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!!!

THIS IS SO EXCITING!!!

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.

THIS PLACE IS SO EXCITING!!!

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.
More WTHAY(AWDYDWMM).

Something makes him happy. I comment and smile.

WTHAY(AWDYDWMM)

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

WTHAY(AWDYDWMM).

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

WTHAY(AWDYDWMM).

I put him on my lap for a story.

WTHAY(AWDYDWMM).

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…

WTHAY(AWDYDWMM).

We’ll call it progress.

September 11, 2008 Posted by | Noah, socializing | , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Tap, tap, tap

That’s me, knocking wood.

I am not a superstitious person. Which is why I had NO HESITATION, none at all, nuh-uh, to tell you that little Noah had the SECOND-EVER BEST FIRST DAY EVER. tap, tap, tap (What does that mean? It was a tied-for-first-place best first day. I’ve had one other — ONE! In twelve years! — that was as good. The other was nine years ago.)

I’m not worried about jinxing myself. No concerns from me that in telling you about this amazing event, I’ve just painted a bulls-eye on my butt for the fates to come kick my ass. I “pfft!” at the very notion of an evil eye. Tempting fate? Ha!

taptaptap

Little Noah — the one who visited for a few hours a couple of weeks ago? — his first day was yesterday. A year old.

When I start a new child, I expect tears at the parent’s departure followed by intermittent (please God, not continuous) wailing throughout the day, interspersed with bouts of very solemn staring. I expect trouble with naps. I expect the child will reject food, possibly even bottles. It is quite likely that the child who is experiencing all this distress will reject comfort from me, at least for the first half of the day.

It is all quite pathetic. Poor little mites.

It is possible that I will see the occasional smile. The child might sit on my lap during circle time, or at least be fascinated by watching. They might watch the antics of the other children with some evidence of pleasure. They might take comfort in their food, they might snuggle in to me as I feed them a bottle. They might even laugh. Any or none of this might happen. I certainly don’t expect anything like this.

And I certainly don’t expect a child to not notice when his mother leaves, to play happily all day, to eat all of every food provided with gusto, to grin continuously, to toddle away from me at the park then come laughing back, to shriek with delight at the antics of the other children… and then nap for two and a half hours. And greet his dad with a crow of delight at the end of the day.

On his first day.

But that is was Noah did, every last bit of it. He was not just calm, he was outright cheerful. He was interested, happy, interactive, friendly, responsive… In short, he was a short little ton of fun. I cannot conceive of a way in which his day could have been improved upon.

It. Was. AMAZING!

There! I (tap) did it (tap, tap)! You now (tap, tap, tap) all know that Noah (tap) had a PERFECT FIRST DAY (taptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptap).

And if Day #2 is hell on earth, we all know why.

September 2, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments