Thursday, December 29, 2011

Scenes from the Past Few Weeks

I attended my graduation ceremony on Dec. 22. My mom was here for it. My daughter was amused by my "silly hat." I sat between a woman in her forties who had just earned her master's in history (we compared notes on how much more focused we were as older students) and a woman from a Slavic country (didn't catch which one) who had just finished her MBA. We all wore different colored stoles around our necks, and we laughed that the color for finance and accounting degrees is "drab" (yup, the official name). One undergraduate decorated his hat with Christmas lights. A nursing grad wore a bridal veil under her hat. Oh, and I made the paper (no, I'm not an English professor).

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Christmas morning was entertaining. Sylvia had a red tricycle and an orange scooter waiting for her underneath the tree. She had to take both for rides around the house for a long while before seeking out other presents. She also had to take a break to go outside and blow bubbles, which I had taken away from her the night before. She finally figured out how Santa and presents worked the day of Christmas, so now we're having to explain that there won't be any more presents for a while. She responded by asking to celebrate her birthday.

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Sylvia has been a little bit sick for the past two weeks. D was diagnosed with an upper respiratory infection right before Christmas and Sylvia and I had coughs and runny noses, but nothing too bad. She started coughing a lot at night, though, and after Sunday night, when she started crying, I took her to the doctor just in case. Yup, turns out she was just shy of pneumonia and needed breathing treatments. She also had a double ear infection. Meanwhile, she rode her new bike with gusto and was dancing in the doctor's office. My child feels no pain. This could be a problem.

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Sylvia has been jumping out of bed at night, turning into a crazed, hyper child with no interest in sleep. The only bonus is that she sleeps later. This morning, though, the dog's barking woke her up before 7am, and she was in tears. For the first time in her life, she cried for her daddy. I had to put them in bed together for a long snuggle. There are few things more adorable than a snuggled up daddy and toddler daughter. I adore those two.

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I am currently working on two freelance projects while my husband enjoys FOUR WEEKS OFF. I'm not complaining, though. Last night, hubby went to the bar with friends, and I had the house to myself to complete a writing assignment. It was peaceful. I used my brain. I worked silently, uninterrupted, for a couple of hours. I did not realize how much I had missed that.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Primal

Tonight, I made homemade turkey meatballs (including shaved carrots, onion, garlic and spices) with a side of steamed broccoli for dinner. Sylvia chose "pasta sauce" (marinara) to dunk the meatballs in, and proceeded to eat five meatballs and most of her broccoli (with lemon juice on it). This feast -- eaten with relish and without complaint -- comes from MY toddler, the same kid who has recently become a full-fledged picky eater. She is unpredictable in what is good or bad, with the only acceptable constants being hot dogs, cheese, fruit and Cheerios.

Let me tell you: there is something primal, something deeply satisfying about preparing a meal from scratch and having your progeny eat it. I was a good gatherer. I provided for the offspring. She will live another day.

I don't have any great wisdom to add about dealing with picky eaters. I comfort myself that it is evolutionary: Malcolm Gladwell has an article that discusses how two-year-olds, who were old enough to start gathering with their mothers, developed a natural aversion to anything new as a way to guard against eating poisonous berries and other dangers out in the wild. I know it often goes beyond some aversions, though: I have a friend who's amazingly brilliant and charming child will only eat about three foods; after four years of trying everything, they are taking the child to therapy for the second time.

Kids are weird. Parenting is hard. But today, today I had a victory. And I will celebrate it (knowing that tomorrow, she will likely refuse the meatballs and throw a fit for bread with butter).

Monday, December 5, 2011

Retraction

Gentle readers: Yesterday, I composed a beautiful blog post. It was one I had been writing and rewriting in my head for days. It was a bit preachy, required standing on my pedestal, but I thought the message was sound. And then, I realized I couldn't post it. For reasons not worth explaining, it would have been bad if one of my freelance clients had found my opinion on the matter published online for everyone to read. Sadly, I had this moment of clarity (thank goodness I did) after I had written the piece.

So really, I'm just posting to tell you how awesome this post was that you'll never read because the Internet is just so public, y'all.

Maybe I should just stick to stories of toddler shenanigans.