Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Exposed Heart.

Being a mom. Three little words requiring such a large amount of responsibility. I as of late find myself wondering if I really have what it takes. I question on a daily basis whether or not I am making the right choices, instilling the right information, being the best I can be. I propose this is not an unfamiliar reflex of most Mothers, and not to be excluded Fathers out there. Knowing what is best seems an insurmountable obstacle. What am I talking about you might be wondering? I am talking about knowing whether or not the quarks and idiosyncrasies of my daughter are just that, or something more. She’s incredibly intelligent, exceedingly articulate, sociable in most instances, feisty, rambunctious, imaginative beyond compare, funny, fidgety, twitchy, and both in love, and apprehensive of sounds-  the last 3 traits of which are my concern.

Since Lailah was quite small she has had small twitches in her arms and legs, particularly when lying down, sleeping, trying to relax, etc.; nothing extensive or out of control, but noticeable. I’ve always thought to myself that it seemed a bit off, but have always chocked it up to just being something she will grow out of. After all, her body is doing unbelievable amounts of work at lightning speed pace; it’s only probable that one should experience such little oddities from time to time. She’s also a lover and a hater of sound. A sound might not affect her one day, and might cause her to cower, freeze and put her hands over her ears the next day - each new day bringing with it the uncertainty of response.

With these little traits the guilt card starts to rear its ugly head – I wasn’t able to Breastfeed – I was physically unable too, I tried everything I could and I just didn’t produce (thanks boobs). During my pregnancy I didn’t exercise – I slept a lot (not always on my left side, tisk tisk), and I ate one hotdog and on TWO occasions I ate sprouts (both on the Do Not Eat list for knocked up chicks). And, before I knew I was pregnant I had consumed one Alcoholic beverage, gasp. Could my inability to provide nourishment that didn’t come out of a can have something to do with the aforementioned? Could my uncontrollable hunger to consume a Hot Dog and on TWO occasions Sprouts on my veggie sandwich be the culprit? And that Alcoholic beverage consumed on a small private island underneath the scorching sun somewhere along the Caribbean – could THAT be the reason for such quarks? No, I think not, but I’d be lying if I said that these few ridiculous things haven’t made their way into my mind.

 I forecast I will forever be questioning my choices as a Mother. I will no time soon know whether or not, my choices, my teachings, my advice will aim to help or hinder my daughter’s progression through life. We are the sum of all parts; ultimately her life will be molded only in small portion by the things I offer.  But I am responsible for keeping a keen eye on her and ensuring that if there are traits that may have a name assigned to them, albeit, Sensory Processing issues or the like, that they are treated so as to not contravene her ability to be the person she will ultimately end up becoming. But, my most recent guilt is talking about these things and the possibility of a ‘this or that’ in front of her. She is such a keen listener, even when she acts like she is not listening, she hears everything, and I know that she has heard me talking about the possibilities of putting a label on her traits. And maybe that’s all they are, traits, only time will tell. I don’t want to possibly imprint on her a name to something that otherwise might be nameless. So, I will quietly research and discuss my concerns with her pediatrician when I feel it appropriate, but for now, I will watch, enjoy, bask, and love her perfections with an exposed heart.

I love her more than the pelican loves the herring, the lizard loves the brightest star, the crocus loves emergence from the snow. I love her more than my words could ever convey. And with any and all of her imperfections, she will still be perfectly perfect, to me.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Easter Weekend

The Easter Bunny came. And according to Lailah, she doesn’t want him to come anymore. You see, Lailah is quite precocious, and very good at manipulation. I’ll admit that I’ve used scare tactics as a Mother before, i.e. “If you don’t pick up your toys, I’m going to give them all to another kid.”, “If you don’t eat your lunch you can’t have a treat-ever again.” So, it’s no surprise that something similar should happen on Easter. Let me run through a fun little scenario, a true one at that. Me to Lailah, at some point of the day – “if you behave like that, I might have to call the Easter Bunny and tell him not to come to our house anymore.” Now, this might work for some kids, it does NOT work for Lailah. Lailah: “You should call him.”, Me: “I’m going too!”, Lailah: “You should call him now, and tell him not to come here anymore.”, Me: “You sure that’s what you really want?”, Lailah: “Yeah, call him, right now.”  So, Andy had his phone in his hands, and I said, it looks like Daddy is already calling him. Andy of course didn’t play along and just said that he didn’t answer the phone. Lailah then proceeded to tell me again to call him. WTF? Talk about a wrench in the spokes.  So, I changed the subject, mainly because I was trying not to laugh - so much for that one. She even asked me later when I was getting her ready for bed if I had called him. When I said I hadn’t - she told me I needed to call him, 'because she doesn’t want him to come anymore'. Looks like there’s one less Holiday for Mommy to stress over. Maybe by the end of the year, we can take a few more out. Score! (I kid, I kid)

Smart aleck 2 – almost 3 year old aside, it was a pretty great weekend. Saturday, we took Lailah to a family Easter Egg Hunt. Talk about a natural. She was given a bit of extra time, but don’t mistake Lailah’s small size – that girl is a pro. She took off grabbing the first egg, she shook it and wanted someone to open it, but when she realized that the intent was to gather as many eggs as possible and reap the rewards of your loot later, she stayed on course; grunting and panting her way to each new egg. She made out like a bandit and made some new friends too. Thanks so much to her Great Aunt for the fun day. The same Great Aunt that gave her the gorgeous dress she wore on Easter.

Sunday rolled along, and sans the commentary previously mentioned it was a great day as well. Lailah found her Easter basket hiding in the corner and quickly got down to business with the goodies that were inside. She also had another small little egg hunt at home. After her nap, which I think is where said commentary actually started, we spent the rest of the day outside. Lots and lots of outside time. Water, Dirt, Sun, Dino’s! So glad we finally get to welcome Spring. 

A Little Thing Called Nutella...

So, there’s this hazelnut spread out there called Nutella, ya may have heard of it. It’s apparently been around since 1963, but it’s only been a part of my pantry for about a year. They try to knock it off as being part of a balanced breakfast, when in fact it’s really just a jar of frosting.  The Nutella website boasts the product as coming ‘from the combination of roasted hazelnuts, skim milk and a hint of cocoa’; what they should add to the end of that is… - 'and a shit ton of sugar'. (About the same amount in a serving size as a Candy Bar.)

So it’s horrible for you, but delicious, and Lailah and I love it. The difference between me and Lailah is that I will discreetly scoop a spoonful of Nutella out of the jar when nobody is around and eat it leaving no evidence behind. Lailah is a little more no-holds-barred about it. Because of its un-nutritional value, I don’t get it out too often, but when I do, look out. I had given Lailah some sliced apples to dip into some “Utella” as she calls it, trying to feel a little better about the scenario. But she scoffed at my ploy and started to use her finger as a utensil instead - leaving blatant disregard to the lonely apple slices. Before I knew it “Utella” was getting everywhere. So, knowing that there was no chance the apples were going to get to bathe in the hazelnut goodness, I offered her a spoon so long as she promised she would still eat the apple slices. And this, Ladies and Gentlemen is what came next.

 If this doesn’t say it all, I don’t know what would. I happened to have the camera out already taking pictures of the mess she had made on her face. But when she got the spoon, it took things to a whole new level. A perfect moment captured forever. I have not laughed so hard in a long time. So, Nutella, to you I say thank you. And yes - it really is THAT good.