Witnessing a little person develop is one of the most amazing experiences in the world.
I have written a lot of articles and a lot of them have been focused on being so tired and the struggles I face. However I do love being a mom and I often look back on my blogs and think “Wow, that is quite depressing, write something else”!
I was just reading through some of the things I wrote and I was reminded of how my daughter fought me when I had to nebulise her when she got sick and I realise what a long way we have come since then. These little beings change and learn so fast and it is so amazing to watch this little personality develop.
A great example is the nebulising and giving of meds. Until quite recently she used to fight me like a tiger, then suddenly one day I told her like always that I had to nebulise her (expecting the usual fight) and she happily walked into her room, sat on her bed and held out her hand to take the mask from me. This was really strange as the previous night we had a wrestling match which she won! I put the nebuliser on and she took the mask and held it over her face and sat as still as can be for a very long time and then took it away from her face and told me “I’m finished now”. I was absolutely astounded. There was still some medicine left in the machine, but hey you learn to pick your battles.
Strangely enough she often comes to me and requests a nebulising or tells me “Bietjie Syne” which is her way of asking for a bit of medicine. I then have to explain to her that she is not sick so no medicine tonight and she pulls a long face and sometimes has a little tantrum.
One thing that I love about my daughter (but at the same time might land me up in a loony bin) is that she is so independent and likes to do everything for herself. This is very cute and all but let’s face it – not always practical! One good example of this is that she wants to clean herself with the wetwipes when I change her nappy. This is fine when it is just a wee nappy but when there is a poo you can just imagine the fight we have. I also have to be quick when she cleans herself with a wee nappy as she has a tendency to wipe herself clean and then try clean her face with the same wetwipe.
Getting ready for work is also a strain when a not quite 2 yr old wants to take off her own pyjamas and dress herself, this is time consuming and also frustrating as she gets herself stuck in her clothes and can’t get in or out of them without help, but if I try and help she screams! I wonder what they think of me when I drop her off at daycare with her top inside out or back to front and her wellie boots (which is the only pair of shoes she will wear at the moment) on the wrong feet. She also regularly arrives with 1 or 2 dreadlocks in her hair because she twists her fingers through her hair as a way of self soothing when she goes to sleep and she won’t let me brush her hair or get the knot out. She brushes her own hair and mine too of course.
She is a very helpful child, whenever I do any chores around the house she wants to help. Her favourite is doing the washing. If she catches me with the washing basket without her there is big trouble. She has to carry (drag) the full basket of dirty washing from the house to the garage where our washing machine is, help me load it all in and she has to put the washing powder in the machine, close the door and turn it on. When we hang the washing I am not allowed to take it out the basket, she must hand me everything, and when it comes off I must take the clothing off and hand it to her to put in the basket. Then she must carry (drag) the basket of clean washing inside and hand me everything to pack away. This of course takes a very long time to get anything done, but she is happy and I find it so much easier to do chores like this slowly and allowing her to help than having a crying, screaming toddler hanging on my leg and getting it done fast.
She also likes to help make supper and wash the dishes. Of course all the food gets licked, fingered and sometimes thrown. Sometimes I wonder how we have anything to eat once she is done “helping” me make the food!
Two nights ago I had a “Chucky-like” experience with her. I was resting on the bed (being 7 months pregnant) and Ouma bathed her and brought her to me to give me a kiss goodnight. She took this opportunity to be very cute and manipulate story time out of me instead of going to bed. I was lying on my side and she climbed on the bed, snuggled into a spooning position and looked at me with that very cute expression and said “Read story Mama” and grabbed her book off the bedside table. I read her a story and when the book was finished she slammed it shut and said “oppelaar”. I told her that yes the story is finished and it is now time for bed. Her reaction to this was just plain scary! She sat up and grabbed the book with both hands, started shaking violently in anger and her face went bright red. Then in a rather deep, freaky & demanding voice said “READ STORY!”. Obviously she has a way to go with temper control and I am sure she will learn that is not a good way to manipulate me into another story and that cute and cuddly works much better.
Even with the temper tantrums and fight for independence I am finding this stage the most enjoyable because for so long I have wanted to know who this little being is, what she likes and dislikes, what her sense of humour is like and just learn everything about her. I am finding out new things about her every day and it is exciting and fun.
Every day when I pick her up from daycare I ask her if she had a good day and ask her what they did. Usually she just parrots back what I ask her but yesterday when I picked her up she was trying to tell me something about her “handtjie” and I didn’t quite understand. When I fetched her bag the teacher told me that Eli had bitten her fingers (yes Melissa’s naughty Eli!). This was the first time she had tried to tell me about her day and it was awesome even if it was a bad experience she was trying to explain and even if I didn’t understand her. It is another milestone in my eyes and it means that very soon she will be able to tell me all about her day, something I look forward to as a working mom. I want to know everything that I missed out on while I was working and another thing is that I really want to know if something bad happens to her that she can tell me about it. I hate the feeling that anything can happen and I just won’t know and she can’t tell me.
This morning when getting ready to leave we were playing and I pretended to nibble on her fingers and she looked at me very seriously, shook her head and said “Moenie bite vingers!”. Her verbal ability (even if it is English and Afrikaans muddled) is growing in leaps and bounds and so is her understanding of everything going on around her.
I am looking forward to this new stage of her development – I am finding that the more I get to know her the more my heart grows and the more love I have for her. I am still astounded at how much love one person can feel for another person.