It seems like it’s been awhile since I’ve written about Eliza. Probably because she’s been healthy since Christmas. When Eliza is healthy, she’s Eliza – fun, easy-going, into everything, bright, little Eliza.
However, Eliza is a force. A very powerful force. We are not used to this and although at first I wasn’t sure if our quiet house was able to adjust to this pint sized tornado, it has become more and more amusing each week.
Well, not amusing when she wrote in permanent ink all over one of our Swedish (not IKEA), 1960′s dining room chair. Not amusing when she holds up her glass, looks at me, says “No!” and then proceeds to pour it all over the table. Not amusing when she wakes up in the middle of the night not to drink milk, not to be cuddled, not because she’s in pain, cold, scared… but because she wants to talk to you and dammit, you must answer back (as I lay on the floor, mumbling, “Please stop talking, please go to sleep, please… Mommy needs to…zzzzzzzzzzzz”
“WAKE UP, MOMMY!”
Sorry, wasn’t I saying that she was a bright, shining star?
Of course, I was.
The little darling.
Aside from the glaringly obvious statement that my two children are total opposites, we are really and truly experiencing another being in this house. Someone told me less than a month after Eliza was born that I was lucky to have my second child a girl because they were so much easier as toddlers. As well, by the time they reached the age of a teenager, I would be a practiced mother with Franklin.
And to that I say, “HA!”
We are in the full swing of The Terrible Two’s over here and she doesn’t turn two for another bloody month.
I know what this is. This is fate. This is karma. I tried my best not to be a judgmental mother when Franklin was little but when your first born is a gentle little lamb that prefers to quietly run his trains over his track than run away from you eating play dough, you tend to think you might have some degree of parenting skill. Not so.
My friend Hayley has a spirited child. I think he’s probably one of the cutest, most loving characters I’ll ever meet. I love him to bits but when he was young, he tortured Franklin. He (God forbid!) purposely placed a giraffe on Franklin’s train track – over and over and over again. He Upset The Balance Of the Trains. It was horrifying to a 3 year old Franklin who only wanted everything to be correctly ordered. I couldn’t understand why a child would want to do this to another child.
Now I see it happen all the time.
And I see the glee…
I also get to experience the limp noodle of protest, the scream of torture in public, the demand of particular outfits/juice containers/method of helmet fastening. I have been put in my place. By my not quite two year old girl.
Dickson and I talked about this tonight and I think my memory of Franklin may possibility be a little more rosy than actual fact. Franklin was our world and I was determined not to spoil him. However, he was also our world and I catered to his every need before he even anticipated it. He was never tired or hungry in the store. He was on a very consistent schedule. He was never left to his own devices unsupervised for longer than 30 seconds. He also always knew the drill and I never wavered from my decisions.
All of those things are recipes in disaster for a toddler if done only half-assed. That said, hind-sight is always twenty twenty and no one taught Eliza the wet noodle of protest but us. For instance, who let her ride her tricycle to school today and then had to suffer through an excruciating wander up the hill after dropping off Franklin because “someone” felt like walking? Me. I can’t get mad at Eliza for this behaviour. It’s all me and my seemingly weak spine when it comes to this kid.
But this chaos we are living? The one with occasional over-tiredness, compromising schedules and opportunities for sneaky destruction? The one that seems to choose fewer and fewer battles to fight? This chaos is merely a fact around here these days and to tell you the truth, I wouldn’t really want it to change back to our ordered existence for anything.