Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Dear Kaden,

Today you are twenty months and six days old.  Not what one might call a traditional milestone birthday.  There is no special doctor's visit today, we aren't having a party, and there is no lit candle eagerly waiting for you to blow it out.  Today was one of those days when I stop and stare at you, in awe that you are getting so grown up, changing so much every day.   

We went to the library today for story time, only as soon as we rushed into the library (five minutes late because I had to convince you to leave Cougar-your giant pillow pet-in the car), I noticed the quiet.  The library, even though it is always meant to be a place of quiet, is not quiet during toddler time.  And then I realized today is Tuesday and story time moved to Wednesdays now that it is Spring.  You ran up and down the stairs in the story time room, completely unfazed by my mistake, while I scooped up a pile of books.  You climbed into one of the little chairs at one of the little tables, and I thought we were going to share a delightful story time of our own.  Only then you threw a massive temper tantrum, for a reason that is still unclear to me.  So our pile of books stayed on the table, and you were carried back to the car, the sentiment, "NO!  Books!!!" reverberating through the otherwise still library, while I told you there would be no new books to bring home today, because you had chosen to behave badly. 

In the car, you said sorry, and we struck a deal.  If you could behave nicely at the post office, then you could still go to the park on the way home, the one with the shoot ball and the dinosaur slide.  When I asked if you could behave at the post office you said, "Yes!" and so to the post office we went.  While we were there, you drank an entire sippy cup of apple juice and pretended to be bashful, burying your face in my shoulder while the lady behind the counter helped me send peanut butter to Brazil.  It's a tricky thing, mailing peanut butter to South America, but you were a dream child the entire time.  And so, since you kept up your end of the bargain, I kept mine.

The park was almost empty when we got there, except for two rambunctious boys.  You stared at them with wonder, while they slid down the slide head first and jumped from the top of the jungle gym.  You explored and climbed and went down the biggest slide in my lap, like you always do, and suddenly you were climbing to the big slide on your own, a very adamant, "No! No! NO!" being the answer when I asked if you wanted me to come, too.  And then, there you were, standing at the top of a slide that suddenly looked as tall as a skyscraper, with me at the bottom fighting the urge to climb up and stop you.  And then, just as suddenly, there you were, sitting at the top of the slide and counting, "Two! Two! Two!" (because, even though I always count, "One, two, three!" before you slide, two is the only number you say).  And then, there you were, laughing at the bottom of the slide, your little blond head thrown back in a huge chuckle, because you had done something great all by yourself.

Today, when you are only twenty months and six days old, I realize that motherhood is full of tiny goodbyes.  As you have grown older I've said goodbye to so many things already:  the tiny clothes you wore home from the hospital, nursing you in the middle of the night, that fat roll on your wrist that I cried over when I realized it was no longer there.  I love watching you grow, Kaden Cub.  Even though goodbyes are hard, I am so thankful I get to be there for every hello, too.  Today, you said, "Hello, Big Slide, I am big enough and brave enough to play with you."  Who knows what hello I will get to witness tomorrow.

I love you.


Thursday, April 05, 2012

While Eating a Lime-Glazed Coconut Banana Muffin

Kaden:  "No, no!"

He then hands me a single strand of coconut from the top of his muffin.

A couple of bites later.

Kaden:  "No, no!"

Another strand of coconut is banned from the sight of Master Reese.

Me:  "I hate to break it to you, kid, but there was a lot of coconut INSIDE that muffin that you ate unknowingly . . . just sayin'."

Would any of you like to come over and help me eat the 2 dozen muffins still cooling on the counter?

Too far away?

Try the recipe here.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Books! Books, Mama! I Need Books!

This is what Kaden has woken up saying the last few mornings, and I've got to say, I couldn't agree with his sentiment more.  Of course, when he says this, it sounds more like, "I neeee books!"  Just like when he says "I read books," it sounds more like, "I reeeeee books!"  It does my English-teacher heart proud to hear him say this; I'm not going to lie. 

I need books, too.  It's just part of who I am.  When I have nothing to read, I feel this sense of anxiety, like something is terribly wrong.  Something is missing.

I just finished reading Sarah's Key.  Today.  While Kaden was napping.  When I should have been doing laundry.  Don't judge me

Did you know they made a movie based on this book?  I had no idea.  Where have I been?

I don't know if I will ever see it.  The book was so tragically sad, that I don't know if I can handle two hours of reliving it on film.

My journey through The Thirteenth Tale, which was my most recent read before embarking on the guilt-fest The Science of Parenting (do NOT read this book if you have ever let your child cry), reminded me a lot of my experience with Sarah's Key.  I got swept up in both stories and couldn't put them down, but was kind of left voicing an anti-climactic, "Huh" at the end of each. 

I'm looking for a new book.  Something that won't make me feel like a terrible mother. (Although when I got to the chapter in the aforementioned book that said you should disregard the commonly accepted advice not to sleep with your infant, because even a newborn baby would not let itself be suffocated, I stopped reading and felt a heck of a lot better about myself.  Suddenly, the text had lost some serious credibility with me.  My favorite part of this chapter was when they said to make sure you were in a well-rested alert state when sleeping with an infant.  HA!  Who is well-rested and alert while caring for a newborn in the middle of the night?  The times I did fall asleep while rocking Kaden, I was a sleep-deprived MESS!)

Anyway, back to the book search.  Any suggestions?
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