My daughter. My amazing, sensitive, caring, creative, problem solver, hard worker, big thinker, spicy daughter. She throws these fits.Throwing is not an exaggeration. She saves them for home...outsiders rarely get a glimpse. I’m sure they think I’m exaggerating or crazy or not a good mom, thinking ‘get your kid under control!’.
Until I talk to another mom of a spicy girl like mine. She adds depth and color to our world that we wouldn’t have otherwise. She is going places! But when she is lying in the middle of the floor screaming, yelling, crying that its my fault she is upset because she doesn’t like tacos anyway (she loves tacos!) or she wouldn’t be so upset if she could just get what she wanted (‘Has that ever worked for you? Do you get what you want when you throw a fit?’ ‘NO!!!’ Ok...so why are you trying this? Again?)
She desperately does not want me to be right. Daddy can be sometimes, grammy and pop pop always can be right (although it might at first make her a bit sad) but me? Nope. She is forever questioning ‘how do you know that?’ and if its not a legitmate ‘it happened to me’ answer she doesn’t buy it. or even if it is. Taking deep breathes to calm down--I’ve been able to convince her to try it maybe twice in 5.5. years. Drawing a picture of how she feels has worked approximately 5 times. All the other things I can ever think of to help her get to a calm-enough-place that we can TALK about what happened (talking goes well! When she’s calm she understands, she problem solves, she listens---says she loves chores!)
I love her. I love they way she thinks. She is going to--and probably already has been--making me a better person. Make me love bigger and deeper and wider. Make me think harder and smarter. Make me really search out why we do the things we do and whether or not we can change the way we do some things. Maybe I will be extraordinarly patient by the time she has flown the coop.
Sometimes I worry about new parents. My experience was working with kids, loving them, loving it, understanding them, ‘knowing’ all the behavior ‘tricks’. And then I got this girl who is so far out of my league that I felt helpless. Which is a terrible feeling when its your academic field! So I worry about new mommas and what it will be life for them. That they will feel in over their heads. I worry too much really. Because Brooklyn is unique. Yes, there are others who are similar to her, but no one has ever existed just like her before. She is a whole new thing to be tried out. And apparently I’m the perfect mom for her. And apparently having a brother come just after her first birthday was the best way for me to parent her (and him) and I drowned in that for awhile--but just because I did doesn’t mean everybody does--or should.
And that’s hard. I see the moms who are so blissfully in love with their babies, and their babies are easy and I feel all the twinges. A lot of the twinges at their base come back to ‘you aren’t enough.’ not good enough, not smart enough, not in tune with your child enough. So much gratitude for the near (and far) and dear ones who remind me this isn't true.