Spring 2015.

My bulb of a daughter has most definitely reached up through the earth this spring, and is stretching taller than ever these days. How could we have known what was being cultivated inside that little mind this past winter? So much learning, so much growing, so much personality - both the good and the challenging, have blossomed.

Those most notable development is the explosion of language. In a matter of months Lucy has gone from single words, to four and five-word sentences. We have launched passed the "say this" phase and have slammed into the she now repeats everything phase. Literally everything. Homegirl is a parrot which has proven to be more than a slight hurdle for her potty-mouthed parents. Earlier this season, Lucy became frustrated with Olive, and in perfect context said, "Olive no, dammit." Needless to say, Big Red and I have been working to curb our less-than acceptable trucker vernacular. The other side to this language development has meant better communication on all fronts. Lucy is able to describe and ask for what she wants, which in turn helps everyone. There are fewer frustrations for all parties involved now that we can understand each other.

We are cautiously approaching potty training these days. A potty was purchased some time ago, and while Lucy sits on it regularly, not pottying in the potty has happened. There was one instance before bath time that she did in fact pee in the potty, but it hasn't happened since. Neither Big Red nor I have any desire to fast-forward this big step, and we're letting Lucy lead the way. She does let us know, with more consistency, when she's pooped in her diaper, but it stops there. The whole process is a bit mystifying, and just like the rest of this parenting gig, we're learning as we go...figuratively, and literally.

Some other highlights this past season included:

  • first official haircut
  • first trip to the Natural History Museum
  • managing the stairs, both up and down, on her own
  • the pacifier now stays in the crib for sleep times only
  • first trip to the Outer Banks, seeing the Atlantic Ocean
  • our first family photos thanks to Jessica Ferringer 

Our first family photo shoot was a huge success. I was nervous about giving control to someone else, as I knew exactly what I wanted. Jessica Ferringer hit it out of the park. We met her at Phipps Conservatory, and in just 45 minutes, she managed to capture some sweet moments of our little family. As a photographer, it's difficult to hand over the reigns, but there was no way I was going to be able to do this on my own. Setting up the camera on a tripod with a timer? I considered it, oh yes I did, but also realized it would just lead to a lot of frustration. This experience of being in front of the lens also gave me a new appreciation for the families that I work with, especially the ones with toddlers who may or may not cooperate at a moment's notice.

One of the sweetest developments this past spring has been Lucy learning to say, "I love you." Talk about melt-worthy mushiness. Oh my heart. I'm not sure if she entirely comprehends the meaning of the words, but I'm certain she knows they carry some lovely weight. For a spell, she'd only say, "I love you Daddy," and while it was incredibly charming to hear this, I would be lying if I didn't admit I was wishing for that kind of affection. And then it happened. Unprovoked and so monumental for this mama that I noted the date: May 23, 2015. It happened. I wuv you, mama. I died. I was reborn. I was healed. I was an explosion of love and emotion. And I'll never get enough of hearing it.

And while I was swooning in my daughter's love, I was also getting a very real lesson about Lucy as her own person. 

We spent this past week in the Outer Banks. Our first true family vacation. We had all the gear and were ready to spend our days splashing in our private pool and putting our feet in the ocean - that was, I was ready. Lucy had other plans. Day one, I strapped her floaty on, and we slowly made our way into the pool, but once the water hit her chest, she adamantly said, "No want it." Not much changed in the following days. My girl was content to sit at the rim of the pool, and splash the water with her feet - but that was as far as she went. She preferred the make-shift beach Big Red created for her with buckets of sand at the pool's edge. I was sad and had to revise my visions of us splashing in the pool for hours on end. It was a good check yourself moment. She is so much of Big Red and me, but this kid is definitely her own person. Last week was not the week for pool time. I suspect someday down the line she'll learn to enjoy splashing in a pool, but this vacation was not it. I have always loved the water, gravitated to it like a fish. My daughter will take a different approach, a more cautious one, and I have had to learn, quickly, to respect her wishes. 

My girl is growing some wings. She's asserting her independence - No hand, mama. I steps myself. It is both terrifying and amazing. Just as Lucy learns more and more, so do we. We are her safety net - but sometimes she falls and "bonks." I get it. It's all part of this parenting business, this letting go business. 

But don't be fooled - when this independent, self-assured little girl asks mama for "rock a baby" and "more shunshine, mama," I oblige. I pull my daughter into my lap, and in the quiet of her room, she leans her head against my chest, and we rock, and I sing to her, over and over again, "you are my sunshine, my only sunshine." It is in these moments that I realize, she's still so very much a seedling. My sweet Lucille still needs sunshine to grow, and I've got it for her.

All the shunshine in the world, my darling. 

1 comment:

TT said...

So truthful. Loved reading this Ilene-y:)