The last one should have been Kayleigh zen #1. Maybe I’ll get around to renaming it. But most of my video efforts should be focused on removing the awful sound of my voice from everything…
It’s difficult for parents not to project every little activity a toddler enjoys into her future life. Humming along to a song on the radio? Future singer. Kicking a ball across the yard? Future soccer player. Petting a cat? Future veterinarian. Painting a picture? Future artist.
My little girl loves to paint. She loves to color. She loves to stamp ink. She loves music and singing and dancing. Are any of these the future that lay ahead of her? I don’t know. But it seems to me that they will play a part – even if just a small one. And that’s enough to make me smile. If the little scrawls and doodles that adorn our walls at home and even my office are launchpads for nothing more than weekend watercolors in her backyard while taking a break from the daily 9-5, I will still gladly hang up the results.
There is much beauty and creativity in this child and she will learn to express it in whatever terms are best for her.
But sometimes it’s too easy to get wrapped up in 20 years from now. Beyond projecting adulthood endeavors from such simple childhood fun, parents have a tendency to search out their own aspirations in their little ones. While I will happily encourage her to pursue any dreams that come her way, I’ll make sure not to mistake mine for hers.
In the meantime, it’s lovely to simply watch her begin this self discovery – hopefully just part of a very long journey.
I’m not big on Halloween. Those who have seen my pretend costumes (me from 10 years ago, Professor Mosby, etc.) on the rare occasion that I attend such a party know first hand. But it’s hard to ignore just how adorable babies and toddlers look all dressed up as monkeys, cats or even bananas.
Kayleigh now regularly asks to put on this getup to become Kitty Kayleigh. Who am I to say no? Personally I don’t see the need for some silly holiday. Why can’t she dress like this everyday?
Since The Woman had to work this evening, I had the pleasure of listening to Kayleigh on the monitor talk herself to sleep all by myself. Perhaps I should explain. Our new nighttime routine – our magical routine that does not involve 45 minutes or more of rocking after 30 minutes of diaper change negotiations – actually ends with Kayleigh still awake in the crib not screaming her head off while we head downstairs.
Amazing, isn’t it?
The little moppet has gotten over her wailing and moaning and gnashing of teeth when it’s time to fall asleep. Well, not entirely. She may cry out a little using every trick she can muster to keep us around. And after it may be upwards of an hour before the talking and singing finally quiet. But the end result is that our entire evening is no longer devoted to ensuring a pain free transition to sleep – the process now unfolds rather naturally. Add that to a wake-up time of around 7:30 AM and life is good.
Of course Kayleigh still likes to toss a wrinkle into things now and then. I can’t really blame her for the cold she just caught, but the lack of blame doesn’t stop the snorting and coughing from waking us up. Thankfully tonight was another example of just how far things have come. About an hour or 2 after falling asleep the plaintive cries of “Daddy” came over the monitor – no doubt because I was the one to put her down, not a matter of preference. After hesitating for a minute or so, I finally ventured in.
Rather than being trapped for the next hour or so with multiple failed attempts at putting her back down as was once the norm, the procedure was fairly straightforward. Pick her up with a big hug, rebuff her attempts to go downstairs, let her lay herself back down, and then hold her hand for 30 seconds while she drifts off again. What a wonderful feeling that a little physical contact and some verbal reassurance is enough for me to comfort our little girl.
Kayleigh doesn’t like to be bothered with crust or pretty much any outside portions of bread-related foods. Not that she doesn’t like it, simply that she prefers to eat the insides first. Physics doesn’t really seem to bother her.
I feel bad that the only words I’ve written about Kayleigh over the last couple of months revolve largely around her deciding to have a major meltdown upon entering the “terrible twos”. The reality is that our little girl has been blossoming into a a truly wonderful person to be around… most of the time. She just has a habit of showing off her worst side just before I get a chance to write about how much I love her. 20 minutes of uncontrollable screaming somehow manages to nearly wipeout an entire day of joy.
We’re talking blood curdling screams because we forgot to let her grab the diaper out of the bag before changing her. Or dropping to the floor and sobbing when we don’t let her press the buttons on microwave while rushing to get food prepared. Sometimes she can be such a… you know… baby.
But it really isn’t fair to the girl she has become to harp on those moments. It’s easy for kids to get pigeonholed for certain bad behaviors they develop. We still often think of Kayleigh as a bad sleeper even though I can count on one hand the number of times she hasn’t slept rather soundly through the night (or at least put herself right back to sleep) the last few months. And yet the habit of tiptoeing through the house and jumping at every rustling sound on the monitor is hard to break.
Just as our little mop topped moppet regularly beds down at a regular time with significantly less fuss than, say, 6 months ago, she has also grown as a person. With each passing day I can see in her a desire to connect with people – to connect with me. Leaving the room for too long provokes calls of “Daddy, Daddy” as she comes up with some little endeavor to demonstrate, just because she wants the company. She takes us on adventures throughout our house, acting out cartoons from the previous day while re-purposing various rooms to represent imaginary locales. Her little chair with the fuzzy cover has become an easel to accommodate her interest in “painting” with a basting brush. If we are so inclined to join her, a chopstick may be offered for our artistic contributions.
After months of being pushed away in defense of her personal space, the walls have been crumbling as she begins to reach out more and more for contact with people beyond Mommy. And while she remains a timid child (still requesting our support for navigating even the smallest of slides) a rambunctious side has broken through in the form of jumping on Daddy with great delight.
I haven’t done a good job of chronicling the changes this remarkable little scutch has gone through over the past year or so. Trust me when I say that it’s pretty much amazing.