Thursday, March 28, 2013

Toddler Games

So as this is Holy Week I found myself (mindlessly) singing Christmas carols to my daughter.  I mean, why not sing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer to an upset toddler in the backseat of the car on Holy Thursday?  She didn't want to be strapped in, but how was she to know that if she could be patient for 5 minutes, we would be at the big park with the big slides and fun swings?  All she knew was it was about 70 degrees outside and she had to be out there enjoying it.

So I got to thinking, what in the world are "reindeer games?"  I mean Monopoly is listed in the song, but how would a reindeer play a board game?  How would it move the pieces or roll the dice?

I may be unfamiliar with what reindeers play, but last night I got a good dose of "Toddler Games."  You see, I had recently been sent a link to this blog about a lady who gave up screaming at her kids out of frustration and has successfully been able to be calmer and nicer to her kids and they have responded in kind.  I am trying to be a better mommy and got to thinking that I could probably be kinder to my daughter when I am super tired and all she wants is more mommy time.  Well yesterday was a pretty lazy day in our house (most Wednesdays are since Tuesday is the last of my three in a row night shifts), so it didn't surprise me when the little lady wasn't exactly sleepy at bed time.  She hadn't gotten in her daily dose of maniac time.  So instead of being highly frustrated at her for still being awake 90 minutes past her bed time I spent those 90 minutes playing Toddler Games:

-- Itsy Bitsy Spider - she has recently learned this song and the motions that go with it and LOVES it.  Plus when the sun comes out and she starts swaying back and forth, sometimes she falls over and it is super funny!!

-- Rock-a-bye Baby - Lets just say this has always been a personal favorite of hers.  She likes the actions and the fact she gets "dropped" - oh the giggles!

-- Ruffled Feathers - Since my little lady has always had a head full of hair, I occasionally (more so lately) will tussle her hair and say, "I'm ruffling your feathers." Which this of course makes her giggle.  Well last night as I was laying next to her, she started ruffling my feathers.  I started laughing so hard because I didn't think she would do it.  I don't know why I didn't think she would do it - I guess it was just funny in the moment.

-- Making Baby's Nose Numb - I haven't been getting a lot of baby kisses lately.  When I ask for a kiss or a hug I have been getting a lot of "no" head shakes.  It saddens me, but I know she is just testing her bounds and I know eventually I will get my kisses and hugs again.  Well last night I decided she may not be giving me kisses, but I am going to continue giving her some.  I kept blowing raspberries on her little button nose.  Well the vibrations had to tickle, because she would just start laughing, then pull away, rub her nose, then after a couple minutes she would put her nose against my lips again.

So basically I spent 90 minutes making my daughter (who really just wanted to sit on my lap and cuddle) laugh and squirm.  Did she finally go to sleep - absolutely.  When she was ready for sleep, she curled up on her pillows, tried a couple different configurations for comfort and finally settled on the original one, then went to sleep.  She may never remember these times, but I will never forget them.  Had I gotten frustrated with her and kept trying to tell her to lay down and go to sleep, I probably would have still spent 60-90 minutes wrestling with her and it would have ended with both of us in tears.  This way, we both went to sleep with smiles on our faces and good memories.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Fostering Beauty

My husband and I are told with a certain consistency how cute/adorable/beautiful our daughter is.  And we agree with them - but we are horribly bias in the matter.  I mean, she is 1/2 our DNA each, so we have a self-interest in the matter.  But the thing is, we know that physical beauty fades.  We all age.  Accidents and scars happen.  Being cute/adorable/beautiful isn't what matters.

The beauty that we are attempting to foster - spiritual beauty.  We wouldn't care if our kid was the most unfortunate looking  individual on the planet as long as she is nice, honest, caring and God-loving.  Besides being one of the most trusting and sassy little girls I know, she is very loving.  She will give hugs and/or kisses to just about anyone who asks for one - but only if she wants to.  She is sassy!  High fives are almost a given.  Waves, smiles, and giggles flow freely.  She is the kind of kid that everyone wants and we are so blessed to call her ours.  We started praying with her from the time she was born.  At 16 months old she can already make the sign of the cross (well it is more of a face-palm followed by 3 chest pounds, but it is better than many her age can do), she knows when to bow in mass, and she has figured out the rhythm of when to stand and when to kneel during the stations of the cross (although this just seems to be a great excuse to play pew peek-a-boo with whatever unsuspecting individual decides to sit behind us - which is one of her favorite things about mass)  Our hope and prayer is that she continues to grow to be such a great little person on the inside - because that beauty can grow and blossom into the type of person that everyone wants to be around.  Physical beauty fades - a loving nature is forever. 

Keeping Mommy Humble

My daughter does a GREAT job of keeping me humble when I need it.  This past week I was paid a pretty awesome complement by an uncle.  He reaffirmed me (completely out of the blue mind you) by telling me that I am a great mom and he is proud of me.  I was feeling pretty puffed up.  I won't lie.  Well about 3 hours later I decided to take my little pumpkin to the local library for a reading/play group.  My little angel decided to turn devilish in public.  She started throwing toys, hitting, and screaming for no known reason.  Of course we left immediately - no need to subject anyone to that!  On the walk to the car she started showing that she was sorry (hiding her eyes, hugging me, kissing me - the usual when she knows she did something wrong - her way of saying "sorry" even though she can't verbalize it), so I told her we would go to the grocery store real quick.  That was a bad idea!  After about 3 isles, she started screaming again.  I leaned over to quiet her (and give her a kiss, which can quiet her) and she reared back and headbutted my nose with all her might.  Of course I instantly started crying in pain and my nose started lightly bleeding.  So I got the pleasure of going through the checkout line crying, with a screaming baby, and a possibly fractured nose.

So I'm such a great mom that my kid felt the need to have multiple melt-downs in public.  I guess I should be happy that it took her 16 months to have her first true meltdown in public and hopefully it is her last.  I am not holding my breath about that though!