Thursday, February 02, 2006

grace, and then something sort of like it

I got my ass kicked today by a -3 month old and a 2 1/2 year old. The -3 month old would be the Young Nutkin who has yet to make a true entrance into the world, and of course, you know Raelin, our darling 2 1/2'er. between pregnancy and the schizophrenia of toddlerhood, today was not so good. burst into tears no less than 3 times. behaved less than nobly with Raelin over silly things and in general was wishing i could crawl into a hole and emerge several years hence.

what is it about being a toddler that makes you so damn arrogant as to make demands one after another, push around dogs who are larger than you are, and pretty much expect that things are going to go your way, regardless of what else is going on? (maybe because they ususally do?) I dunno. A few days ago i was feeling all arrogant about having reached a plateau and understanding about Raelin and her development right now- that i was trying to control her behavior when there is nothing to control- how can you control the developmental urge for independence? it's a totally moot and frustrating endeavor, and in a epiphany like state, i even wrote a long piece about it with thoughts of sending it into Mothering Magazine, the voice for gentle and natural parenting.

ha! that's the thing about kids. wait a day or so (and maybe only an hour or less) and everything you thought you figured out is more or less a wash. well, that's not true. I am sure those realizations will come to bear fruit at some point, but shit, if they don't help me out on the bad days, what's the point? if- 3 years or so ago, when i was all ga-ga baby but not pregnant yet- someone had plunked me down in this day, simply to experience it, i probably would have been like: uh, no thanks.

i'm not kidding. parenting turns you inside out and red all over, kinda like that old joke about the skunk in the blender. the saving grace is that you *don't* get to experience days like today unless you have kids (and, sorry, babysitting and teaching don't count. you get to leave them at the end of the day) and therefore enter parenthood in a blissful, naive state that continues through the early months of newbornhood and babyhood when you fall head over heels in love and a damn good thing too, because that's what carries you through the crazy times.

the other saving grace is that you have days that are not like today. Days when you are constantly mopping up your heart from the puddle it's melted into watching your child do something as simple as rock her teddy bear, or put her arms through her sleeves for the first time by herself. days when she shares with you of her own volition and cuddles up after a nap like a warm, purring kitten. when you share jokes, play Go Fish by breaking all the rules, and watch her ecstatic face as she sleds down a hill of fresh snow. mostly these moments happen every day, and carry you over the craggy spots. yes, these are moments of grace, and i will go to sleep tonight thinking of those... and hoping that a few come our way tomorrow.