Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Suffering, Joy and Artwork

I would say today was another trying day, except that at six minutes to nine it's not really over yet. Epu's upstairs trying to get Pebbles back to sleep after one of the now-nightly eruptions of chaos in the girls' bedroom, where (I think this is the order) Pebbles starts crying because of her teething pain and then Nutmeg starts screaming, "Pebbles isn't sleeping well!" until we give her permission to go sleep in our room.

Anyway, I'm sitting here feeling battered by the days events, such as the 6:45 a.m. tantrum that woke me up and included kicking and banging on my locked bedroom door, the kicked-in-the-stomach realization that Nutmeg's preschool was closed today, the baby who would not sit in the cart and Target but instead managed to stand and turn around no matter how tight I made the seatbelt, or the monumental tantrum outside the gym this afternoon after I had to wake Nutmeg from a carseat nap in order to fill my 4:30 p.m. volunteer shift.

Here's a self-portrait of the tantrummer:

See all the tears coming from her eyes?

So then this evening I read a blog post at Parenting.com complaining that current parents always try to spoil that excited, expectant time for parents-to-be by warning them that they'll never sleep again, never go out, never floss, etc. It made me think of this time when I was about 8 months pregnant with Nutmeg, and I hosted a party with a couple of other pregnant women. One of the guests was our friend Alli, who had given birth a few weeks before.

We were like boot-camp newbies, talking about how brave we were going to be in combat and what kind of guns we were going to get and what medals we hoped to earn. She was like, if not a battle-scarred colonel, at least a private back from her first tour of duty.

"I'm not gonna lie to you," she told us. "It's not easy." She described hours of pushing and even a suction attempt, only to have a C-section. She described weeks of round-the-clock pumping, bottlefeeding and nursing attempts before resorting to formula. Her baby was fussy.

We were a bit freaked, and maybe a little annoyed with her for raining on our parade.

But with her warning and other comments from more seasoned parents, I was actually surprised, especially in the first year, by how much joy was involved in parenting. No one had warned me how wonderful it is the first time your baby purposely wraps her arms around your neck in a hug (something Pebbles has been doing lately).

Or how much you will love your 3-year-old when she decides, on Super-Duper Tuesday no less, to remind all the shoppers in the entire Target that, "Si, se puede!" ("Yes, we can!") And then goes on to serenade said shoppers with "Away in the Manger," complete with the "I love the Lord Jesus, lalalalala," because that's the way Mommy taught her when Mommy couldn't remember one of the lines.

All that is especially funny coming from a kid in a household that speaks neither Spanish nor Church.

And then there was Nutmeg's artwork today, which I am sharing with you. She raised such hell at the gym about her unwillingness to go to the babysitting room that we ended up dropping the baby off there and I took her to my volunteer post in the computer room. There she behaved very well, quietly drawing.

This is the self-portrait along with a spider in the upper-right. Liberties were taken: She told me that she drew more than eight legs because she had to fill up the space all around the spider's body.

And this is Tucson, where we stayed for Auntie Bert's wedding last September. The large circle behind the cacti is our hotel casita, and the person inside it is her:

All images in this post are


Sara said...

Ah, "Si se puede"...I recognize that from Dora! :-)

And I laughed out loud at the "I love the Lord Jesus, lalalalala" song. Grace goes to a Lutheran day care, and she is teaching me all of the prayers and songs that I as a *good* Lutheran should know.

Bert said...

Aw! I love that she remembers the casita. It was pretty frickin' sweet. See you soon!

Love, Auntie Bert