Sunday, October 28, 2012

Apple picking, one year later

Last weekend we went apple picking again, almost exactly one year later with the same awesome neighbors and the addition of my parents. I was looking at these two pictures of us from last year and this year and I started thinking about all the changes that have happened to Ella in the past year. Obviously 0-1 marks the biggest change in terms of physically going from being a crying, gelatinous blog, to learning to walk and talk, but really, the changes that happen from one to two are nothing short of miraculous. I was looking at some blog posts from a year ago, and I realized that last year at this time she was just learning to put words together to form sentences. She was saying "yesth" instead of "yes" and calling a blanket a "nanight." Now, she uses words like "actually" and "definitely" and requires me to "tell the truth." When I pick her up from daycare and ask her about her day, she says, "I don't want to talk about it." She tells Mike that he is her boyfriend, and when she finally gets in the bathtub after fighting us about it, she says, "See, that wasn't so bad." Now she has hair that streams down her back when she's in that tub, and when I look at her little body, I can already see it slimming out. She's getting those "kid legs" that come from spending days running and jumping like a real kid, not a baby, or even a toddler. She has cuts and scrapes now that I've never even kissed, and she knows what it means to pinky promise. She knows how to remember things, and when I first told her we were going apple picking, she said, "With Arlo and Violet? Like last year? Remember, Mom?" Yeah, buddy, I do remember. I'll try to always remember all of it, but when I don't, please remind me.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Who was that kid?

Back in the days when I had a fussy baby, it was easy to look at everyone else's children and only see how perfect they were and how imperfect my baby was. Other people's children didn't scream at the grocery store. Other people's children liked sitting in car seats and strollers. Other people's children were actually enjoyable to be around. Mike would try to tell me that when we saw those other babies, we were only seeing a moment of their days. We didn't know what the other 24 hours and 59 minutes looked like, and though I knew this was true, it was a hard truth to accept when it seemed like everyone's baby was happier, more content, and more relaxed than mine.

Fast forward two years to when Ella and I are sitting in Quest Diagnostics for an hour and a half on a Saturday morning. The whole idea was a recipe for disaster, and yet, somehow, it worked out. Ella woke up at 4:45 for some godforsaken reason, and by 6 a.m. we were on our way out the door. She was thrilled that she actually got to see the stars and the moon and she still likes to talk about the "crescent" she saw that morning. We stopped at Ami's Crispy Bagel in Waterbury (because they are the best bagels ever, and you are crazy if you don't go there). Then, we headed over to Quest and arrived at 7:05. I was feeling pretty confident that we were going to be in and out of there....until we walked in and saw an already full waiting room. At 7:05. On Saturday morning. But, there was no turning back, so we grabbed a number (20) and squeezed our way in between a very large man, and a very smelly older woman and began reading the one book we'd brought with us.

This is the part where I am supposed to describe the disaster that was Saturday morning at Quest. Except, well, it wasn't a disaster. For an hour and a half, that girl sat or stood quietly, read The Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly, ate gold fish, got really excited when a new number was called, and was just...well...a really good girl. I never had to tell her to be quiet. She never said anything about how large the man sitting next to us was. Hell, she never even pooped. Even when we went in to actually have my blood drawn, she just stood there and watched like it was no big deal.

I kept telling her over and over again what a good girl she was, and she just kept looking at me like, "Yeah. Mom. Duh. I'm a good girl."

At one point, I realized there was a young woman watching us, and I wondered if she was thinking, "Man, I could never take my child here. I can't believe how good that little girl is." I almost wanted to go up to her and say, "She's never like this." But, the truth is, sometimes, however few and far between those sometimes are, she is like that, and she still has the power to surprise me. Thanks Beezer.