Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Today has been a good day. Lately Elise has been demanding a lot of attention, and I have begun to really understand the truth behind the statement, "Show me the mother of a toddler, and I'll show you a tired woman". She has not been eating well, she has been testing her limits like nothing else, and she has been really, really clingy. Yesterday, for instance, I could not sit down without having her immediately climb (or try to climb) into my lap. I could barely stand without having her cling to my legs, crying to be picked up. Now I am not against holding my child. I love holding her. Just not every second of the day. It got worse after my husband came home from work. Elise was absolutely fine...so long as I wasn't in the room. She was playing and laughing and having a grand old time, and then I would walk into the room, and she would instantly start crying, wanting to be held, and crying, "Mommy! Mommy!" Which of course made me think that somehow I was perpetuating this weird crankiness.

So I got to thinking. Certainly this behavior is not acceptable. The trick, I think, is to determine how much of it is real misbehavior and how much of it is healthy toddler mischief. Why is she happy to play independently and converse politely when Andy is watching her, and not when I'm there? (That was just the one time, but still...) What's going on?

Today I was determined to watch for early signs of those obvious culprits, hunger and tiredness, as well as for disobedience after clear instruction. Being intentional about this makes all the difference. I know that seems really obvious, and it was a bit of a "duh" moment for me, but sometimes I need to be reminded of obvious things. This morning I had to remind myself that the most important part of being a stay at home mom is the mom part, not the home part. I am guilty of making to do lists that include only household and work responsibilities, leaving off "play with Elise", "go to the park", "teach Elise a new song", etc. So today I tried to pay closer attention to these things, and I did not get much housework done, and I'm okay with that. (I hope you are, too, dear.)

And now on to Twister. (There is a reason I titled this post thusly.) Elise and I sat down to lunch a while ago, and we closed our eyes to pray. I expected her to repeat after me as she usually does. I said, "Dear Jesus", and she repeated it. Then I said, "Thank you for our dinosaur chicken nuggets." There was a pause. I knew that she could say all of those words, so I wasn't sure why she wasn't repeating it. Then she piped up, "And thank you for the circles." The circles? Ah, yes. Twister. I got the Twister mat out today, thinking she would like to play on the circles. She did. And she thanked Jesus for them. Isn't that sweet? It's also her first original prayer.

It has been a good day.

No comments: