Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Ohhhhh... Got it.

Had my second parent/teacher conference with Lily's teacher this morning.
Amazing how one conversation (or rather, two words) can clarify so much.

First Adolescence.

Like a therapeutic breakthrough.
For me.
Not that things will change, today, but it's as though I was gifted with supporting evidence that
this is Lily's World these days.

No Therefore I Am

is how her teacher described it. Apparently in class she's a great kid, a collaborator, and an imaginative spirit. But at home, while Lily isn't so heavy on the nos these days, she is all about asserting her independence in feisty ways which frustrate this Mama to no end.
Or should I say, exhaust.
And make me wonder, how did I get a teenager at age three?
She is an advanced Selective Listener.
She invites me into her world only to then ask me to go back to wherever I was.
And the I Need Privacy statement is every other request.

Last night she insisted on my not coming into the room while she dressed and washed for bed. Thankfully she washed first, and came into the living room smiling - looking as though she had just been on the Log Ride at Great America.
And the bathroom floor was ... puddled.

Go Mama, I need to get my pjs on.

Banished back to the living room.

And today when I asked what she thought she might want to do with her sitter Juliana this morning -

Go Downtown, she replied.

Pumpkin, I think you guys can stay in the neighborhood this morning.

First Adolescence.

"It's hard for them right now" Her teacher said "They're too old to be babies and too little to be with the big kids - so older kids are bothered by them and yet, that's where they want to fit in"

Made me want to laugh. Sing. Elbow Alan and smile over at him.


Apologies to Simone and Nolia. It is merely loving worship.

Which doesn't make our battles any easier but I can see my
Renegade Child
Wear the high heels.
Wear the three layers with vest with jacket with ski hat with three necklaces one glove and leggings over tights under layered skirts.
Meet me at the elevator.
Carry your own plate over the white shag rug.
Sing about "California Grass" (just lyrics...)

She insists after bathroom breaks in restaurants on meeting me back at the table.
"I will meet you there, Mama."
Even then, half way there, she'll turn around and freeze me with her hand.
Wait Mama, she commands, mouthing the words from a distance.

And so I do.

The other thing her teacher commented on was Lily's active imagination. She takes it everywhere.
It is one of my most favorite facets of her personality.
Even when she's away from the babies, the office, the kitchen/restaurant or doctor (yes, she now plays doctor) when she's playing with blocks, her buildings are an embellishment of her imaginary world.
The other night I heard her clapping and congratulating James and Jayna for mastering hula hoop floor rolls.
She's got good company, my girl, even when alone.
In Jamaica, when she spotted a far off cruise ship - she began shouting to James.
Come HERE! She yelled repeatedly into the horizon.

He came to shore.

I love my soulful, willful, creative, electric three year teen.

When Lily told me she played Doctor at school,
Oh, I said,
Were you sick Pumpkin?
No Mamaaaaaaaa, she smiled,
We were just pretendin'.

Note to self, just a phase.

And a cool one, at that.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Irie. Yeah. Irie.

Just back from Jamaica.

A yearly pilgrimage made even better this year by my brother and his kids, adding another layer of depth and beauty to a special, special place.

Upon arrival Lily, arms outstretched as though embracing the Round Hill universe, yelled and squealed with joy. She had been anticipating this return since our last visit and let's just say her

As does mine.

And with her cousins Addison and Simone, it was bliss.
She could hold hands with them on our walks to the beach, aspire to do all they could do in the pool, share burgers with them, paint rocks with them, look for mangos with them, pick flowers, collect shells and dance ~
The list goes on.

Repeated daily for a week.

Grandma in the mix too.
Even better.

And I got to ease into the island state of mind - daily conch fritters with my brother, talks on the shore from chairs planted in shallow water, afternoon teas with family - wet with salt water, and gritty sandy toes.

It is a joy to share parenthood with a sibling.

Bonfire evenings, raw reggae,
and a limbo too.

Lily's first.

Simone rocked it, and Lily surely made her limbo-star-dad proud.
Alan expertly navigated it in his day, even with pins and rods adding roots to his spine, he never lost his bend.

Quite proud of his limbo abilities, he was.


Good family time.

I am mastering the Irie state of mind, just takes a few days to melt into it.
Most easily practiced looking out over blue waters with enveloping rays and a Red Stripe in hand, kind smiles everywhere and marischino cherries atop every lemon freeze.
And children's laughter.
And "Aunt Susie look at this!!!"
And Mom!!! Look what I made!!
And the occasional Ninjago fact courtesy of An Expert.
And the soft jingle of hair beads.
And ceiling fan breezes.

Seaweed became bushes in a sand village, snails were left peacefully in their shells, and the ocean swayed us gently, even when a paddle boat drifted off course.
Cuba's not so far...


That's right.