Anyone in our house for a brief moment of time would notice that, despite our overall lackadaisical style of raising up RR, if I was left alone to raise RR by myself, I’m not sure either of us would get out of the house, much less be showered, fed nutritionally, and with our teeth brushed. We’d spend our days dirty, covered in SpaghettiOs (her) and donut crumbles (me… well and maybe her, too), watching trashy TV, never learning the alphabet or 123’s, nurturing the cavities in our mouths. See? This is why we have her. Without her, we’re a scene right out of “Breaking Bad.” Thank GOD we have her.
Since I was raised by wolves, I am new to things like teaching your children to clear the table, or go to bed at a certain time, or say please and thank you. I grew up without any schedule whatsoever. Awake or asleep until whenever I got tired or woke up, dinner came out of a fast food bag, and showers were few and far between since we were habitually running late wherever we were going. Wolves, I say!
Whereas I’ve had many blissful years to adjust my expectations of being a responsible, functioning spouse, my brain apparently turns into mush when I’m faced with a baby who doesn’t want to go to bed (sure! let’s party!), or wants her third bowl of yogurt (she must be starving!), or is shouting incoherent things that leave me frantically guessing instead of telling her to use her words (OMG are you OK?? what do you need? food? milk? the CD? louder? softer? the sunroof open? closed????).
I’m a total pushover.
There, I said it.
And it’s oh so true.
But I will honestly throw down armfuls of boston creme donuts if RR so much as whispers near my legs, “Up, please Mama?” Because, um… she ASKED ME SO NICELY! This means that sometimes, when I remember to not always give in to her wants, I’m walking to my front door, dragging her tiny hand in mine, with her sobbing, crying, “Uppp peeeeaaaaasss!”
And it breaks my heart.
It breaks my heart to try to distract her from wanting to be in my arms with things like, oh look your milk! Or, when we go in, you can watch Olivia! Or let’s go say hi to the dog! When all the child wants is for me to carry her five feet.
The books, our doctor, my wife tell me the same thing: she’s learning and testing her boundaries, and what/when/how she can control things. And I am not something that she should feel like she can control. Right? Right. It’s not always “her turn” (MY TURN!) and not all things are “hers” (MINE!) – both things she thinks and says a lot.
So I get it. I totally get it.
But I also get that she’s just barely two. And one day soon, she won’t want me to pick her up. Shit, one day soon, she’ll be too big! And the times that I see her during the weekdays are spent with her at the breakfast table, at the dinner table, and when I’m wrestling with her to brush her teeth. I’m also on pajama duty after bathtime. Those are totally rewarding times. But honestly, even if it’s the most inconvenient timing ever, or God child, you have two feet, use them… I love to feel her on my hip.
Alas, I am trying to be less of a pushover. Respectful of the things she needs versus the things she says she NEEEEEEDS. But it’s a steep learning curve, I’ll tell ya.