Wordful Wednesday: Thankful for my Child

So I fully intended on posting a small little post about something I’m thankful for each day this week. But it’s Tuesday and I didn’t post yesterday because of what I’m thankful for. My obnoxious mean spirited daughter that seems to have acquired an unwavering passion for the word ‘no’ in the past week. And made yesterday a challenge to do anything let alone have some time on the computer.

Let me start by saying that I certainly don’t want this to turn into one of my complaining for the sake of complaining posts. Particularly because I’m trying with every fiber of my being to stay positive through this trying time. So instead I decided that I would try and take stock of all the ways that I’m thankful for this little spitfire and count my damn blessings.

But realistically I need to vent a bit…cause this kid is getting on my last nerve. She says ‘no’ to absolutely everything I say. She doesn’t want me to help her with anything. She throws massive horrendous temper tantrums at bedtime despite her routine being absolutely the same for the past year.

And the worst? She doesn’t listen to a word I say. Ever. If I call her name she blatantly ignores me for as long as possible. Then may glance over her shoulder and give me a smug shrug of her shoulders as if to say ‘you can keep hollering all you want lady but I move on my own time’.

In short she’s kind of like a little tyrant.

But to add to the insult? She’s an absolute angel to her grandparents and usually to her Daddy (though she frustrates the hell out of him too). It just drives me crazy when they say she was so well behaved and listens so good and went right to bed without issue. Ugh. Really?

I carried this child for nine months, three of which were filled with nausea, three of which were filled with isolation and extreme discomfort. Then I pushed her out of my lady parts with no so much as a Tylenol in my system. The Ring of Fire? Burned like hell.

I didn’t go back to work, sacrificing my income and our savings, to stay home and raise this child with all the attention and intention she deserves. I spend days sometimes without speaking to another adult so I can focus all my energy on making this child and this home the happiest and healthiest it can be. Without taking time for myself. Doing everything for everyone else first. And this is what I get? A mean, bossy, nasty little heathen? ::deep sigh::

I know, I know, this is the plight of the SAHM. This is my martyrdom. I have made my own life the way I thought was best and I should stop complaining. Because in reality this is my dream job. Sure the hours suck, the pay is non-existant and you never get a vacation or sick day. But really…it’s pretty damn great.

And in reality though Monk is going through a really tough phase, it’s just that, a phase. She will grow out of this. Right?

So today I am thankful for Cedella Michelle and all the wonders, joys and challenges she has brought our little family.

I am thankful for how peacefully and easily she came into this world. As I said, hers was an unmedicated birth, and from ‘start’ (my water breaking) to ‘finish’ her labor took seven hours. And I only pushed for 20 minutes or so. It was a really empowering and amazing experience. I remember the moment I first held her so vividly. When we locked eyes and I recognized her face. Like it had been drawn on my soul all along. She was so sweet and took a while to cry. But she cooed so sweetly right away and nursed like a champ almost immediately. She was a really easy baby. Not a lot of colic, not a lot of crying, just easy tempered and sweet from day one.

I am thankful for how incredibly brilliant she is. Monk is just one of those kids that did everything early. She smiled and laughed at one month old. She rolled over on her three month birthday. She walked at nine months. She was using sign language long before then. She talked by her first birthday. She was speaking in full sentences by 18 months. She has surprised the hell out of us in all ways. And then the other day she started reading the letters on my ‘Spartan Spirits’ shirt. She said ‘Mama that’s a P’ ‘That’s N’ and on and on and on. It was the coolest thing. (BTW I blame PBS and particularly Super Why for all that letter knowledge). She can ‘read’ the first 25 pages of ‘Go, Dog, Go!’ without batting an eyelash. She has an incredible memory. And she teaches herself how to do things without assistance. Like going to get her stool from the bathroom so she can turn on the light in her bedoom. Turning on the iPhone and calling her Grandma or Auntie. I am absolutely amazed by what is understands and is capable of. We are completely convinced she is a frakkin’ genius.

I am thankful that Cedella is a healthy child. Honestly she has only been sick a handful of times in two years. Most of her runny noses and fever have been due to teething. I really have to pray and be thankful for this blessing. Aside from her awful flu during last Christmas ( I know…what timing, huh?) she doesn’t get sick. Not one ear infection. Not one emergency trip to urgent care or the ER. She is really really healthy. I don’t know if it’s the breast milk (yep, still nursing), the Vitamin D supplement, the outrageous amount of fruit and veg that she eats, or just really great genes (Michael rarely if ever gets sick). The funny thing is that the couple of colds she has directly related to our visits to the local science museum, Impression 5, and their infant/toddler room. Cause no matter how much you watch those damn kids always stick something in their mouths. The only thing that worries me is that she will get to preschool and all those germs will reek havoc. Oh well…for now it’s nice to have a perfectly normal and healthy Monk.

I am thankful that Cedella is such a sweet and kind child. That is so important to remember, especially right now. Cause while she’s screaming ‘NO Mommy NO!’ at top volume I have to remember that when I’m not looking she gently cradles her Anna doll and tells her ‘It’s ok. Don’t cry’. And whenever she meets a new kid or sees her BFF Anna she gives hugs and kisses without any prompting from me. She gave a little girl a hug at the grocery store yesterday. Just cause she could. Her smile and laughter is so warm and genuine that the combination melts even the most crotchety child-phobic senior citizen. Her (typically) easy going nature and quick laughter makes everyone swoon. Family, friends and complete strangers remark all the time about how well-behaved and sweet she is. And really she is. When I broke down in tears yesterday after she screamed and hollered about not wanting to put her shoes on, she actually walked up to me and said ‘It’s ok Mommy. I sorry.’ and gave me a hug. She is so aware of emotions it’s crazy. She instinctively goes to people who are upset or crying and will pat their leg or hold their hand. She has an incredible way of making you feel so special and so loved, with just a hug and a smile.

