It’s Not All Mary Poppins

At least he’s consistent

Noah’s little personality is getting clearer. I’m getting a window into his little world, understanding how he ticks.

My diagnosis?

Paranoid schizophrenic.

He laughs, laughs, laughs at the dog, at the other kids. He laughs when a tower of blocks falls over, when a car crashes into a wall, when someone spills a tray of marbles. (Don’t ask.) He laughs at the food falling off his tray. Which the DOG THEN EATS!!!


The children laugh and he laughs with them. The children clap, and he squeals for joy. The children run in mad circles around the house, and he bounces and flaps his arms.


Sounds good so far, I know. Hang in there.

The children laugh, he laughs. I laugh… he stares. Long, steady, Who-The-Heck-Are-YOU (And What Did You Do With My Mother?) stare.

The children clap, he squeals. I clap, I get the WTHAY(AWDYDWMM) stare. The children run in mad circles around the house… well, I don’t do that. (Racing to the kitchen to run on the spot (HARD) while letting loose a long, silent, “AAAAAAAAAAA” does not count. Besides, I don’t let them see that. It does not do to traumatize your livelihood.)

(No, it’s NOT a tantrum. Not either. It’s “stress release”.)

When he’s sad, he reaches short round arms up for me to pick him up. (Awwww. That’s so sweet.)
I scoop him into my arms.
He leans out and away and gives me the WTHAY(AWDYDWMM) stare.
I put him down, he puts up his arms and cries.
I pick him up.

Something makes him happy. I comment and smile.


He reaches for a cracker. I hand it to him with a smile. He takes it.


He cries to look out the window. I lift him so he can see.


I put him on my lap for a story.


Mostly, he prefers to be left alone. He’s perfectly content. So long as he can pretend I’m not here, life is good. So long as he doesn’t have to acknowledge my presence, he toodles about, he plays with toys, he eats, he drinks, he sleeps, he watches the other children, he follows the dog around. Mostly, he ignores me.

I am the woman who lifts him into the high chair. I am the woman who provides the food. After that, I can just pis… er, tend to my own affairs.

Paranoid schizophrenic. Well, it’s got to be that. If not, he just plain doesn’t like me! I’ve been weighed in the balance and found wanting. The place is nice, the toys are good, the other kids are great, and the dog is terrific… but that Mary-woman? Dubious, at best.

But I have hope. Because there’s a crack in his WTHAY(AWDYDWMM) armor, and I get to see it 10, 14, 20 times a day. The bathroom is upstairs, and I drink my 8 – 10 glasses every day. Some days more. (WATER, people. Stoppit.) And between three recently-trained tots, the potty gets filled umpteen times a day. I race it upstairs to dump it Every.Single.Time. So I go upstairs A LOT.

And every time I do, he stands at the base of the stairs, bereft. Utterly bereft. “DOOOOON’T LEEEEEAVE MEEEEEE ALL ALOOOOONE!!! I NEEEEEEEED YOOOOOU!!!” (No, he doesn’t say that in so many words — in any words at all — but I can read between the howls.)

See? He does love me. I scoop him to comfort him, and, once again the long, steady, solemn…


We’ll call it progress.

September 11, 2008 - Posted by | Noah, socializing | , , , , , , ,


  1. I’m always impressed by children who need a long period of judgement- who put you on trial and really study you- before handing out trust. The ones that trust too soon, who offer hugs and love to almost anyone- they’re the ones I worry about.

    Comment by Jill in Atlanta | September 11, 2008 | Reply

  2. I forgot exactly how old Noah is, but let me tell you my child who will be 4 in November and is NOT POTTY TRAINED YET, not even remotely, doesn’t try. We don’t have accidents because he won’t go without a pull-up…not at all….

    Anyway, my oldest son is not a giggler. He laughs like his father, when something is really really funny, usually something on tv, but Jace is a giggler. He will tell you, “I dont’ have to do what you say, just b/c you are the grown-up” and just you draw your hand back to slap into the next week, he bursts into laughter. It is hard as heck disciplining that kid and teaching him that the stuff like that is not funny and he will get in trouble.

    His latest hehehe moment was when he and dad came home alone one day while I was at my mom’s. (We just got new living room furniture btw and the sofa is mine, the recliner is dad’s). Anyway, when they came inside, Jace told dad that “Mommy was sitting in your chair today”. To which my husband replied, “well next time she does that, you spank her for me ok?”

    Fast forward to the next morning when I’m trying to make him get out of the recliner so I can sit in it. He says, “dad said for me to spank you for sitting in his chair”. I called dad, and dad, who never laughs at anything and I do mean NEVER, was howling in my ear. He thought it was hysterical. He wouldn’t have thought it so hysterical if it had been him getting the spanking.

    Anyway, Walker and Wayne are smiler’s, not gigglers, Jace on the other hand, EVERYTHING is funny to that kid and his laughter is contagious.

    Comment by Jerri Ann | September 11, 2008 | Reply

  3. Oh, those thoughtful kids! They know more than we think they do!

    Comment by Daisy | September 11, 2008 | Reply

  4. […] one-year-olds today, two of whom are experiencing a bit of “WTHAY(AWDYDWMM)”? Thankfully, their cases are mild, but still… It requires me to be caaaaalm, and yet […]

    Pingback by Yawn… « It’s Not All Mary Poppins | May 10, 2010 | Reply

  5. […] Virtually all babies, for that first week or two, are sad and disoriented. They are in a strange environment (a week or two of visits does not make it familiar), and mummy and daddy, their sources of comfort and security, are nowhere to be seen. […]

    Pingback by Oh, Ergo, how I love thee « It’s Not All Mary Poppins | July 14, 2011 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: