I consider my life up to this point a success because my kid still has all her fingers. That’s not to say that she hasn’t tried losing them on a regular basis, though. If a door is shutting and she wants it open, BAM!, hand in the doorway. Doggie gate shutting to keep her from putting all the dry puppy chow in the water bowl? BAM! Hand in the gate. She’s quick, y’all, and quiet to boot! She sneaks up like a little ninja and the fact that she’s only thigh high means if you have failing peripheral vision you might just injure her as she’s imposing herself between you and your task at hand. Most likely, you’ll just trip over her and she’ll walk away unscathed. Sometimes she’s like a little tank. Aside from a few bruises and bumps there haven’t been any crushed bones or cuts or scrapes. So… life up to this point, parenting-wise, has been a success. Congratulate me later.
In our house we don’t throw around ownership a lot. M’lady and I share everything and as a result we refer to a lot of things as “ours” or assign a joint ownership over things when we refer to them, like “We cleaned up the house super nice for y’all” when we have guests… when we both know that daddy did the cleaning while mommy was at work 🙂
Despite our semi-socialist rhetoric and downplaying of personal wealth and achievements in favor of portraying a fortified family unit to the world, our daughter learned the word “MINE” from someone. It could have been at daycare. OK… it was at daycare because that’s the only time she’s out of sight.
Now everything is “MINE” this and “MINE” that. And it’s not just when she thinks she owns something. It’s when she wants to impose her will on a situation. “Mine” is a polysemic term to express that she wants something right in that moment. It could be milk, a cookie, or to be doing the opposite of what you’re trying to get her to do. “Mine” is like her telling the world “My way or the highway!!!”
In the mornings I’ll do a little cage fight with her to brush her teeth. I prop her up on the bathroom counter where she gets a toothbrush to play with and I get a toothbrush to “brush” her teeth. I say “brush” but really it’s just me feeding her toothpaste because she sucks it all off the bristles before I can even get a single scrub on her little pearly whites. Somewhere in the process she’ll whip her head to the side, pulling away from the toothbrush I’m trying to clean her teeth with, and rest her head on my shoulder.
Now this is emotionally confusing to me, because part of me wants to scream, “JUST HOLD STILL, KID!” but her adorable little head on my shoulder is so dang cute that my rage subsides. Then she raises her head and I realize I have toothpaste all over my shirt… which most of the time is black, and the cuteness fades a bit. I want to scream, “DAMMIT, KID!” but I don’t. You just gotta swallow that feeling or your kid might end up all weird as an adult. You know the type of person I’m talking about. I mean, we’re all weird, but there are those people where you look at them and you’re like, “Ooooh… their folks messed them up something fierce.” And on that point, try not to judge people because glass houses and all that.
In summation, my child has learned to be possessive from someone and if I find that person I’m going to have words with their parents, because ooooh… their folks messed them up something fierce.
DISOBEY!: Kids and their opinions
So “MINE, MINE, MINE” is my life now. My kid has a solid sense of self and with that comes opinions. “What could a 16 month old possibly be opinionated about, Chris?”
HA, NOOB! They have opinions about EVERYTHING!
Hate the food I cooked for you after you’ve been eating it for the past 5 minutes? Throw it on the floor!
Hate the lullaby I’ve been singing to you since you were born? Start crying as soon as I open my mouth!
Hate being held by your loving parents after it’s been your sole mode of transportation for your whole life? Flail your body around until they lose their grip and drop you! (We’ve never dropped her.)
My kid knows what we’re saying. She’s a smart cookie. She knows what some words mean, can say some words to us, knows a bit of baby sign language, and definitely knows if we don’t want her to do something. And yet, she disobeys at every stage.
“Emma, can you come here please?” Walks the other way.
“Emma, can you pick up your toys?” Runs away.
“Emma, it’s time to get ready for bed.” Falls to the floor and plays dead.
She’s opinionated and I don’t like it when it’s aimed at me 😉
Walking, Talking, Sharking
She’s super #$%@ing mobile, too! She’s so dang fast! Imagine this, you’re sitting on my couch… let’s make it your couch for familiarity, and off in the distance you hear the pitter-patter of tiny feet. It’s fast. It’s coming and going in all directions. You can’t place it. If only you can pinpoint where it’s coming from! Then all of sudden you hear gibberish as something whizzes by you. “YEABOY YEABOY YEABOY YEABOY” it says as it quickly fades away in the distance. Then a scream … a laugh… a cry… Where is it? You look down and there’s a toddler standing in front of you pointing to the TV. “BEBE”, she says as she urges you to turn on baby shark for the umpteenth time.
“BEBE! BEBE!!! BEEEEBEEE!!!” She screams until baby shark is turned on.
Babyshark has over 3 million views on youtube.
So my kid loves to take my stuff. With my wife, it’s shoes. She has a shoe rack, but if her shoes don’t make it back to the rack they become Emma’s property. With me though, anything she sees she takes. Most recently she took my nunchucks. I have them in an easily accessible place just in case I need them. Well, she got to them. She did look pretty awesome with them, though. After procuring my nunchucks she continued to take more things from around my nightstand, which technically since she was armed, makes her a thief.
Here’s a friendly reminder to cut your kid’s nails. Emma has a habit of waking up and walking to our room at 3 am to sleep in our bed. This happened one night and I wasn’t aware that she was there. So, in her typical ninja fashion, she starts silently and creepily tapping at my back… like a cat with a scratching post. I had no idea what was going on. All of a sudden I was asleep and content and then I was in pain.
I thought it was my wife because sometimes she wakes me up in the middle of the night for no good reason. She tries to be subtle, but I don’t know how long the subtly lasts, because she doesn’t know her own strength and ends up hurting me, too. Sometimes it’s like a punch. Sometimes it’s just sharp nails tapping at me.
So, 15 stitches later, what I learned is that my daughter is just like her mother.
All of these things, though, mean, to me, that I have an independant and intelligent baby. Watching her grow up is the best thing in the world. She loves to be read to and prefers books to toys. She communicates, which will get better with time and then taper off in her teenage years. So for now I cherish the gibberish. I don’t know what she’s saying, but I have an idea. I’m pretty sure she’s saying, “Dad, you’re the best person in the world and I’m so happy to be your kid.” That or, “When you sleep I will cut you and take your stuff.”
Well, that’s it for now. I’m trying to stay on track with this blog now a days. OH, we’re changing the title, too, since I’m no longer a stay-at-home dad. We’re calling it, “Boogies and Ink” since it’s about an artist and his family.
I hope you enjoy and as always, Happy Parenting!