Well, last weekend I found out I’m pregnant with my second child and that exciting (but very surprising) news put everything to a halt for me. Well, for the most part, all of my creative endeavors came to a halt. I just needed some time to focus on the game-changing news that a new little human will be added to our family in December.
But I’m slowly coming back around to writing. Life has taken me and my family in a new direction, so naturally, I feel that my writing should as well! I’m just excited for the next chapter that is to come and I would like my writing to reflect that accordingly!
So, I don’t baby my 21-month-old daughter. If she falls and hurts herself, there are two responses I give her based on the degree of the fall. The first is, “You’re fine, it scared you more than it hurt you.” And she’s up and running again. The second is, “Come here, let me make sure you’re okay.” And her response to that is the main reason why I won’t and don’t baby her. She fights me, or her father, or anyone for that matter when we check for blood, scraps, or any injuries. She goes from crying because she fell, to crying because she got picked up for inspection to make sure she’s okay. And ten times out of ten she’s up and running again before those tears have even dried. She did that when she fell in Jackson Square in New Orleans and she did that when we were home in Alabama and she face planted on concrete from running too fast.
I just don’t baby her, mainly because she hates it. And secondly because I don’t want my child growing up thinking the entire world has to stop when she gets an ouchie. I don’t want her to take something minor and make it major because of the attention she can get from it. She’s an only child and the only grandchild for all her grandparents, so she has more than enough attention. But my firstborn is a sassy, strong-willed, independent, rough and tumble little girl. She gets up after a fall and she goes even harder than before when playing. She laughs more than before the fall. She’s tasted concrete, grass, carpet, and dirt, and survived. She’s done free falls off the couch, fallen of the bed, ran into walls, slipped on hardwood, smashed her fingers, fallen off her dad’s lap while swinging, busted her lip, and the list goes on, and it will go on as she gets older.
If it were left up to me, I would duct tape to her crib and call it a day. But she’d figure a way out of the duct tape and then climb out of the crib. She’s a fighter. She’s determined. She’s a pint size of fierce. She’s a little version of me, and that’s the third and final reason I don’t baby her -I hate that shit!
If there’s one thing for certain, I have a short attention span on a lot of things. One reason is, I genuinely don’t have an interest in whatever is taking place and therefore divert my attention to something that I actually care about. And I’m sure that’s the case with a lot of people. If you don’t care about something, then you don’t care.
But the other reason, is I just have too much going through my brain. I need to eat, I want to write, I have to keep my kid alive, my husband wants to talk, and a million other things. I spend a lot of time trying to figure out where I left off with something. It’s life. And life for me right now is hectic. I’m learning to embrace the hectic and prioritize to make sure the important things get done. And I know it sounds like I’m rambling in this post because I am. The point to this whole thing is that I’m figuring out what requires more attention, even when I don’t want to give it!
Right now we live with my in-laws. And they live outside the city limits so naturally they’re in the “country”! And while it’s nice to live in a quiet area, the drive is murder getting to basically anywhere. But still it’s quiet and far removed from the pollution of street lamps and lights from buildings at night, so something like stargazing is possible! My daughter has that chance to see the stars at night and the moon, which she loves more than an outdoor Christmas tree. And she gets to see different kinds of birds, and hear frogs, and watch the airplanes from a nearby municipal airport. She can run down the street and inspect the asphalt as she goes. She can examine the dandelion we pick for her when we take her on stroller rides. She gets to see tractors and stacks of hay and cotton field and cows grazing in pastures. And her little eyes take it all in.
My husband and I want our daughter to feel a part of the world around her. So we take her outside when it snows so she can feel the snow. We do the same thing when it rains or when it’s windy. And we have to make conscious efforts to do this because we naturally find it easier to stay inside even though we have no reason to. Every day is a new adventure for her, which means every day is a new adventure for us. And it’s our responsibility to keep finding things for her to discover and enjoy! She’s a happy baby and we plan to keep it that way!
I was having a bad day a few years ago. I’m talking walking-through-Target-mad bad kind of day. I wasn’t a wife or a mother then, so my temper often went uncheck. But this particular day while storming through Target, I went through the children’s department. This little girl was sitting in a basket and just locked her little brown eyes on me. Next thing I know, she broke out into a smile and I couldn’t help but smile back. My bad mood just went away in that instant because if there is one thing that is hard to fight is smiling back at a child. A child’s smile is one of the most innocent and precious things in this world. It’s genuine and honest and a reminder that there’s more good than bad in the world.
And now I have a little girl of my own. I have witnessed her have the same effect on people whenever I take her somewhere. She has that effect on me and my husband every single day! Her smile makes all the difference in the days we have. I don’t take those innocent and precious moments for granted. They don’t last forever.