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Jul 3 2013

Every Day is Independence Day in Our House

By at 2:03 pm

independent toddlersThey might as well be teenagers.

My daughters are 4 1/2 and 3, and other than their short stature, penchant for screaming rather than brooding, and a total inability to write snarky notes to each other, they’re basically teenagers. They’re in that unpredictable phase where one minute they want to be treated like grown ups (i.e. 8-year-olds), the next minute they want to snuggle on your lap and suck their thumbs, and God help you if you pick the wrong one.

The struggle for independence is alive and well in our house. I have no idea who’s winning, but I’m pretty sure it’s not me.

Exhibit A: 3-year-old has exactly two skirts she wants to wear. Whenever they aren’t clean (likely because she peed on them), she huffs and moans about how she “won’t be pretty” unless she has the right clothes. Read the rest of this entry →

Nov 23 2011

Thankful

By at 3:48 pm

We’re closing up the Kveller shop and heading out to celebrate Thanksgiving. But before we go, we want to leave you with this post that offers an important reminder about the small stuff and why it’s really the big stuff. See you Monday!

So far this fall, my husband has stuffed 75 yard bags full of leaves. He didn’t mind, though, because as he blew the never-ending pieces of yellow, red and brown into piles on the lawn, our 2-year-old jumped into the middle of them, kicking and screaming with delight.

And that’s sad. Because next year, when he makes those piles again, a completely different girl will leap into them. A 3-year-old version of this weekend’s Ellie, with more abilities, more words, more thoughts. And that’s great. Except that it’s also sad.

My husband’s outlook on parenting lately has had this edge of sadness steeped in reality. He said he has been making a point of relishing every moment with Ellie because the child he plays with today will be gone tomorrow. Don’t get me (or him) wrong. He kvells from her development and knows that growth is the point, but he still mourns the changes, especially because they happen so quickly.

I’m busy. I am a stay-at-home mom with a full freelance writing schedule and a house to take care of. I confess that even as I play with Ellie, I am thinking about a story or wondering if the laundry is ready to go from the washer to the dryer. I’m not the best at being in the moment. So when my husband first mentioned how he felt to me, it stopped me in my tracks – and not much does.

A few days later, Ellie started jumping properly, catching air. I watched and applauded and hooted and hollered as she bounced around the basement testing out her new skill. And I got what my husband meant. Gone forever were the awkward yet hilarious movements she made when she thought she was jumping as well as a frog. Now she gets her feet off the ground and reaches new heights.

As Thanksgiving approaches, I feel thankful for many things but especially that I have a thriving daughter and a husband who is sensitive enough to notice the small stuff (which is actually the big stuff) and to nudge me into noticing it, too. We spend plenty of time on this blog complaining about our kids – they don’t eat, they don’t listen – so I wanted to take a moment to nudge you into thinking of those little bittersweet joys of parenthood and be thankful for the opportunity to bear witness to them.

Aug 29 2011

The Missed Nap

By at 2:20 pm

Yeah, this happens a lot these days.

The importance of napping to toddlers is well-documented. It gives their growing bodies a rest and chance to recharge. And that’s pretty much why naps are important to parents, too. Not naps for parents. Naps for their toddlers. When the kids sleep, we get a chance to rest and recharge, too. I learned this the hard way today when my toddler, Ellie, decided not to nap.

You know the saying you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone? I didn’t realize just how much I depend on her naps. It’s my two hours of the day to check e-mail, write, conduct interviews, clean the house and stay seated in a comfortable chair for more than 30 seconds at a stretch. And today my 120 minutes of no-toddler time were spent listening to said toddler talk, cry, talk, cry, talk in the monitor. No amount of soothing, rocking, tickling or pathetic begging (from me; hers eventually made me crack) made a dent.

I’ll probably never know what caused her sleeplessness today. She should have been good and tired out after running around an outdoor playground all morning at a preschool meet-and-greet ahead of the start of the school year. Read the rest of this entry →

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