Tuesday, July 26, 2011

All By Myself

Today Emma and I visited Disney’s Magic Kingdom.  It was just the two of us, and we hadn’t been there long before I began questioning the sanity of that decision.  Managing a 16 month old, her stroller and her varying moods all day by myself amidst thousands of other people in 90+ degree heat was certainly difficult.  But we have been to theme parks several times before, so I kind of knew what to expect.  I expected to sweat, I expected to have to carry Emma most of the day with one arm while pushing the stroller with the other, and I expected at least one or two total meltdowns.  This blog, though, is about something that happened that I was not prepared for.
Emma loves carousels.  For awhile she was content with just watching them, but as soon as she finally got on one she was hooked.  She has been on the Disney carousel a handful of times, the Sea World carousel and the carousel at our local mall.  At Disney the horses are big enough that I can sit behind Emma, and she has always seemed to prefer that arrangement.  When she has ridden the other carousels and I’ve had to stand beside her, she usually ends up wanting me to take her off before the ride has even stopped.  This is what I am used to.  I am used to Emma needing me for pretty much everything.
Today I sat Emma on a horse on the Disney carousel and buckled her safety belt and then climbed up behind her.  After just a moment though, she turned to me and pushed at my leg, stating firmly, “Nuh uh!”  At first I was so shocked that I wasn’t sure what she wanted, but then it became clear to me.  Emmalee did not want me to ride the carousel with her.  I climbed back down and she gave me an appreciative grin.  I couldn’t believe it.  This was the first time that Emma has really taken the initiative and given a clear message of, “Let me do this on my own, Mom.”  I wasn’t sure how to react.
Watching her holding on to the handles and proudly riding by herself was a bittersweet moment.  I shared her pride and was excited to see that she was being independent and doing it all on her own (with me standing close by of course, just in case).  But I couldn’t help also feeling a little saddened by the fact that my baby really isn’t a baby anymore.  She is growing up and this is just the first of many moments where I will see that she needs me less and less. 
Then again, she did make me carry her all day.  So I guess she isn’t completely done with me just yet.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The University of Emmalee

Being a mom is incredible.  I am often amazed at the joy and meaning that Emmalee has brought into my life.  Not to mention the knowledge.  There are so many things that I now know that might never have occurred to me if I didn’t have a child.  Here are some of those tidbits of wisdom bestowed upon me by my experiences with Emma.
*      When left in a sippy cup on the counter for a couple of days, milk will change from a liquid to a solid.
*      A box of Teddy Grahams can change your life.
*      Mickey Mouse Clubhouse comes on every morning at 8:00 am.
*      Car seats have magic portals to another dimension making things like debit cards and pacifiers disappear.  Strangely, dropped Cheerios and Goldfish are not permitted through this portal.
*      Who Brobee is.
*      The trunk and backseat of your car, restaurant booths, strollers, any carpeted flooring, or a towel or blanket placed on the ground are all acceptable diaper changing locations.  (Hey, not everywhere is equipped with a changing table!)
*      A single grunt can convey a myriad of complex thoughts, needs and requests. 
*      Dreft, elbow grease and the power of positive thinking can get almost anything out of a cute shirt.
*      It is, in fact, humanly possible to say the word no three million times in one day.
*      As soon as you tell a toddler that they can have something they lose all interest.
*      Rain, dog tails and caterpillars are both fascinating and hilarious. 
*      Ni Hao means hello in Chinese.
*      Where the first aid building is at every Disney park I've visited with Emma.
*      That it is possible to survive without sleep.
*      Almost any task, including but not limited to cooking dinner, washing dishes, doing laundry, and using the bathroom, can be successfully completed using only one hand.
*      Hearing the word mom from your child’s lips can make you want to burst with joy and scream with frustration all in the same moment.
*      It is possible to exist with your heart outside of your body.  (Credit to whoever originally came up with this quote!)
Feel free to comment with any lessons that having a child has taught you.