Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Freewrite-The Art of Toddler Mothering. Just Kidding.

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.

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. 

***

21 comments:

  1. Love this post! :) Thank you for sharing because, really? ... At some point we all ask ourselves if EVERY toddler is this difficult, or just MINE? lol Toddlers will be toddlers! The hard time are really hard, and the good times are the most amazing! Either way, These years don't last long.

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  2. Love this post! :) Thank you for sharing because, really? ... At some point we all ask ourselves if EVERY toddler is this difficult, or just MINE? lol Toddlers will be toddlers! The hard time are really hard, and the good times are the most amazing! Either way, These years don't last long.

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  3. Don't we wish we could just know what mood is going to strike before hand?!?!?!! That would make things easier! BUT...that would also take the fun out of it when the child acts like a complete angel when you think he might melt! ;)

    This is, so far, my favorite age yet though. Because for all the hard times, the sweet times are just SO GOOD!

    Keep up the good work!

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  4. I'm right there with you! my toddler sounds a LOT like yours! It's amazing how fast they can go from totally sweet to a little hellion!

    The other day in Target Ry had a total meltdown in the baby section, a hugely pregnant woman and her mother were finishing up buying stuff for her baby (I over heard her conversation) before she went in to have her baby the next day. Anwyay, as ry had her huge meltdown and I sat her in a timeout there for biting me the lady looked at me, rolled her eyes, looked at her mom and whispered loudly "Its awful how some mothers can't control their kids in public" and I just wanted to smack her and say "Your time is coming" but her mom beat me to it by saying very sarcasitcally "I know honey, I'm sure you kid will NEVER behave like that" then later came over to me and told me I was doing a wonderful job!

    It's hard sometimes, but your right the "I love you's" make it worth it!

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  5. Yes and yes!
    The other day, my little one was saying "ambulance" and "woo woo woo" and so I said, "yes, just like in your book, an ambulance" and an older woman (who we did not know) asked me what book she had, and I told her it was a book on my kindle that had sounds. And that old bugger scoffed at me and told me to get her some real books that had pages she could touch. To which I replied "she has an entire wall covered with shelves of books!" and I quickly cut her off by explaining that I was a former educator so I realize the importance of books but I think that learning can come from many resources.
    Yes, I used to judge mothers but I never gave my two cents like that!

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  6. Love this post. It describes my pseudo-niece, to a "T."

    Also, Disney.... Let me know what/when works for you guys!!

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  7. I just love this. That's all :)

    They're sweet lil' humans that's for sure, but man can they put up a battle.

    This age is fantastic (IMO). Lots going on in their little brains.

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  8. My little guy's epic meltdowns have just begun. You aren't joking, it's a whirlwind at this age. He's just 18 months and still doesn't use a lot of words. The whining has been growing out of control. Life is definitely changing, and quickly!

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  9. I love this post! It makes me feel like I am not alone as I make my way through life with an 18 month old...again! It's amazing how quick we forget what raising a toddler is like! It's such a great time though, no matter how frustrating it can be on occasion!

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  10. My niece is venturing into toddler-dom and oh my...she is sweet one minute and then a psycho the next. Crazinees, I tell you.

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  11. You said it to perfectly! Toddlers are confusing and amazing all at once. And you never fully realize it until you are in the middle of it with your own child!

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  12. Such a sweet post. I have to agree that people are so quick to judge on every little thing once you become a parent. While I am not one myself, my best friend just had her first baby girl and that's the one thing she keeps saying is that people always have an opinion. The truth is they always will, but you have to do what works for you and your kids. Such a cute photo of you and your baby girl.

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  13. I'm just trying to figure out what that lady thought was so bad about Eme watching a show while you shopped? Even before kids, it still sounds fine to me. Better than a screaming/crying toddler, right?

    Toddlers ARE confusing. Especially when they can't talk to tell you what they want. Makes life interesting, that's for sure. :)

    Loved this post. (Also, freewriting has always been my favorite. You're really good at it!)

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  14. Such a good post. I felt like I was reading about my daughter! I think toddlers are just unpredictable creatures. But they're so cute. :)

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  15. But, I sort of freewrite all the time...uh...hmm. Maybe I should contemplate my words more? Is thinking about writing a thing? Whoa. I can see the light.

    Kidding aside. Yeah. Toddlers are weirdos. Been through it a couple of times already, and at this point all I do is roll MY eyes at my kid. Because even though she can't talk, or walk, or do much for herself yet, she STILL acts like such a toddler.

    Their brains are wired differently, I think. Cotton candy coated in glitter and infused with some red bull.

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  16. Those crazy people who roll their eyes at you because you are feeding your child unhealthy snacks, letting them play with your phone, or grabbing random toys off the shelf to keep them occupied are the EXACT same ones who will roll their eyes and tisk tisk if you are doing none of the above and your child is losing her ever loving mind. Whatever.

    Kids are so weird and you don't what you gotta do.

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  17. Girl, this is like the perfect post!! Totally and completely covers every single part of toddler hood! It's so crazy how they can be angels one day and then NOT the next. Chloe sounds to be just the same as Eme! Oh, and shut the front door right now, cuz Chloe totally wore that shirt today! The white and black cow print shirt. Yep! Love it!

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  18. Girl, this is like the perfect post!! Totally and completely covers every single part of toddler hood! It's so crazy how they can be angels one day and then NOT the next. Chloe sounds to be just the same as Eme! Oh, and shut the front door right now, cuz Chloe totally wore that shirt today! The white and black cow print shirt. Yep! Love it!

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  19. I used to give the "judging look" now it is a sympathizing look (or some days a "thank goodness it is you not me" look) :

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  20. Love this. It's so my life right now. But I also have a 7 month old who is so happy and smiley and easy compared to my 2 yr old most days -- so I really get the best of both. As you will soon be experiencing! Isn't it fun?!

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  21. Oh yes. I straight up bribe Lizzy to behave in the store. And I have been avoiding Target like the plague because they are doing a major remodel (yay! we're finally getting a grocery section!), but have no food in the meantime. And Lizzy apparently now equates Target with soft pretzels, so it's DISASTROUS to go there. Today, I had to go, and we had to go outside for a timeout three times. I feel you. I so feel you.

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