Tuesday, February 8, 2011

You Don't Know Her Like I Do....

There are moments in motherhood when you feel judged.  Moments when you feel the condescending stares from complete strangers in the parking lot of Target while a little one throws a fit over sitting in her car seat.  There are moments when you feel like you have no idea what you are doing, moments when you just don't know how to fix it.   Moments of helplessness and inadequacy.  Well, that is my experience anyway. 

Dear Chloe Belle,
In the wake of the Superbowl party, I need to let you know that I understand.  And, while I don't necessarily condone your behavior....I get you. 

From the moment you could control your arms & legs with purpose, you have expressed your will.  You have always been protective of your own space, and quick to cry with displeasure when strangers would peer into your bucket car seat for a glimpse of your baby face.  You never did like being looked at by people who were foreign to you.  That hasn't changed.  Now that you are older you will swat in displeasure from the doting gaze of a stranger and say "No" which is your own version of "Stop looking at me."  You will repeat this over and over until they finally look away, or until your attention is shifted. 

For the past 12 months or so, Sissy has been yanking toys out of your chubby hands whenever she feels like it.  Until recently, you let her, because you didn't have a concept of "mine."  Well, now you do.  Now, you are fiercely protective of what is yours.  You don't share Baby, you don't share anything related to baby, her stroller, or her blankie, and I understand that.  You've been conditioned that way...it comes with the territory of being a sibling, of protecting what's yours, staking your territory, and standing your ground.  It sometimes comes to pushing & shoving, and the dreaded hair pulling to keep what's yours, yours, and I cringe.  I remind you to use gentle hands.  I put you in time-out.  But, I understand. 

Last Sunday at the football party, I hellicoptered over you the entire evening.  I did my best to protect unsuspecting Littles who ventured too close to your stroller, or your baby from meeting your flailing arms.  I hung my head, when you pushed.  After 3 hours of this exhausting following and cautioning, I had finally had enough.  As we drove home that night we talked about Camdyn's great behavior and manners, and how you struggled, and I cried.

I found myself wishing that strangers could know you like I do. 

That they could see the sugar in your soul, that lies underneath the fire in your eyes.  That they could see how you are content to sit on Momma's lap for 30 minutes just to rock and snuggle; how you stroke my hair gently and often plant kisses on my cheeks without prompting.

They don't know you like I do.

How you hug your sissy, just because, and insist on kissing her before you go to bed.  I wish they could see how you share your afternoon snack with your friends at the park, and how you laugh and giggle until I think your belly will explode. 

They don't know you like I do.

Dec 2010_0210

And I marvel at the fact that you are wired completely opposite of me, and I wouldn't change it.  I often feel like a walking doormat.  I'm that girl that could never shout out an answer in class because I didn't have the voice.  I'm that girl that can't express frustration and displeasure because I'm afraid of hurting someone else's feelings.  I verbally choke when it comes to confrontration.  I don't want that for you. 

I want you to take that voice that I've been writing about for months and use it.  I want you to keep speaking up even if it offends, or rubs people the wrong way.  I want you to stand up for what is yours, what you believe in, and speak what's on your mind.  So, while I'm anxious for you to find those words so that the hitting, pushing, and hair pulling will stop, I don't want you to stop expressing.  I don't want you to stop being you.  I want for you to be the out-spoken and boisterous woman that I am not.

I want you to keep being you no matter what the world thinks. 

And I'll keep loving the sugar that is your soul.
Love you Forever & Always,


Kim ~ One Nutty Mama said...

That was beautiful in a way that a mother can truly understand. I love that her strong behavior although can frustrate you still leaves you with a sense of pride at the person she is. Beautiful little girl and beautifully put.


Britt said...

This is just beautiful!

Rochelle@AFamilyofLooneys said...

Awwww Carol I am that girl that had no voice. To this day I hate conflict. I know what you are going through. I have been judge also. So many times my little girl threw fits and people would give me that look.
Thank you for your blog. So many times when you have made a post I think "I know how she feels".

Nessa said...

tears - amazing.

Mama Hen said...

Oh Carol, we moms know. We know about the feeling judged in the parking lot or at the store. People always feel the need to give a look or even make a comment. It is not easy to be a little one with so many changes going on all the time. You are an amazing mommy my friend. This post is beautiful! Have a great day!

Mama Hen

LeeAnn said...

Awww. I *almost* cried, but I held back. Miracle? LOL

To me, this is such a hard age. Chloe obviously know what she wants, and how she feels, but she just doesn't have the words to express it, so she has to do it in other ways. I would hope that your mom friends understand that, and don't judge you. I certainly wouldn't. She has that Type A personality (I have one, and maybe even two of those) and she will go far in life. It doesn't sound like she will ever be a "doormat". She'll get those words soon!

Sassy said...

Awww Carol...what a great tribute to your daughter! When she is older and reads this she is going to know exactly how much you love her and how proud you are of her!

Truly amazing post!

Michelle & Jimmy Rivas said...

Carol, this is a beautiful letter to your daughter. Like all of our little ones, Chloe is learning and she will have her words soon enough so that she can better express herself....That's a beautiful picture of her too!

Cat said...

Agreed, this is beautiful. Definitely keep it for her to one day read. And a big hug to you! Other moms do understand and do know and should never judge.

Anonymous said...

Am I allowed to comment even though I'm not a Mom? I know I don't "get it" because I don't have kids, but what I do know is that you are doing the very best you can! I was exhausted just watching you put out fires before they could start as you chased little Chloe around! And why didn't you tell me her "words" as we were playing our "No" game! LOL That makes a little more sense now! Haha! Cam! I am so glad you mentioned her awesome behavior at the start of this post because it WAS! She was so happy coloring and playing! Great post and letter to Chloe. She sure is going to love reading this when she is older!

Liz said...

I'm sorry that the party wasn't as fun for you as it could have been. :( I hope you know, that of all people, I sure do know that sweet side of Chloe. I love that little girl!

I'm not sure why all the Littles go for Chloe's baby, stroller, or blankie but it's like they know it's off limits. Abby must like the thrill of trying to snatch it up. LOL. Who knows!

I'm sure Chloe will grow out of this stage and with words, she'll be able to communicate exactly what she wants or needs. :)

I love ya - you are doing a great job and you are one good Mama!

Ashley said...

Aww I know how you feel. You are an awesome mama to support your little girl!

TV's Take said...

What a touching post. I feel like this often; wishing the world could see the sweeter, kinder KLV. Sometimes they see the very strong willed, very independent girl but I have a feeling she'll have no time for them. Your doing great mama

Gretchen said...

This is so beautiful! I especially love "And I'll keep loving the sugar that is your soul."