Monday, May 28, 2012

Thoughts on LuLu

People call this stage the "Terrible Twos". Perhaps because children scream a lot, or they still aren't continent, because they are physical enough to get almost anywhere without being constrained by anything (danger, privacy).
Personally, when I can step back just a little, I discover that this is such an amazing time.  Stepping back is hard, though. I have to take myself away from caring about the floor being clean, or dinner being done, or the bills being paid. All very important things that I care about.
Sometimes metaphores help. If I don't think of her as my wittle wittle baby-face, but as a foreign exchange student from, say, Uzbekistan, suddenly she makes sense.
I say, "Gracie, what language do you speak in your Homecountry?"
"Gracie, what did you eat in a typical meal in your homeland?"
"How is your English coming along?"
"Is it customary to collect pebbles where you come from?"
For a moment she is somebody else's baby raccoon, I can enjoy her company without any expectations or weird parental baggage. I don't have to expect that she will make any sense, or appear well-behaved to my friends, or clean up after herself. I can enjoy her pretty face, play naming games with her and do my best to help her bone up on her English and adjust to life here in America the best I can.

Wanna hear the podcast version?


Poulet said...

We're discovering the same thing with our new terrible two. As you know, I am easily flustered in a situation out of my control, and there are few things less controllable than a two-year old. Try to keep the floor clean, and the kid won't eat anything substantive. Now that we've been stepping back -- figuratively and quite literally, leaving him in his own space -- he's been eating much better. Even ate corn on the cob last night!

Why is it that disciplining a child requires more self-discipline for parents?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Eleven recently said something about how he's thinking about parenting less like making your kid behave right and more like your kid is some new person at work or school, one you really like, and you have to take them under your wing and show them the ropes. To everything.

M. L. Benedict said...

Some time back, I was trying to give a piano lesson to a child who was more interested in crawling under the piano to see what was there. Her mother was sitting on the couch, reading a book called "The Spirited Child." That child was older than two, but you get the picture. The smart ones have the most terrible twos.

rosa said...

Our Hecho went through a critter stage around 2.5- he was also like a little raccoon, rooting in the fridge,, dragging the contents of the pantry around the house, scrabbling in ther dirt and howling when thwarted. Now he's more like a little old man muttering & kvetching like Milton from Office Space......
long live the foreign exchange toddlers!

Camille Offenbach said...

Thanks for the encouragement !

jessica said...

there's a great little book called eric by shaun tan about a foreign exchange student with similar sentiments. it doesn't have anything anything to do necessarily with raising toddlers - but it's beautiful, and there's probably a link in their somewhere.

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