Wednesday, May 25, 2011

If You Can't Beat Them....Join Them.

The sound of Ladybug repeating “Dad” started at 5am and lasted until I finally rolled myself out of bed at 6am for our morning feeding. I flipped aimlessly through the TV channels hoping for something entertaining. On a typical Saturday morning we'd have both girls fighting for space in our bed while Bean watched early morning cartoons. Today was different. Bean was gone as she had spent the night at her Mamo and Papo's house {nicknamed by Bean – these are my parents} and Brett was out of town for work. I turned the TV off in disappointment. I wondered if she would be awake already, describing to Mamo her cupcake and cookies dream she claims to have nightly. The morning came and went with no phone call. I decided to be strong and just let it go. Besides, I knew she was in good care so I may as well enjoy my alone time with the Ladybug.

The day was slow, actually sort of boring without my talker around. I had forgotten what it was like to only hear myself talk with an occasional grunt, “mama and dad”, and screams for a response. I kept looking at my watch as the minute hand seemed to never rotate. I'd look down at my watch, then up at the clock as if I were an eager child waiting for the school bell to ring....wait..... something had moved....LADYBUG! One second, or minute I should say, she was sitting next to me and obviously a few minutes had passed because she was already a few feet away from me! She had started to crawl! Her left knee was firmly down on the ground, her right knee up in the air, and her right foot was the motor helping her to push off the ground. The crooked crawl, I like to call it. I immediately jumped to my feet, started to scream, and ran to her side. This reaction made her cry. As I tried to calm her with my laughing kisses, the phone rang. They were finally back home and at the front door.

After retelling the crawling story to Mamo we sat down for some “show off” time. I couldn't stop praising Ladybug. Bean retreated to the sofa and started to suck her thumb as Ladybug followed and began to cry when she couldn't figure out how to pull up on the sofa.

“Etta, let's lay off the thumb sweetie”, I said nonchalantly while peering out of the corner of my eyes.

“I'm tired of playing this, don't tell me that. I'm tired of this game”, she snapped.

“Etta, I need you to lay off”, I said in retaliation.

She looked at me, mouth wide open in shock, thumb dripping with saliva....”I'M ONLY 2 yrs old! I don't understand things! I don't know what you are talking about!”, she yelled then started to suck her thumb even harder, as if to actually believe her own statement.

She was upset and jealous. She was used to getting all of the attention and wasn't used to her little sister being in the spotlight. I took her hand and pulled her next to her easel in our living room. “Hey, I bet you forgot to show Mamo how you can draw a quatrefoil”, I reminded her. Her eyes grew bigger with excitement as she jumped off the sofa and ran toward the easel and started to draw. Ladybug crookedly scooted as fast as her little knee could take her and nearly sat on top of Bean's foot. “Perfect!”, I said while giving her a big hug with one arm and patting Ladybug on the back with the other. I continued to praise both of them namelessly as Bean mastered the backwards crab walk across the living room with Ladybug following at her toes.

The praises continued as we had a remarkably perfect dinner. Both girls ate everything presented to them. Not one substitute or alternative menu option was requested. After finishing dinner I kindly requested a little clean up help before heading to bed. She looked at me with that blank stare and repeated that she was only 2 yrs old and didn't understand what I was saying. I calmly repeated myself, hoping that she would take note of the seriousness in my tone. She looked at me, slowly looked down at Ladybug on the floor, and said in a calm, but demanding voice, “Come on Sissy. Follow me”. As my eyes widened and mouth dropped, I watched Bean with my little crooked crawler head down the hall. Backs {and one diaper} in my face, they both rode off into the sunset together...and never looked back.

No comments: