I'm showered. I'm dressed. I'm actually feeling like I can impersonate a human being today. Which is a damned good thing because if I don't get Arabis out of the house and into a park to run around chaos is going come raining down about my ears (not that it hasn't already, but I've learned the hard way not to say "it can't get any worse").
I haven't left the house since Saturday.
Kelly and Galen were supposed to come over and hang out yesterday and I could've actually used the company. But such is the life with kids. If anyone is sick, all bets are off. So I struggled to stay awake and keep Arabis mildly entertained. Her new favorite thing is jumping. She'll pull all the cushions off the tapestry sofa (we have two) and jump like a mad thing, all the while proclaiming her activity. "Jump, jump jump!"
She's very into tools right now. Screwdrivers, hammers. my five foot level: nothing is safe. She's running around right now with a two foot piece of white PVC pipe. It has been alternately a spyglass, a straw, a trumpet and a cane. I'm noticing her indulging in more pretend play now, too. She was playing with her Duplo blocks with Daddy on Sunday and they built a little ladder with them. She took one of her little Duplo men and made him climb the blocks, calling him Pingu. She's also taken to calling one of her little bears Ojo, a character from Bear in the Big Blue House.
Bubbles are also high on the list of can't-live-without. As are balls of any shape and size.
The language is there, but slow. She understands perfectly, but just seems to choose her own words carefully. Sometimes she'll chatter on for ages and we have no idea what she is saying. I think she's speaking Tibetan. My mother points out that I never did that and I once again point out to my mother that Arabis is not me.
I've noticed some interactions between my mother and daughter recently that have gotten me thinking about my own reactions to things and how I approach the world. Arabis has been very vocal about her desire to not wear pants. This will extend to diapers as well (we're actually using pull-ups now, since Mojo brought them home once and she refuses to go back).
One Monday night I was attempting to get Arabis in her pajamas post bath and my mother was standing nearby "helping." Arabis was upset for some reason and didn't want to put on her pull-up. My mother began challenging her and antagonizing her in an effort to get her to cooperate, "I bet you can't do it yourself, can you?" I got really upset and asked my mother to just go sit down and let me deal with it. So Arabis and I sang the Pajama Song and all progressed smoothly.
But it got me thinking. My ex-husband used to say that the only way he could get me to do anything was to piss me off. If I would get angry enough I would do it just to show him. It's true, actually and I always wondered where it came from, only to have it illustrated blatantly to me. It was my mother, challenging me to do things as a toddler and a baby, the same way she was challenging my daughter.
I got very angry with her. This revelation came in a split second, watching that interaction and her own with me throughout my life, it all came flooding over me. My mother is not a mean woman. On the contrary, she is a very supportive and loving person.
It got me thinking about how our actions when our children are small have repercussions that echo through time. How we can never know what little thing we do can shape someone later in life. It's overwhelming to think about, really. Because it's inevitable. We can only try to be the best people we can be, to model our behaviour and make our interactions as true and compassionate as possible.