Spending all day with my sweet little girl it’s impossible to give her undivided attention all the time. It would be lovely to just get to play nanny and focus only on her, unfortunately I have to play housekeeper, cook, chauffeur, and house manager cohesively. This conflict of roles lends it’s self to many hits and misses as far as connections we get to have as mother and daughter thoughout the day.
We both have times when we deny each other’s affections, when the opposite is fulfilled by a task. Like this morning while she ate her breakfast I began preparing a crafting collage until she finished eating and promptly decided she needed to be sitting in my lap. I held her off with distractions in her own chair as long as I could and somehow she ended up crawling her way back into my lap, blinding my efforts with scissors and paper with her curly brown locks. Eventually I gave in and assumed the project would have to wait. We pulled down the Play-Doh for her to roll and press shapes, this time it was her brushing mommy’s affection. It’s just so hard for me to resist her enthusiastic smile and positive energy, I want to swoop in to her kissable cheeks and savor the moment. And as if she suddenly incarnates a “too cool for parents” teenaged attitude her shoulder comes up to block her cheek – too busy for a kiss right now.
Those moments of craving attention are frequently coorelated with times of being tired or hungry, and when this is the case there is lot of whining involved. My response to the whining is encouragement for her to use her words, and when that doesn’t seem to make an impact I tell her I think she might be tired and needing a nap. This technique usually works since naps are the enemy and she would never volunteer herself for one. Except since this has been my response to her whining, she has begun beating me to the punch. She informs me: “I’m going to take a nap,” when I have repeatidly told her I can’t hold her while I am cooking. She doesn’t actually take a nap though, she just leaves for a minute and usually brings back a toy from her room.
I have to learn to not be hard on myself about the misses. I can’t entertain, hold, clean and fix everything for her and I have to be okay with her being upset about that sometimes. It makes it easier to accept the rough parts of the days when there are so many hits of the days to look back on and appreciate.
The mornings we stay extra long in bed pulling the covers over our heads to play with a flashlight. Dancing in our living room for hours on end stomping, twirling and shaking with laughter and songs. And closing each day with reading books, snuggles and kisses. There are so many moments when it’s just me and Parker, when I am completely present with her. In those moments she heals me from the chaos of life, problems in the world and the grown up worries which consume my mind most other waking hours of the day. For now though, I had better go finish my collage while she takes her nap.