please stop asking me, complete strangers.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Sometimes I just love being in a hotel room. I really love hotel rooms. Even when you're in them for work, it can still feel like a mini-vacation. They're especially fun when you're a mom and you're checking into the hotel room without child. That might have been a bit of a confession, but if you're a mom, you get it. Home is a place of work when you're a mom, even if the kid is asleep. I love home, I do, but hotels can be nice once in awhile.

They also give me time to blog.

I don't know that I can really catch up on two month's worth of Lily. She is changing so much everyday. This age is really great, I can say that. She has less tantrums, her sleep patterns are a bit more predictable, she understands so much that conversations are fun and interesting, and she is overall a sweet personality.

She did FABULOUS on our 18 day trip to Costa Rica. She really loved it there and still talks about it everyday. And each night I ask her "what do you want me to tell you a story about tonight?", and she always replies, "Fletcher's house!!", who is the friend she made while we were there. She has asked for a "Fletcher's house" story every night for the past 4 weeks. She knows how the story goes, even when I try to switch it up, she will finish it for me.

She was truly well behaved in Costa Rica and we saw such a change in her while we were there. She learned to play with sticks and rocks, danced in the surf, played in the pool. She had some of her technology, yes, but she just melded right into the laid back lifestyle there. It was so much fun.

With all of that good, there is bound to be a bad. That bad right now is anxiety. Major anxiety. She is not fairing well in organized activities. We had her in swim lessons in August for 4 weeks and then she started gymnastics and soccer in September. All of the above cause her a ton of anxiety, including crying hysterically and stomach aches.

When she first started this, my first gut reaction to this was to cry. Aside from feeling sympathetic to how she feels when she's anxious and wanting to take that away, I wanted to cry out of guilt, as though I did this to her. I am the one with anxiety so this is clearly my fault. But, genetics are a bitch. She is what she is, as my mom says. She did come from me so she's bound to have some of my negative traits.

Before I had Lily, I had these unrealistic, euphoric expectations that my child would have a balanced combination of all of my redeeming qualities, as well as Dustin's: his calm demeanor, my organizational skills, his athleticism, my generous spirit, etc. Apparently, that's not the way it works.

Lily just has a hard time in a big group and she does not like to be told what to do. She absolutely hates following she cries and wants to leave. Then she gets anxious about going to the next session of said activity. Lather, rinse, repeat.

It's a whole lot of dialogue that Dustin and I have to go through almost on a daily basis. It goes something like this:
{A few days prior to gymnastics} Lily: Mom, I'm all done with gymnastics??
Me: Nope. It's on Fridays and today is Tuesday. Few more days!
Lily: Noooooo!! I don't want to go. I don't want to go upside down!!!
Me: I understand, Lily. I know that going upside down scares you. Miss Debbie will not make you go upside down.{validation of feelings} But, you're still going to go. {pushing through it, trying to show her it isn't scary, not giving into irrational fears}
Lily: Nooooo!!!
Me: {Changes subject}

Then, the day of gymnastics, it's more of the same, starting when Lily sees her leotard. During gymnastics she cries so much and barely participates. It's flat out disruptive to the other ten little girls that are having fun and NOT crying. She'll only stop crying if the teacher gives her one-on-one attention.

It's very frustrating, exhausting, and it makes us very sad that she's not enjoying these activities.

But this too shall pass.

And, as her parents, we have to give her a break. She is still relatively new to all of these organized sports activities. When she went to gymnastics last year, Dustin had to be in the gym with her, because she was under the age of 3, and she loved it, so I have hope she will learn to love it again after she gets over being with her peers without parents. She's only been to gymnastics four times in four weeks, so it is still new. Soccer has only been twice and thankfully, she did really well today, on her second time.

The upside is that she will learn coping mechanisms early in life to deal with such anxiety. She's young enough to mold behavior and help her learn that these activities don't have to be scary. She will learn to deal with being in an uncomfortable situation and work through it, realizing that you WILL make it through and it can be fun.

It's always an adventure...and a learning experience.