Saturday, September 29, 2007

Easy, Breezy, Beautiful Elle Girl

Elle will be turning two soon. It seems that someone has clued her in to the fact that she's supposed to start being terrible now. She really is trying her best. She'll throw herself down on the floor and shriek "Noooooooooo!" for no reason at all. Then she'll lay there very quietly and watch to see what my reaction will be. Poor thing, she doesn't know what she's up against.

She doesn't know that there is nothing she can throw at me that I haven't already seen 100 times over. She doesn't know that living with Joseph for the past 7 years has prepared me for tantrums, melt-downs, over-reactions and general moodiness of all kinds. I don't think she'll be able to phase me at all.

You see, Elle is my refresher child. When I've had a really rough day with Joseph and he's got me ready to tear my hair out and scream "I can't do this anymore!" I just have to spend a little time with Elle to remind myself that hey, I can do this and I'm really not half bad at this mothering thing. Elle recharges me.

Where Joseph is difficult, Elle is very, very easy. Unless we're having pizza, mealtime with Joseph is always an ordeal. He whines, he cries, he has to leave the table several times, he often only ends up eating two or three bites total. Elle is always eager to try whatever I put in front of her. Often she's right there next to me when I'm cooking, demanding a taste of whatever I'm working on. Whatever I serve he she tries and then says "Yummy!" and asks for me.

Joseph is very difficult to put to bed. Either Jesse or I has to stay with him until he falls asleep. Once he's asleep he doesn't stay asleep. He wakes up several times a night to come into our bed and when we put him back we have to stay with him until he falls back asleep. Again. Whe he wakes up in the mornign he is an absolute bear, almost impossible to deal with. Elle is happy to lay down in her crib after he bedtime stories. She snuggles in with her baby dolls and we don't hear another peep out of her for 12 hours. When she wakes up and I go in to get her she greets me with a big smile and sasy "Hi sweetie!"

Joseph doesn't like affection. He won't hug or kiss or snuggle on his own. He'll do it when we ask him to but spontaneous affection is almost unheard of with him. Joseph will never greet anyone with a hug or a kiss or even a "hello" unless you remind him to. (Although to be fair, he is very verbally affectionate. He tells us he loves us all the time. Just out of the blue he'll say things like "I like you. I'm glad you're my mom".) Elle loves to snuggle and kiss and hug. When you walk in the door she'll run to greet you and hug your legs as hard as she can.

It goes on and on and on. The cold hard fact is that Elle is a really, really, easy kid and Joseph is ..... well, not as easy. Oh, don't get me wrong. He's worth it, he's more than worth it. But he has taught me well. I no longer fear the terrible twos because I have lived the terrible sevens, and sixes, and fives and fours.

So Elle my girl, do your worst. You're little attempts to get a reaction out of me are as welcomed as a cool breeze on a warm summer day. I have lived through seven years of Hurricane Joseph and I have lived to tell the tales. "Noooooo!" doesn't scare me anymore.

(I hope this doesn't come off like I'm trashing Joseph. In truth there are a lot of times when parenting Joseph is hard and tiring and frustrating. But those moments are far out-weighed by the ones that are lovely and sweet and lout-out-loud funny and weak-in-the-knees wonderful.)

1 comment:

Oh, The Joys said...

She is no match for you!