I love washing my hands when they are dirty. I like seeing the dirt come off in the sink. I like vacuuming dirty rugs, but not clean ones. I enjoy cleaning messy glass tables. I hate doing it when they are sparkling. I had to do that a lot as a kid, wash clean hands, vacuum clean rugs, and clean already clean glass table tops. So not satisfying.
Anyways, you are napping right now. One of your power three hour midday naps that make my heart sing and my brain get a lot of work done. It’s Saturday and a giant Coyote has just eaten a neighbor’s cat in our backyard. I watched in horror as it broke it’s neck then proceeded to remove it’s head. All about 10 feet from your plastic slide in our little patch of grass bordering this wilderness behind us. I feel really unsafe right now and I want to leave this place. But that’s what I always do when I am scared, I run. Fight or flight. I fly. I’ve been looking at houses in Ojai.
The times they are a changing, Pony. They seem so swift. Suddenly I am thinking about potty training and pre-preschool. I’m not interested in joining the rat race to get you into the “best” school, but I am interested in finding an awesome stimulating place that you can go to a couple of times a week in the afternoons to socialize and play outside. I have this feeling that it is time for that. So I found a place I think is pretty cool- it’s called Segray Preschool in Atwater Village. The location is awesome and the price is reasonable and they start at 18 months. Angella and I have been taking you in the afternoons to hang out and you never want to leave. This last week was the first day that Angella dropped you off and then left. It was a hard day, for me mostly. You were fine, for the first 45 minutes. Then you were okay. Then the teacher called me and said you were struggling on and off a bit. I was on my way. When I got there and she put you in my arms, you yelled at me. You were mad. And you were weepy and clingy the rest of the night until Noodle came home and then you were happy about that. I felt terrible. I wonder if it’s too early. Am I pushing something that I don’t need to be pushing? I don’t know. I wish there were clear cut answers for all of this. But there aren’t. I just don’t want you to feel abandoned by me. Ever. Ever. Ever. And I really want to do what is best for you. I’ll give it another go next week. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes. It’s a pretty cool place though, they have an outdoor classroom, a bunny rabbit, circle time, dancing, arts and crafts, a garden…etc…
But just for conversations sake, there are two other actual preschools that I am looking into- The Children’s Educational Center in La Canada and Camelot Kids in Silverlake. Both have long wait lists and are very selective about who they let in. Plus you have to be older and potty trained for these places. Lots of things to think about. And you know how much I love to think.
You are one of the funniest people I have ever met in my life. You have this quirky goofy way about you that I think is a true swirl of your Dad and me. Your Dad is a funny guy. He’s quick too. Witted. Me? Not so quick. But I am witted. Just slower on the draw and more awkward in general. I can be moody too and get easily flustered. You are very sensitive and empathetic. You cry when you see other kids crying. You get happy when they do. You watch everything, and only when you are ready, do you join in. But when you do join in, you give it everything you’ve got. You don’t hold back at all. Like in circle time. You hated it at first, then you were okay to watch everyone dancing, then you began jumping and running around like a cray person while everyone else just watched.
Being around you is like babysitting someone who is drunk and high on acid.
When I sat in the last circle time with all of the kids and the disco music came on I felt like I entered a Fellini film. One kid was banging his head to the beat in the corner, a little girl had her hands on her hips and was swaying to and fro, other children were bouncing off of each other, while you held my hand and twirled around me. I thought to myself, I love kids.
We have your 18 month check up this week. It’s a little late but there was a different doctor I wanted to see at the practice we go to. Your Dad thinks I am crazy to see another one, but I am not satisfied yet. I feel like there must be a pediatrician there that I can connect to and hear what they are saying. I think the other doctors have been fine but they talk so fast I leave every time having no idea what I just heard. I can’t retain any of it. But maybe that is me, and not them. This is my final chance to find out. I suspect it could be me. It usually is, right?
So I have had this weird total life change since the last time I wrote. I wondered why I didn’t feel like writing anymore. It made me sad and confused. I used to love it. Or at least I used to do it. And it can’t be that I don’t have the time because one can always make time for something if they really want to. I just lost the drive. The confidence, perhaps? And the desire to be a “writer.” I honestly don’t care about it anymore. Not like I once did. I have let go of labels. And the need to be validated by them. I am extremely enthusiastic about some other avenues my life is pushing me towards, namely Council. I can’t wait to teach you more about this. It’s a very simple practice about empathetic listening and speaking to each other. About hearing and telling our stories. So that we see and are seen, hear and are heard.
You are just waking up now, little monkey. Sitting up in your crib, looking around, dazed and confused. So adorable. I can’t believe how cute you are. You make me want to kiss and squeeze you all the time. I know it must drive you crazy but I can’t help myself. You little toddler you.
You are all toddler. All almost two. And everything that entails.
You get me against the ropes, sometimes. You like to push my buttons. You don’t listen to me like you listen to your Dad. I struggle with consistency and being firm. Your Dad doesn’t. I am grateful for that. I hear that girls who have strong Dads do well in life. I want to be strong for you too. I do. But I need to practice. And thank God, you give me plenty of opportunity to do that.
I love you.
I’m gonna come and get you now, and kiss you all over.
Hi Arrowyn, I’m a friend of Tim’s from when he lived in Toronto and my little girl is 17 months. Whenever you write I feel so comforted, knowing I’m not the only one who doesn’t think being a Mom is the easiest job ever, even if it’s the best one. I think it’s amazingly brave to put all this on the Internet. Pony is so lucky to have you!
Wow. Tara- this message is coming so unbelievably late, but I just wanted to thank you for your words. I hope your little girl is doing well. Please feel free to let me know!!! I am trying to get back into writing more because as I am sure you know, it just keeps getting better and better and wilder and wilder!!!!