Friday, December 10, 2010

my dearest catherine,

(Note: I find that in order to assauge my anxiety of sounding like a bad mom, I must address my daughter directly in this post. Otherwise, it might sound like I'm criticizing her in the public eye when I'm really just recording these antecdotes for posterity's sake. It's kind of like when Southern women say "Bless her heart" and then launch into a string of insults. It's just to make themselves feel better. Thus, I begin this post: Bless her heart...and mine.)

My dearest Catherine,

You know I love you with all that I have. And it's a good thing that you're cute as can be because sometimes I think Clive could have better luck raising you than I have so far. Now, at 20 months of age, your vocabulary is growing at an amazing rate. Still, one of your clearest and most oft-used words is "NO!" Athough you have the ability to say it sweetly, you more often scream it, and even accompany it by thrusting your fist into my chest, digging your nails into Dad's face, or even an occastional chomp of the teeth.

However, one night you chose an even more creative way to say "no."
You only eat cheese and bread. I'm beginning to give up on veggies altogether, but one night I, in some burst of misguided optimisim, thought you might try a potato. C'mon, I thought, it's not even that good for you. Surely you'll like it. I made some potato soup and fixed you a bowl. You greeted my bowl of homemade soup with gagging noises. Spiteful child.

I, of course, am not perfect either, and I went into full-mom mode. "Well, you can eat this, or go without dinner!" I declared. I lasted through about an hour of your screamy, whiny, grumpiness before I gave in and made you some chicken nuggets. ("But she is NOT getting cheese!" I told your dad.)

Another adventure we've had lately occured at our first night at a new Bible study. We were going to a house we had never been to before, full of people we had only met once. It's safe to say that I was a little apprehensive about taking you; I even said so to Dad in the car on the way. Turns out, my apprehension was totally validated. We weren't there a full half-hour before you vomited on their carpet. Then you terrorized their old, blind dog. (In your defense, you were just playing. You love dogs. You love them loudly and aggressively.) Then, when the teaching began, you ran back and forth accross the living room, hollering triumphantly and occasionally stealing another boy's football.

You've taken to refusing to wear pants in the morning. You're very particular about your shoes. I had to hide your white sandals that are a size too small because you keep insisting on wearing them even though it's the middle of December. You sometimes even get angry with me when I put on my shoes, for no apparent reason.

Just today in the bath, you narrowed your eyes at me, placed a full cup of water on the edge of the bathtub and slowly inched it toward me in an attempt to spill it in my lap.

My dearest Catherine, you are a handful, and sometimes I think it is all a campaign for you to be our only child. Still, you definitely have your sweet moments. Although you have stopped giving us kisses, you make the cutest face when you are giving rapid-fire fist bumps. You insist on taking Clive for walks, and you and I had the best time in a mid-kitchen empty coke bottle sword fight. When you lay your head on our shoulders, it absolutely melts us. You demand that the three of us hold hands and dance around to Katy Perry. And your giggle is my favorite sound in the whole world.

I love everything about you,