Ok, enough of the serious stuff. You'd think I spend my time worrying about a sick child or ruminating on the profound responsibility of motherhood.
The truth is that most of the time, I just laugh.
Because my baby? She's f-u-n-n-y.
At some point in our diligent efforts to teach Hadley to share, she learned the word "turn." So now when she wants her daddy or me to do something, she yells with glee, "Daddy's turn!" or "Mommy's turn!" It's her not-very-subtle way of trying to boss us around.
So Jason and I take turns doing all sorts of stuff, like cutting apples into slices and helping her put on her red rain boots so she can stomp around the house. But it's almost always "Mommy's turn" when it comes time to change a stinky diaper.
Today, the conversation went like this:
Jason: "Hadley, do you have poo-poos?"
Jason: "Hadley?" (With his best serious daddy face.)
Hadley: "Yup." Pause. She spinned toward me, threw open her arms, and yelled: "Mommy's turn!" Like I've just won the lottery. Jason puts a dime in her piggy bank every time it happens. She's going to be able to afford Harvard by the time she's 10. Too bad I'd never let her enroll there.
When she's not assigning "turns," she's maneuvering for "treats." Jason and I were chatting about the grocery list the other day while Hadley sat nearby, and he said to me, "Do you need anything else?" Just as I was getting ready to say no, Hadley piped up:
"Oh! Daddy?" She poked her first finger in the air, like a tiny British professor. "Treats. Yiddle." (That's "little" for those of you not living with an almost-two-year-old.) Jason laughed so hard, he nearly fell over--which just encourages her, of course. He came home with sorbet. Sucker.
From the annals of Rather Embarrassing, she calls men "guys" and identifies what they're doing, always prefaced by a little, almost inaudible "oh," as if she's mildly offended. Yesterday at the park, she pointed and said, "Oh, guy. Walking." At the grocery store, it was "Oh, guy. Talking. Phone." At the mall, "Oh, guy. Eating."
Of course, all women are mommies, and Hadley likes to review exactly who is a girl and who is a boy. "Daddy. Boy. Mommy. Girl. Hadley. GIRL!" (She's very excited about that one.) Then she goes through Mumsie and Granddaddy, Papa and Grandma, Auntie and Graham, and everyone else in her little world. She almost always gets them all right. How did she learn that?
I'm blown away by how quickly her imagination is growing. Her new favorite game is "lions coming." (Hadley so dubbed it.) As you might guess, we pretend that lions are coming to get us, so we have to run around the house like total maniacs and then hide in Mommy's bed or under a blanket on the couch. Then we have to go find the lions, tell them "no, no, lions," and then run away again. She absolutely must hide her toes from the lions. I thinks that's probably a good strategy and shows that she's a fabulous problem-solver. (How would you run away from lions if you didn't have toes?)
She sings all the time. Last night before bed, she was stuck on "Old MacDonald," which goes like this: "Oma Donut had a farm, E-I-E-I-O. On a farm, had some cows. Moo-moo here. Moo-moo here." Repeat. Forty-eight times. We know she's done when she yells, "Yea!" Then we have to clap.
I could regale you with 20 more tales of Hadley-isms. They happen faster than I can record them. (Seriously. Does any mother have time to record her child's early years in a baby book? If you're one of those moms, you're officially banished from this blog.)
I'm grateful for her quirky sense of humor and brilliant imagination. It is good to laugh because the stakes of motherhood are high. I do spend a lot of time thinking about how Hadley is growing and whether we're doing the right things, and what if she gets another infection, and when she says her eyes are itchy, does that mean the infection has spread, and why won't she eat meat or green beans, and will she ever stop hating having her hair washed, and what if something really awful happened to one of us? Because the stakes are high--so, so high. Motherhood is serious business.
Until we have to run away from the lions. Then, it's just plain fun.