I am thankful Cedella is a funny child. This girl laughs. A lot. She laughs when we laugh. She laughs at burps and farts. She laughs at her cartoons.  She giggles by covering her mouth with her hand like a little Japanese girl. It’s adorable. It’s nice to have someone to joke around with and laugh with all day. It makes doing mundane tasks like folding laundry and grocery shopping really fun. She laughs when she sees the fish tanks at Meijer or when Kira does her ‘treat dance’. She laughs when you pour bubble bath into the tub and the bubbles start forming. She laughs at funny parts in movies. When I laugh she tells me ‘I funny Mommy’. ‘You’re hilarious little girl’ is how I usually respond. I’m pretty sure she has inherited my innate sense of humor. Cause everyone knows I’m the funny one in our family.

I am thankful that Cedella is such a beauty. I love to stare at this child. I’ve admitted it before. And though I certainly don’t want her growing up feeling that her looks are more important than her kindness or intelligence I do want her to feel proud and self-confident. We try our hardest to give compliments like how kind and smart and important she is (our nighttime mantra). But she is so pretty. She has such sweet delicate features. Such beautiful glossy long hair. Such gorgeous dark curly eyelashes. She the most unique and stunning eyes. The most perfectly rosy lips. Such a beautiful shade and tone to her complexion. She takes such stunning pictures. Strangers tell me she should be a baby model. Our families tell us she IS a baby model (maybe I take too many pictures?). But either way, she is my gorgeous little miracle and she should be proud.

Most important I am so incredibly thankful to be her mother. It’s hard to imagine not being her mother at this point. But I try and think what my life was like before she came into it. I’d like to think I wasn’t a self-centered person, but what person isn’t selfish that doesn’t have a little person to take care of? Certainly I was. She has given me so much joy and inspiration. Being a mother inspired me to starting writing again, even if it is just this blog. I am inspired to cook fresh food as often as possible. To find small ways to put a smile on my husband and daughter’s faces. To be a better daughter, sister and friend.

And she has made me so happy just to Be. Normal days when we hang out in our jammies all day are like holidays in this house. Not because they’re infrequent (y’all know this happens MOST days in the week) but because I appreciate these little things now. And they make me happy.

Patience is just one of the many things being a mother has given me. Especially this week when it’s hard to find the lesson in such a terrible phase of growth. But it is something we could use more of. Patience is so incredibly hard to cultivate and I’m thankful I finally have some.

Motherhood is like being given all these little gifts to make you a better and more well-rounded person. It has taught me to think about what I do, the consequences, how it will impact my family, before I act. I watch what I say, and how I say it (most of the time anyways…there’s always F-bombs that slip out though…oh well).

I take my time, I try to enjoy things and live in the moment. That’s what babies teach you. There is no yesterday or tomorrow to them. Everything is right now. Immediate. It’s a really powerful lesson to learn.

Motherhood has taught me humor in the face of grossness. Motherhood has taught me resourcefulness. Motherhood is the biggest challenge and the most amazing gift I’ve ever been given. And I am so incredibly thankful for it.

What are you thankful for? What have your children taught you?

I am thankful you stuck through this whole post. Thanks for reading 😉

A ‘No Mama No’ moment when I told her it was time to get upstairs for a nap. Which she never took.

Crying because she didn’t want to go to bed…

Then pissed because I took a picture of her crying…

And not sure if she should cry or be pissed. So a little bit of both.

 

 

Watching Her Sleep

It’s so damn hard to believe that after almost 2 years of being with Cedella nearly 24/7 I am still so completely in awe of her.

She went down for her nap by asking so sweetly for mama milk in mama’s bed. She just wanted to snuggle with me. And when she was asleep I just stayed there, lying next to her, watching her sleep, for about 10 minutes. Just staring. And crying.

That sleeping face just gets me every. single. time. Her perfect full lips pushed out every so slightly. Her beautiful long eyelashes sweeping across her cheeks. Her warm olive skin glowing. A few wispy strands of perfectly highlighted light brown hair drifting across her forehead. She just keeps getting prettier and prettier.

Tonight as she climbed up on my lap to read books, Monk snuggled up close to me, wiggling her little body as close as possible to mine. As I read ‘Duck on a Bike’ tears rolled down my cheeks and onto her shiny hair. Pregnancy hormones may have had something to do with this outburst.

But seriously. This child is growing so much every single day and so damn independent that these moments are fleeting. Few and far between. I can hardly get her to give me a hug when I pick her up after a sleepover at her grandparent’s house. And today? All snuggles and love and sweetness. It was almost too much.

And as she fell asleep on my shoulder, clinging to my arm, I cried again. (Seriously…with all the crying.)

I can’t even begin to imagine how I’m going to be able to love another child, as much as I love Cedella. How do you other parents do it? How do you love another child as much as the first? Is it even possible? (I’m not asking you Mom, cause obviously I’m still your favorite…)

I’m fairly confident that the moment I hold my second daughter I will fall in love all over again. And watching Little Nugget grow and hit all her milestones and our own unique relationship and bond will create another beautiful love.

But for now I am perfectly content to spend the next five months being a one girl Mama. And taking a ridiculous amount of pictures of this perfect child sleeping…