I love the idea of a freewrite. Where you can just write. Go figure. Not much editing, just more of a babbling of whatever is going on in your mind at that time. I mean, I guess it's not a ton different than anything else...but I'm going for it anyway.
Toddlers are confusing. There, I said it. They are free-willed little boogers who are simultaneously ridiculously adorable and also ridiculously challenging. I swear that God made them this way, with a balance of annoying and awesome so that they can keep you on your toes just long enough before you break, but then melt you into a pile of mush with their sweet little curly pig tails, or "I love you momma's" to keep your little world in a harmonious balance. Or whatever.
But really. My kid is not bratty. I don't know how one makes a "bratty" child, per-say, but Emeline? She isn't that. She is a typical toddler, though. She'll tell you no, absolutely. But she'll also tell you yes when she means it. You'll rattle off a billion options for a snack and she'll refuse them all, and then, act like it's her own genius idea to get the goldfish (which were option #1 to begin with!), and smile from ear to ear at the sight of them. She wants to be independent. She wants to be free. Heck, she wanted to take not only her shoes off, but her SOCKS! TOO! at the mall this morning. And really? Who am I to fight that battle when it really doesn't matter when she's in the stroller anyway?
Sometimes she doesn't want to give family members hugs. Sometimes, she gives them freely and willingly and you get all the "keeses" & "huggies" in the world. Sometimes she'll cuddle with you. Other times, there isn't a restraint in the world that could hold this child in one place.
Sometimes she'll go to bed without any type of fuss, what.so.ever. Sometimes she has the most epic bedtime meltdowns of all time, you'd think it was World War III over here.
Sometimes she eats amazingly well, healthy and balanced, and making a momma so proud. Sometimes? Like today? She will refuse everything for breakfast, and bypass lunch all together--just drinking milk. Is it her teeth? Is she getting sick? Is she just being stubborn? Oh. That's right. She's a toddler.
They are unexplainable sometimes.
Well, mine is.
Some nights she'll go to sleep with her minnie mouse tucked gently under her arms, giving her tons of smooches and lots of "see you soon's" (in Disney, y'all)--and other nights? She'll fling Minnie from her crib so fast you'd think the poor mouse had leprosy or something.
Sometimes she'll hug me and love me and tell me how "cute" or "pretty" I am. She tells me I have "pretty hair" and she'll affectionately stroke it. Other times? She'll grip it, tight--pulling a chunk of hair from my head, one time--leaving me in tears. It's happened. Don't underestimate the Toddler Grip. It is real, yo.
Sometimes a trip to Target or Walmart is a breeze. She sits blissfully in the front of the seat, looking around at strangers, waving hi or flashing smiles at other babies. I walk through the aisles like I got this. And other times? There aren't enough soft pretzels, ICEE's, milk sippies, or random toys to keep her occupied before the fidgety get-me-outta-here's begin.
The other day I was in Walmart, and we happened to grab The Cart. You know the one. The one that has NO PROPER STRAPS to keep your kid in the seat (at least until she can ninja her way out of there). It was pure awful. I knew the only way to keep her in her seat, without monkey'ing around once she discovered she was a Free Woman, not strapped in was to let her watch something on my phone. I don't care, call it bribery, I call it 'using my resources'. I am not kidding you, though. As I handed my phone to her, this older woman cruised by, glanced at me handing the phone to her as I mumbled something about staying in her seat on her bottom, and FULL ON ROLLED HER EYES AT ME.
I saw it, clear as day. The judgmental eyes.
And I'm learning with toddlerhood comes a whole heck of a lot of those judgmental eyes. And I'm also remembering that at times in the past? Those eyes were mine. Before I knew how it could be. How it would be. How my perfect sweet angel baby would start exercising her freedom and will. It's not bad, no. It's just different. And they're toddlers. And they can be so weird. But also so awesome.
And one day, they can be everything from sweet as pie to stubborn as a you-know-what. But you love 'em. So much so that you could squeeze what baby chub is left on them all.day.long.
Oh my toddler baby girl.
I love her.