Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Patti Smith Remembers Laughter

I recently finished the Patti Smith memoir, "Just Kids," and have been musing over it for the past few days. So I was doing a stitchbomb at the top of Bernal Hill and Penelopabby were wailing that this was boring, they are scared of the dogs, they want to go home, and I said, "You have to suffer for your art!"

THen i realized THEY didn't have to suffer for MY art (#aliceneel), and also, the only time I saw Patti Smith live was at a free show at Summerstage in the middle of a sweltering summer in the early '90s. Someone in the crowd yelled "What do you like to listen to these days, Patti?" and she said "The laughter of my children" and I went ugghghghghghgh what a sap. except now I totally think that and I'm also a sap.

And at the same show she stopped a song to say "I hear that baby crying and I'm a little worried, it seems like too hot a night for a baby to be out," and again I was like UGHGHGHGHGHGH MOMMY PEOPLE SHUT UP and now I'm like jeesh that was so sweet, and what a good mom she must be.

Anyway I did make the girls wait till my stitchbomb was gone, but I was nicer about it and gave them guilt-induced treats and whatnot. 
And as I type this I'm hearing the girls laughing together, bubbling with laughter and shrieking at each other to make more laughter, and thinking, yeah. She was right. She was right. 
Oh wait, now Abby's crying and possibly Penny's getting a time out. Well. It was fun while it lasted.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Abby has a favorite color, and it is purple.

She can spot purple a mile away. "A-purple, momma!" She knows the purple pillow on the couch is hers. "Ah-my purple pillow, Penny. Penny peenk. My purple." If I dare to try to put clothes on her, you better believe they're going to be purple, OR have a character on them, OR be ballet clothes, but only the RIGHT ballet clothes.

(A ballet dress is called a "la-la-la-la," all four syllables, because of the Angelina Ballerina theme song. If I wear a dress, she tells me "Momma la-la-la-la!")

We were walking down to the softball field on Sunday. She was wearing her new purple dress (but not the leggings that go with it -- "NO purple, momma. NO purple pants." It was breezy: she stopped walking, pushed her skirt down, and yelled, "Purple windy! No purple windy, momma!"

I still nurse and rock her to sweet, snuggly sleep. The other night I bent over her crib as I gently placed her onto the mattress; she stretched out, flipped over, and murmured "Purple, Momma."

I didn't know I could love a color so much.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Three And A Half

I have been struggling lately with P. She's still my delightful daughter, but has taken on a host of unwelcome new behaviors: she's suddenly terrified of everything (even mild shows like Chloe's Closet freak her out), she's extremely oppositional and distracted (I can be speaking straight to her and not get a reaction), and she's suddenly discovered the joys of teasing her little sister.

I've been reading "Your Three Year Old: Friend Or Enemy," by Louise Bates Ames, Ph.D., and find I am not so special. This is great news. As I read the rundown of what happens, typically, at 3.5, I wanted to weep with recognition. Most reassuring of all was Ames' advice to wait it out and even to avoid my child as much as possible -- she actually prescribes babysitters if a mom is feeling like she can't get through a day without screaming.

The part that sent me running to tell you guys about this, though, was this passage -- no idea what page it is, because I'm reading it on the Overdrive app. Here it is:

Emotional insecurity, which so many seem to feel at this age, may be based to a large extent on the temporary inadequacy of the motor system.

At three, the author says, the kid had just developed a crapload of milestones; at 3.5, she is in the middle of a crapload more, and is overwhelmed. That's all that's happening. It explains the thumb-sucking, the return to tantrums, every bit of frustrating behavior, and makes me feel so grateful she's moving forward with such force. She's handling all this with aplomb, and if I can keep my cool and just let her get through it, she'll be fine as always.

This book is a quick read and is one of a series -- this is the first I've read, but what a help. Like!