We leave for my appointment in NYC on Wednesday. As the day gets closer, I am feeling more and more emotional and vulnerable. I’m not scared or nervous, because the only thing they can do is help me. The worst they could do is tell me there is nothing to do, which is extremely unlikely. I think I’m feeling this way because it means facing reality, and my reality is not a pleasant one to face.
If you are a mother/parent, it’s possible that you read or are at least exposed to some of the many hundreds or thousands of “mommy blogs” out there. Sometimes, it feels like 99.9% of them focus on the various aspects of “Wow, this job is freaking hard.” Yep, it sure is.
This morning, Emmie slept really, really late and I had to wake her up from a very deep sleep. She was *pissed*. Angry that she couldn’t eat breakfast at the table (I had a muffin for in the car), angry that I was “not being very nice” to her (by… waking her up? I agree), just angry at life in general, and mainly actually angry because she was really hungry, yet refused to eat. So I was carrying her out to the car, sobbing and screaming, when out of nowhere, she throat punched me, with a look of sheer rage and bitterness on her tiny face. Luckily it wasn’t hard, but it sure wasn’t the way I wanted to start my day. It was hard not to laugh because it was just so ridiculous, but I knew I couldn’t let her get away with that kind of violence.
So add those kinds of normal three-year-old things to the extra stress we have in our lives trying to arrange and go to doctor’s appointments for all three of us, Peter’s fatigue at the end of a cognitively very demanding day, my general emotional frailty right now, let alone the gorgeously abundant harvest coming in from our garden that has to be dealt with, lest we risk absolute invasion by the fruit flies, and you get a generally challenging time.
As is the case with any family, there simply is never enough time. Tonight, I intended to finish canning some peach jam, but instead spent an hour getting Emmie to bed, then realized I needed to tackle the tomatoes, eggplants and squash more urgently. So… I made ratatouille to freeze. I finished at 11, piles of laundry still waiting to be folded, even more dirty laundry waiting to be washed, and my daily exercise undone, yet again. (I am going to try to do some yoga after I finish writing this, I think). None of us are packed, and there is supposed to be a very cold night coming while we are gone, so of course I am in a tizzy trying to decide what I can do for my frost-tender plants while I am 2,000 miles away (spoiler: nothing).
I feel like poor Emmie has been getting the short end of the stick here these days. From the stories I’m writing lately, you might get the idea that she is a demon-possessed devil child (see above), when in reality, those times are a tiny fraction of her waking hours. And in fairness, this morning was the maddest I have ever seen her, ever. So here are some good things to help counteract the bas stories.
She can be so sweet and loving. She often will say to me out of the blue, “I just love you SO MUCH, Mama!” For a while, we were saying “I love you a little AND a lot,” and now she holds her arms out all the way to the sides as far as she can to show me how much she loves me. Her little face is so, so expressive that I can’t even stand it. So many of the stories I want to tell about her are so diminished in the retelling because half of the adorableness of the story was in the impish twinkle in her eye as she said it, or the knowing tone of her voice.
Here’s a perfect example: On our anniversary, my mom made this amazing meal for Peter and me out on our porch, since we were both so pathetic that there was no way we could actually go out for a dinner. Emmie and my mom ended up joining our “romantic” dinner almost immediately because Emmie couldn’t bear the thought of eating away from us (totally fine with us, we weren’t terribly romantic in our respective states!). Anyway, at the end of dinner, we are all enjoying a little ice cream. Emmie looks up from her big bowl of chocolate ice cream with this devilish little gleam in her eye and says “At Gwandma Fwan’s house, I had chocolate ice cweam for a snack… And I didn’t tell ANYBODY!” Oh! That mischievous little expression on the sweet little face, said in her tiny little voice… how I wish you all could have experienced it firsthand. We all burst into laughter, because what else can you do when faced with such a confession?
The last thing I want to make sure I record for posterity is her blossoming confidence within the past few weeks. I am so proud of her, I could burst. My little one who would sit on my lap at the playground and absolutely required me to be holding her hand while on any playground equipment at any time has been on two different playground sets BY HERSELF without me anywhere nearby. She went down an absolutely enormous twisty slide multiple times on her own (after some training runs with me), and then less than a week later, went on a totally new-to-her slide 100% on her own.
For those parents with children who have a death wish, this is nothing. Their kids were wanting to go down gigantic slides alone before they could walk. But for me and Emmie, this is nothing short of life-changing.
Other signs of change: rather than needing to be carried everywhere and refusing to be down if stranger was even within sight, Emmie now insists on RUNNING everywhere! Unfortunately, this usually means that I have to run while holding her hand, and my lungs aren’t quite that good yet, so I usually end up trying to make her run on her own (which she DOES! Sometimes!). She is more willing to climb new things, get a little bit hurt sometimes, and generally put herself out there more. I am so, so proud.
It’s well after midnight and I still want to do some yoga before bed. Time to hit “publish” and hope no one wakes up in the middle of the night tonight (again).