Resisting the idea of a bath last night: “Already all clean!” while swiping a hand across her chest.
On passing a yellow car on the road to work this morning: “Mo yayo ‘side mama A’ya”
Resisting my offer of avocado or other food: “Date! Mo Date!”
Colouring in her colouring book last night: “I do boo feet! I do red feet!”
Saturday morning, baby and I met my parents at 7:50 in the morning to pick blueberries. It’s the third year baby has been to this spot to pick berries.
The first year, I was pregnant, getting ready for mat leave, and tired. I was also looking ahead to a winter of smoothies, and couldn’t fathom paying for packaged frozen berries. I pushed myself out there for a few picking sessions, seeing the deep squats as preparation for birth and filling my bucket with super-sized blue bliss.
The second year, I was on leave and had amazing baby with me. I tried it once on my own, chasing after crawling baby, and also went with my parents and husband on various occasions. When she got to the bushes, she would grab whatever she could get – blue, green, purple, didn’t matter. We took turns looking after baby and feeding her berries.
This year, baby has already learned how to pick berries on the three bushes we have in our yard. Husband taught her how to pick purple berries (my preference is for slightly riper berries than hubby!) and to avoid the “neen” ones. I thought she might go crazy, running up and down the aisles, but she stuck right by us. She picked some berries, but also enjoyed creeping between the bushes and visiting with a lovely older woman slightly down the row.
So many great things about berry picking. The gorgeous setting, on the hills looking over the valley. The amazing delicious organic berries. Intergenerational family bonding, as baby, grandparents and I pick, talk and keep track of wandering baby. Knowing that we’re gathering healthy food to nourish us over the next year. The conversations that arise as you’re absorbed in the search for blue dots among the bushes. Overhearing the diversity of other people similarly catching up and connecting about their different lives. Knowing that we’re all together in this elemental task that is linked to survival and transcends work and labour.
When I was young I liked to read comics. My favourites were Peanuts – I must have had 50 – 100, and I read them repeatedly. I think the appeal was escaping into a contained, idealized world where the seasons rolled round regularly, there was community, people played together, worked together and did identifiable fun things (set up lemonade stands; played pretend; played baseball).
When I was back home in my 30s I was trying to downsize and looked through the comics again. This time I found them a bit sad, mainly with the treatment of Charlie Brown. I passed them on to a friend with kids who loved comics: 2+ boxes of Peanuts, Wizard of Id, BC, Tumbleweeds … aaah, the memories!
I stopped by a second hand store yesterday and as I dashed through, saw one of the old Peanuts comic books. I couldn’t resist, and it came home with us (the most expensive item out of the $1.10 I spent there, at 50 cents!). I bought it for myself, out of nostalgia, but baby wanted to look at it in the car. I read a few strips to her, and she laughed. Laughed! she loved it. Once home, she asked me to read it to her again, and she continued to crack up at the punchlines and pictures.
I’ll be getting more for her, though I’m already editing the dialogue (too much stupid and dumb). And, more for me, as I relish this nostalgic trip.
“Fine me, fine me!” baby was asking for a few days before I figured out she wanted to play hide and seek.
She runs into one of her favourite corners of the room and stands, back to the wall, a shy, proud, excited smile on her face. I wander the basement, calling her name and rattling various parts and doors as I call out her name and wonder where she is. Then I turn to her, my eyes open wide, and I call her name. A massive smile cracks her face, and she races towards me for a full body hug. Thud!
Then, back to the corner. “More hide! Fine me!”
The other day my daughter was a bit grumpy because she dropped her straw in the potty and I insisted we had to throw it out (they may be low, but I have standards).
Potty took so long that I forgot the warming peanut butter toast in the toaster oven – oops! Too hot, and too hard. Baby didn’t want to eat it.
Genius moment! I dipped the toast (dip dip?) into her left-over tea from this morning. Cooling and softening action at work, the snack was then palatable and gulped down by baby, who loves to dip-dip anything.
Also file under: eco-parent of the year award.
Wow, what an amazing baby day. Okay, I was near my edge a couple of times when she dumped out her food and it took over an hour to leave the house … but a full day of intense time with her leaves me loving her more and more, and feeling more fully in the role of mom.
We woke up and had a big pee on the potty (yay for smiling wake-ups!), played around home, then went for a long walk, library playtime (where we caught storytime and I ran into a friend – nice!), and a picnic/playtime outside.
Home with sleeping baby, I finished marking an assignment, cleaned the kitchen and started dinner. Then we played more and more, read books, went on the potty lots (aside from 2 definite misses), had a wonderful grooming session in the bathroom (washed her feet in the sink, cut her nails while she “filed” them, washed her face, brushed teeth, and finally, chapstick and cream on her lips), read and played in the bedroom, diapers on her babies, and finally sleep, with lots and lots of holding her long growing little-girl body close and stroking her hair.
I don’t appreciate enough the blessing of being a mom and having time with my amazing daughter. For today, I’m grateful.
I’ve been thinking about the work I do and the things I fantasize about, and how they do and don’t line up, and whether they should. I don’t think they need to.
As evidenced by what I write and read about, I am passionate about: decluttering; personal finance; how amazing my baby is; breastfeeding and natural childbirth; home organization and decorating tips; writing and planning to write; travel stories; love stories, marriage and family life; and things that make me laugh.
I’m attracted to, fascinated by and care about: social justice; human rights; social change; environmental issues; biblical and other old history; efficiency and improving work performance; gardening.
I wish I cared more about: health; fitness; municipal issues; menu planning; true eco living; spirituality (can’t believe it didn’t make the lists above! It’s an ongoing theme and I care, but I’m not reading much about it lately).
Any of this could change at any time, of course. I find the tension and guilt come in when things that I could/should be passionate about are things I simply am not, and I keep trying to push myself to make them priorities. Some need to be (GF diets in our house, feeding our daughter better) and others, I can let go (photography. I used to love doing it, though not well, but now I just can’t find the time).