Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Notes on Motherhood

She yells, "CUT!" and I drop my generic British accent, I'm no longer Mrs. Molly Weasley; She's no longer Fred and George. "From now on, in real life, I'm just gonna call you Mum. OK?" I laugh: "Sure, Bird. 'S better than MOM." "OK- Action!"

We're Mom and Dad now, and it's still new and we don't care much for the sound of it. At bed time, it's still Mommy and Daddy and she still wants to sleep only in Hello Kitty or polka dot undies. Her skin still feels baby soft and she snuggles in the crook of my arm and she falls asleep to wizard stories. Now I need glasses to read whole chapters instead of the easy huge type faces in board books, but she's still Baby. Her face relaxes into sleep and is the same face that locked bright, huge newborn eyes into mine and were whole worlds and blue moons around them.

She watches me draw and has trouble with the idea that drawing is work. She demands to be taught, today right now, to draw like Mommy. "Mom. I want to draw just like that. Can you teach me today?" I confess that I don't know how to teach drawing. Not to a six year old. But I agreed to plan art lessons, and bought some books. 

She falls asleep after sniffling through story time, and her soft snores lull me to sleep. Allergies: a family curse from my genes, I suppose. Later, I roll over in the cool night to automatically cover her cool body, and I'm surprised by the tiny body radiating heat. I snuggle her, listen to the gurgles and sniffles of her breathing, and roll back to turn off our morning alarm.

In the morning, I offer every liquid in the house to drink. "Can I have it in a sippy cup?" "You're a big girl, darlin'. We don't have any sippy cups... But here's a secret tip: Water bottles are really just grown up sippy cups."

She has less appetite even than her usual bird sized belly. I'm in Flow, drawing and designing, so between us we've eaten four spoons of peanut butter and a handful of soda crackers. At noon, she asks to listen to Wizard Rock and take a nap. I get her soft kid sized headphones and start her playlist. She sleeps like a toddler for nearly three hours, and by careful mommy temperature assessment- cuddling- I see her fever has broken.

Her feet suddenly won't fit in socks she wore last week. She won't wear jeans, preferring (or demanding, depending on mood) tights or leggings with dresses and skirts. Funky, mismatched colors and patterns are her trademark, and wow is she my child. 

She has a massive, beautiful vocal vocabulary, and in writing and reading confuses 'd' and 'b'. She substitutes 'ig' sometimes in words. Her 'at least' is igleast." It's adorable. Her R still isn't quite formed. Her favorite type character is ! and she gets excited and is very careful to emphasize any sentence with an exclamation.

She's very obsessive with her fandoms. We're still absolutely immersed, of course, in Harry Potter. Buffy is a close second. She's turned me onto the clever fun of Phineas and Ferb. She wants to live with her Kindle Fire streaming Netflix while she eats dinner and brushes her teeth. She is not allowed. 

She's learning the concept of No, after being a preternaturally obedient toddler and preschooler. It's patience-killing and also rewarding to see some fiery rebel in her. (If we were in the midst of a terrible two level tantrum with six year old force driving it, I would not say that. I would be reaching for a sneaked shot of whiskey.) It's a weird challenge to encounter this sort of late developmental thing in a child who in other arenas is very mature.

Her favorite entertainment ever is listening to baby stories. She knows every detail of her life since birth at this point. This morning, I remembered a snip of her birth I'd forgotten. In the first hours, and Shane and I studied our gorgeous new daughter, I mooned over her ears- they were odd, the tops folded in to create points. "She has elf ears!" I delighted. Shane laughed and informed me that babies ears get scrunched in the womb and they'd unfold. I was crestfallen and amused that Shane knew something my exhaustive research hadn't taught me.

Blogging mom stuff changes as they grow, in content and focus. I'm far less motivated to write about her now, both out of respect for her life becoming her story to tell, and because the changes and observations that amaze us as parents are incremental now. The development reaches a slower curve after the first words and steps. Then, too, the writing was my only outlet, and motherhood was so pervasive in my body and mind there was only that to write. That was me/her, one unit then. Now, the family of three is an unremarkable given. I'm hugely grateful for it, and that where this circles to an end: the joy and gratitude for these small sweet moments. A hot, sleepy sick child bunking down for a nap at my side. A laughing, creative star yelling "CUT" like a Broadway director. Tiny clothes that seem to shrink as she grows and grows. Big child feet where tiny wrinkled newborn toes used to dance and wiggle. Changes and tiny snapshots.

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