Sunday, December 21, 2008

Kate: Month Thirty-Five

Dear Kate,

Today you turned thirty-five months old. For the record, I’d like a notation made that post is on time. Let’s pretend it’s because I have my act together this month and it has nothing to do with the fact that I am in the passenger seat of the car, trying to avoid my life flashing before my eyes while your dad is driving in a snowstorm. Anyway, what a month is has been. For the entire year, I’ve operated in fear of the terrible-two’s setting in. Sure, you’ve had your moments, but they’ve been moments, not stages. Apparently you saved it all in an attempt to lay them on heavy during the last month of your twos. I am hoping that means that while we have been weathering the storm this month, it will vanish next month on your third birthday. Work on that, will you?



One thing I’ve never been as a parent is overtly frustrated or angry (with you that is – I’ll plead the 5th with all beings outside of you). I’ve noticed those other parents in public, totally losing their shit with their kid and I’ve just been thankful that I didn’t let you get the best of me like that. I liked to believe it was just because I had my crap together, but I've learned this month it doesn't really have a thing to do with me, or how well I TRY to do anything. In other words, I've been put in my place. Just ask the people in Ruby Tuesday's this Sunday, they will vouch for me. I’m not a fan of public humiliation, embarrassment, or attention. An appropriate question to ask at this point would be, “well, why did you have children then?” At times I think your sole purpose is to push me into those things I never thought I’d be, or to do those things I never thought I’d do. Over the past few weeks, I keep reminding myself that you are exerting your independence, testing your boundaries, and trying to determine where you fit in this world. But, Damn Gina, no one said that it would be this hard. I keep telling myself that this independence, determination, and passion will serve you well as an adult. We just need to make it there in one piece.



You’ve always had great manners and you need very little (if any) prompting to use them. However, you’ve devised an interesting new approach to interrupting when you feel the need to be heard. At the top of your lungs, you screech STOP.TALKING.MOM. If I don’t stop talking, the frequency and volume of STOP.TALKING.MOM rapidly increases. It’s a darling accompaniment to any public outing. I am sure your dad would be happy to tell you that this tactic will not work, as he is still trying to figure out how to get me to stop talking.

One night a couple of weeks ago, you were in the middle of a not-going-to-bed-crisis (which is eerily similar to the not-eating-crisis, not-getting-dressed-crisis, not-being-carried-crisis, looking-at-me-wrong-crisis, my-parents-are-evil-crisis, etc.) and I was at my wits end. Special mention should be made that you’ve transitioned to a big-girl bed this past month. No surprise that you love it, you love anything associated with being big. Also, no surprise that it hasn’t stopped your ability to play 10,000 games in order to NOT go to bed. As I was standing in your room, I quietly leaned over to you and said, “KATE MARIN, do you know who is watching you right now?” Then I proceeded to tell you that Santa was watching you and if you didn’t get your act together and listen to your parents, he wasn’t bringing you any presents this year. You looked at me all wide eyed and scared, laid your head on your pillow, and immediately went to sleep.



In an effort to reassure myself that I hadn’t just guaranteed many future trips to a child psychiatrist, I kept justifying my actions with the fact that the majority of American kids grow up with the threat of Santa. However, as a parent, the whole thing was a bit unsettling. Here I am, telling you that a big, scary, man is watching you while you sleep. You can’t see him, ah, but he can see you. At some point in the near future, he’s going to sneak into our house WHILE WE ARE SLEEPING. Not only will we not pull out a gun and threaten to shoot him, we will eagerly welcome him into our house to eat our cookies, drink our milk, and even use the bathroom. I don’t care how mainstream it is, this is therapy material in the making. Now, I would have felt even more guilt about it if it hadn’t of worked.



It has been a busy time of the year with the holiday season in full swing. You are truly in your element surrounded by others, carefree and happy. I am so excited for this Christmas with you, enjoying your eager anticipation. Often I’ve said that parenting is so much harder than I ever imagined, but also infinitely more rewarding than I ever could have fathomed as well.

I love you Kate-r-bug!

Mama

13 comments:

The Rambler said...

I love your letters to Kate....it's extremely sweet and funny and true.

I have a two year old and being my first I think everything is a crisis :) I guess us parents all have the same list.

AngieS said...

I hope that one day you will make a book of sorts for Kate. These are special letters....

Jeanne said...

The year Kylie was three, she learned to say, loudly, "Stop arguing with me!"

She's small for her age, and people found it extraordinarily amusing to see this little tot ordering her flabbergasted grandmother to stop arguing.

Enjoy the next year!

Simplicity said...

Oh this is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO adorable! I love the honesty...and the photos! Fantastic!

Lyndsay said...

Rambler - Isn't everything a crisis? That is how life feels most days with a toddler!

AngieS- You know, that would be such a good idea. I have two much faith that my handy blog will be here for her to read 15 years from now, LOL!

Jeanne - Kate is a peanut too and we often get the same strange stares from people. She's always been verbally ahead of her age, so that just complicates everything!

Simplicity - Thanks! I have really grown fond of doing her monthly letters. While not always glamorous, they are always real and honest.

Ann's Rants said...

Hi Lyndsay. I LOVE how you juxtaposed the smugish-naievite (however you spell that!) we all feel when we think we're "good mommy", against the humbling reality of "oh yeah, I'm just like all those other poor bastards" we feel when we inevitably experience the "bad mommy" moments.

cw2smom said...

What a special letter! She's going to treasure this someday and you will too. Because I can guarantee you that you'll forget soooo much that you swore you'd NEVER, ever forget. Getting old and all the other stuff in life causes your brain to purge! LOL! Great stuff here! Blessings, Lisa

AngieS said...

I left you an award on my blog....

Bonnie Baker said...

Glad that you have not "lost your shit", I hate when I see that in public. My kids are even embarrassed for the poor kids on the receiving end of that, and whisper to me "I am glad you don't act like that!"
But just wait 'till she is 10... You just lose it on the inside :)

The Tildy Spot said...

I absolutely love your letters to Kate. If and when I ever have kids, I think I'll do the same thing.

Jenners said...

I love these letters you write. Not only are they touching, but I love realizing that I am not the only mom with these types of problems, guilt etc!

Lyndsay said...

Ann - Yes, I've been having more and more of those moments :)

cw2smom - I already forget stuff that happened last week, so without keeping some kind of written reminder, there is no hope!

Bonnie - Good to hear from you. I haven't forgotten you! Yes, I haven't been that mom, but there have been moments where now I totally understand how that mom BECOMES that mom :)

Tildy - Thanks! I realized that I was totally a baby-book delinquent and since I spend 1/2 the day in front of a computer this had a much higher chance of success :)

Jenners - Thanks a million! You know, I love it when I can relate to others stories about the "not perfect" times. Unfortunately I don't think people share those times as often, so in the moments you struggle, you think it is just you that struggles. I hate that!

Special K said...

So sweet! The picture at the end got the tears in my eyes. These little buggers- they cling tightly til they're ready and just when we want one last hug, they fly off to independence