Friday, January 29, 2010
It just keeps getting better and better. Parenting, I mean. The older they get, the more the challenges mature. It used to be "ugh, I can't wait until you can just tell me what you want", and now its "I heard you the first time!", after a seemingly non stop description of how thirsty she is.
Remember last week, when I wrote about how we couldn't keep our 3 year old in clothes? Well, we've since found a solution. The battle was going nowhere, so we put down our weapons, and changed our rules. The solution: You can take your clothes off if you want to, but only in your bedroom, and if you take them off yourself, then you have to put them back on yourself, before you can come back out into the rest of the house. ...Problem solved.
So then the next day, a new problem swam to the surface.
Eleanore and I and some friends took a walk to the park. We played, and we played, and we played. She laughed, and her hair got messy, and the stars on her shirt seemed to twinkle past the fabric and I swore I could see the reflections of the magical shapes shimmering off of her skin.
Until we left.
This little girl. This bad little girl. She ran away from me. Not only did she run away from me, but, she ran away from me. She ran so far away from me, that when I yelled for her to come back, she probably couldn't even hear me. When I screamed for her to come back, I know she heard me, but she chose to ignore me, and kept running. I could hear her laughter, I could see her hair bouncing with every skip, and all I could do was scream after her from where I stood. Yes, I know how to run now, but I'm very visibly pregnant, and with a 1 year old sitting in the stroller in front of me, theres no way I'd be able to catch her. Luckily, we live on an Air Force Base, one of the safest places for her to run away at, so I knew that even if she ran down the path until I couldn't see her anymore, the worst that would happen is she'd trip over her own clumsy feet, get stung by a bee in the process, and go thirsty for 5 minutes until I eventually caught up.
I left the baby behind in the stroller, after my neighbor announced, "I got Charlie", and I took off on foot to rope up my herd. I didn't run, even though I could have, because like I said, its become very unpleasant to move quicker than a grandma's pace. Instead, I quickly walked along the pavement path between the park and housing, towards her, and after the final lung ripping shout of her first middle and last name, she came to a complete stop, crouched down on the ground, and started crying.
She knew she was in deep.
I made her hold my hand the entire way home, and explained to her over and over again, about how we never ever ever run away from our Mommies. Never, ever. I told her bad things could happen, and if she ever did it again, somebody might steal her from me. She said she understood, and said she was sorry. And as if the thought of being stolen away from her Mommy and favorite toys wasn't enough, I dished her the ultimate punishment next, by then taking away her cookie bar privileges. Yeah, that's right. No home baked s'mores cookie bar for her when we get home.
And then, an hour later when I wasn't thinking about anything other than how delicious my cookie bars would taste, I let her have a bite of mine, and of course, because shes way smarter than a 3 year old should be, the smart butt, you know what she said to me?
"I was good Mommy, so you gave me some cookie bar? I'm so good".
Dangit! ...NO! You're bad!
Just take it one thing at a time, Mama's. One thing at a time...