Friday, July 8, 2011

Days Like This

Dear Ian,

Lately it seems like our days have become a battle of wills: your will to exert your desires on the world, and my will to keep you from killing both of us and destroying the house.  I go to bed wondering how in the world we managed to make it through the day without screaming at the tops of our lungs in frustration (fyi: Mommy screams silently in her head about fifty times a minute), and if you will ever get over me saying "no," or some variation of the word, all day long.  It's your job, after all, to test limits and make sure I stand in the same place on issues so you can find security in the world and in my authority.  But, wow, are there days when I wish I could just curl up in a little ball and let someone else take over being the authority figure.  Some days are just too hard.

But, then there are days like today.  We awoke to a dreary, rainy day, and at first, my thought was, "Great, no outside play today."  But then I kicked my own negative-thinking hiney, and we turned it into a great day of fun (even free!) outings.  First, we went to the library.  The Leon County Public Library has a branch right up the road from us, and since books are a favorite thing for both of us, off we went.  You got your very own library card and a bag in which to put your books.  We went to the kid's section, and you wandered up and down every aisle, occasionally picking out a book, and would sit down right on the floor and exclaim, "WOW!" over every book.  Made my heart smile.  They also had a great little alcove for kids who needed a little more interaction and activity than reading that had a great wall mounted play-thing, and you had a blast with that.  After we checked out a few books (three for you, two for Mommy), we left the library, and as I strapped you in your car seat, you said, "Fun!"

After our adventure at the library, we had some time to kill before your lunch time, so we went to PetSmart and looked at the fish, birds and dogs being groomed, and again, this free entertainment ranked high with you.  You pointed out the different colors of fish you saw, "tweet-tweeted" at the birds and cracked up at a poodle being groomed into the traditional poodle haircut.  You did ask, though, when I said that the dogs were getting a haircut, if they would get a lolly.  (When you get a haircut, you get rewarded with a lolly pop.)  Funny Boy.

Finally, it was time for lunch, and after remembering that Daddy had eaten the last piece of cubed steak so you didn't have left-overs for lunch, we decided to head across the street to Chic-fil-a.  Well, we accidentally stumbled into their Cow Appreciation Day festivities, and the place was packed.  There was also a person dressed in a cow suit and balloons everywhere.  You were in Heaven.  You posed for a picture with the cow, ate 6 chicken nuggets and had the rare treat of chocolate milk.  It was a perfect lunch experience to wrap up the great day we were having.

Right now, you are tucked in your crib and taking a nap, and I am sitting here smiling to myself thinking of the expressions on your face at each new activity we did.  And that's when I realized that we can have days like this even if we don't go anywhere.  I'm going to try to build more interactive activities in our day.  You're a growing and developing little dude; the most simple things are great adventures to you.  Helping me cook, folding towels and splashing in puddles is high entertainment to you, and when you're occupied and engaged, that's less time for us to be pulling our hair out with each other as limits and patience get tested.

All too soon you'll be grown up and wanting to be with your friends and not your mommy, so I'm going to take advantage of that to the fullest.  As a friend of mine wrote about her two girls (close to your age, maybe a little older): you are both the ache in my head and the light in my life.  Even when we drive each other crazy, it's always based in love, and your Daddy and I are so in love with you.

Smooches and Hugs,

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