Twice the Sucker
Young Madge should be able to add “Big Sister” to her title sometime in late September.
This is not exactly breaking news, as I have had this little secret ferreted away since mid-January. I’m out of the gestational closet, so to say. I will be all about publicly harboring the fetal stowaway until said stowaway decides to meet the world, which includes a big sister, who has plans to name them “Beets”.
Speaking of Madge, she is two and a half in every way. Which means she is so exasperating I break into a sweat just thinking about trying to get BOOTS on her flailing feet, and alternately so unabashedly sweet and full of wonder, that I want to scoop her up plant thirty kisses on her cheeks twelve times a day.
We walk out the door in the mornings and she peers up into the giant maple tree in our front yard and exclaims “Look at the Bugs [buds] on the trees! They’re going to turn into leaves!” which makes my heart swell with love. Then she does something infuriating, like throwing a basketball down the driveway and subsequently, down the hill sending me chasing after it in my high heeled boots, swearing under my breath.
By the time I get her dropped off and on my way to the meeting I am late for, I am a sweaty jangled mess. The added bonus being that I also feel like the world’s meanest and most impatient mother, because I forgot to blow her a kiss from outside the window when I left (my in-laws later told me she cried because of this, and I wanted to impale myself on a rusty sword).
She pulls up a stool to “help” me in the kitchen. Help being a decidedly relative term. She helps me by dragging a chair directly in front of me, popping her small head between my arms from underneath, and obscuring whatever I may be trying to chop or stir. In turn, I help her by doing my best to prevent her from maiming herself with sharp objects and hot things. It seems to work for us, although it takes a long time to cook dinner.
She can identify approximately four thousand different types of animals in her giant animal encyclopedia (thanks Tiffany). She can identify everything from a pygmy marmoset to a spectacled bear to an okapi. It’s frightening, her talent.
While being admittedly impressed by her talents in animal identification, we are quite properly under-whelmed by her potty training Chutzpah. She has had one successful mission, which occurred immediately upon returning from Target with a bag full of chocolate chickies and lambs. I told her she could have one if she used the potty, and the second we got home she was all down to business, and we were all jumping and screaming and calling Grandma. And she proudly sat like a tiny queen, unwrapped her prize of high quality foil-wrapped chocolate and ate it, bit by bit.
Since then, she has shown no interest whatsoever. Apparently one trip to the mountaintop is enough for her. And I KNOW now, that she is capable because I saw it with my own two eyes. I suspect that she knows how much we want it, and this is why she’s holding out on us. She is drunk with power, and enjoying every minute of the irony her toddler table turning has to offer. We are slaves to her pottying whims and she knows it.
And yet, she is a sensitive soul who desperately wants her parents to be pleased with her. When we give her time-outs for explicitly stinky behavior for which she has been explicitly warned several times, she wails in despair and sobs “make me feel better?” And I count the seconds until I can free her from her self-imposed prison in the hallway, plant kisses on her tear-streaked cheeks, and wrap her up in a hug.
She is likely to spontaneously exclaim “I love you mommy. You’re my BEST Friend” at any given moment. And then I say “as long as you’re potty trained by the time you go to College, it’s fine by me. Want a chocolate chickie hunbun?”
Adding another child to this mix is an exciting and terrifying prospect. Keeping TWO kids in diapers ‘til they’re twenty is going to send us straight to the poor-house. What if I lose my mind and become crazy mom who can’t complete sentences and screams things like “OUT! NOW! YOU! SIT! EAT!”?
The thought of dressing two children and lugging them to the car and into their carseats every morning just makes me tired. But there will be twice the good things too. And I miss things like chubby baby thighs, and toothless grins, and holding a child that sits still for stretches of time extending beyond two nanoseconds. So here we go again.
I will be twice the sucker with twice the love and twice the exhaustion. And again, twice the love. Bring it on.