Saturday, April 03, 2010

Muddling through

(By the way, y'all don't let me forget to go plug up my iPod when I get finished typing this. It's battery died a couple days ago, and I keep forgetting. I really wanted to listed to some stuff on it at work yesterday, but had to resort to Pandora instead. Thanks!)

Am I the only parent who feels like she's muddling through raising her child? I mean, I knew before I had Anna Marie that they didn't come with instruction manuals, but jeez Louise, I think my child is a bit more difficult to understand than most.

For starters, she's both book smart (like me, ahem) and interested in a lot of other stuff. I can't wait to get to a couch somewhere and watch TV or read a book, but her first thoughts run to MOVING - especially basketball these days.

And artistic - I can't draw a straight line with a ruler, and neither can Jason. But I can't tell you how many times I walk into a room and she's got the floor covered in drawings of imaginary animals, cartoon characters, or (increasingly these days) horses. Yes, she's into horses! We, of course, don't have any horses, unless you count those three beasts who live in the backyard and take up a sizable portion of my bank account with their food and care.

(Have you PRICED heartworm meds lately? Oh my stars and garters. And we have three dogs!)

She's just so very different from me, and Jason, that if she wasn't his spitting image I'd think someone at the hospital gave me the wrong kid.

She really doesn't like to wear dresses, or anything that's not a baggy T-shirt and jeans, these days. We came to a compromise on her Easter outfit - a pretty blue capri and tank set, with a sweater to wear over it.

But I'm trying not to worry about it. I'm trying to tell myself that if she isn't over-sexualized at the age of 8 (like a LOT of girls her age are getting to be) then maybe I won't have so much of a struggle when she's a teenager. It's getting increasingly difficult to find modest, age-appropriate clothes for her in stores, so that T-shirt and jeans look may be working for her for a while to come.

Her legs are so long, I can't even really buy her shorts these days. I'd prefer that her little butt cheeks aren't hanging out the legs, thankyouverymuch. Thank God for capris!

I think I've mentioned before, I had kind of a hard time "bonding" with her. I didn't feel that overwhelming rush of love when she was born, and because her stomach needed to be pumped immediately, she was whisked away to the nursery just about as soon as I gave birth. Breastfeeding was extremely difficult, and while I did it for three months, I'm not sure it helped us connect because it was so hard. She's never been a "momma's girl." Or a "daddy's girl" for that matter. She's more like a "gramma's girl," because my mom is the one she's most attached to.

But as she gets older, I'm starting to be thankful for the little moments we have together. We spend most every Thursday night alone, because Jason is at praise team practice at church. I try to make that time special.

She's recently become interested in lip gloss, of all things. Which is good, because she has very chapped lips most of the time and I can't get her to use Chapstick!

Monday night, we went shopping to find her some Easter shoes and me an outfit. We were in Dress Barn, and she was helping me pick out things to try on. And she asked me to wear something blue so we'd match! I probably could've found something to wear that night that wasn't blue, and told her that she was being silly - but considering the nature of our relationship so far, her request seemed like a HUGE thing to me.

So I found a blue shirt to wear, even if I have to wear a pair of pants I already own. Because that didn't seem like too much for my daughter, my only child, to ask of me this year.

A kid who asks, "Who wants to go to church looking sloppy on Easter," and then follows up with "But what if you went to church in a costume looking like a cross? What about that, mom?"

Muddling through - I guess we all do it from time to time in our children's lives.

And it looks like this weekend, we'll be doing our muddling in baby blue.


superpaige said...

So sweet. I have a hard time figuring my kids out, too. That's the nature of kids.

Melissa said...

And you have so many more to figure out than I do! I don't know how you do it!

Wendster said...

You know, I'm really glad you shared this post. It makes me feel like someone can relate to where I am at with my son. OH ... and I've "renamed him" Basil ... rather than Tristan ... since I took my blog public. I don't know ... I thought I might be able to blog more freely if I had fake names on my blog. So far it isn't helping much. LOL. I tend to worry about the slight I will cause to *some imagined reader* ... I try to speak my mind, though.

With "Basil" I KNOW I love him and he's wonderful ... but at times I have a hard time connecting with him because he looks SO like his father and ... his father has issues that repel me in a powerful way. So when I see him I see his dad ... and then I feel guilty as all get out for not JUST accepting him and not being able to ignore that he looks like his father. Which sometimes I do ignore.

It's also hard to connect with him because he isn't the cuddly type. Well ... he's cuddly with his dad ... but not with me. Don't touch my ears. Don't touch me. Don't touch my hair. Which makes me feel rejected and I react to that a bit. Isn't that awful? Perhaps we all have our different little reasons for having a hard time bonding with some of our kids.

Sorry to blather on. You just struck a chord with me is all.

Hang in there! I had a hard time bonding with Becca and now I totally adore her, inside and out. And Basil and I are making progress.

Melissa said...

Ladies, after I wrote this post I struggled - really struggled - because I thought it made me sound like such a horrible, depressed mother. And I'm really not! I think sometimes God gives us kids who are very different from us, because it helps refine us into who He wants us to be!

(I should be smooth as silk by now, don't you think?)