Toddler vs. Kitten

I noticed last night that my daughter has gotten very clingy to me in the past few days, mostly at home. Before she turned two, she had a quite long streak of being Mommy’s baby, but recently she is almost always about her Momma.

But then we got a kitty and since he is technically mine (although I qualify him as the first family pet), I give him a lot of love.

Last night, I was sitting on the couch and my daughter had to sit next to/literary on top of me. I suggested she sit next to my wife because the other side of the couch had more space. To which, she replied, “No sit Momma”. The next incident was when I was setting up the laptop to stream to our TV. I picked up Toothless and held him while I stood and waited for my Internet to stop going slow. My daughter wanted me to hand her the kitty, so she could walk it to my wife on the couch. And then, the toddler that never lets me carry her at any store anymore wanted me to pick her up and hold her.

I can only imagine how she might act when we have another child. I’m hoping by then she is more content with sharing her parents.

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Steak, Wine, and My Little Pony

My daughter wanted another cookie when we got home. When I told her she had to have dinner first, she acted like a normal child in their terrible-two’s and had a meltdown. So now I’m watching My Little Pony with her so she would eat her awesome steak that my wife made. She has her ponies and I have my wine.

It’s been an emotional couple of days for me and I’m not apologizing for my never-ending reblogs about Orlando but something serious happened and it’s a problem. It isn’t just an LGBT problem or a Florida problem, it’s an America problem and a human one. Something needs to change.

But since I have a big glass of wine entering my system, I’m going to try being more lively.

I spent the 15 minutes before eating my steak trying to locate Twilight Sparkle. I thought My Little Pony wouldn’t still be a thing when my daughter was old enough to care but she loves it. And now I can name an unnecessary amount of ponies and feel obligated to buy my daughter Pony figures

My wife and I have this weird thing about deciding which girl in our daughter’s shows is the lesbian. In Octonauts, we agreed it was Tweak the techy bunny. In My Little Pony, I would say either Rainbow Dash or Applejack. These are the things parents do to survive children shows, especially when you watch all of the episodes multiple times.

Being a parent is a crazy experience. You find yourself doing some strange shit you never would have done pre-child. Life is strange.

I’m starting to feel this wine a little bit. By the way, that steak was delicious. Tiger sauce is boss.  And make sure you marinade it overnight, too. That’s about all I can tell you. My wife makes it and it’s bomb. I make some delicious pork chops though. Maybe I’ll make a post with a recipe.

Hope everyone is having a great night. I’m going to watch this episode of ponies and finish my little bit of wine.

Am I being too overdramatic?

There’s been something bugging me this past weekend. I have tried many times to just ignore and pass it off as insignificant but I realize that maybe it isn’t insignificant and maybe I should be bothered.

Since both my wife and I work, we take our daughter to daycare. This has been the norm since April or May of last year. Overtime, Ella learned to say Mom and Momma, naturally, and she would call our daycare provider Mom, too. Okay, no big deal- she sees this woman as much as us most weeks.

For a while, Ella would also call our provider’s husband Dada, which wasn’t a big deal either because she had called me Dada in the beginning. Dada and Daddy finally phased out some months ago when she learned to differentiate between my wife and I (Momma and Mommy).

The other day I noticed Ella saying Daddy again after months of never uttering the word. I didn’t think anything of it until Friday. While we were picking up our daughter when she called our provider’s husband Daddy. This weekend alone, Ella has called my wife Daddy several times. And now I have to reintroduce Momma into her vocabulary, even though it was one of her first words.

Am I being ridiculous by being bothered by this?

I get that we’ll have to explain to our daughter one day that not all families are comprised of the same set-up of people, but I feel a little uncomfortable with my daughter calling either of us daddy if she’s old enough to know and understand who we are to her. And a part of me is feeling undermined by our provider for letting it become a thing again knowing how our family dynamic is.

How should I handle this? Or should I not be bothered by this at all?

Heroes

When I was in high school, I wrote an essay for college about someone I considered to be a hero. At the time, I wrote about one of my classmates who pushed me to be a better person and student simply by existing and always being nice to me even though I was this weird girl who was always too nervous to talk to her due to this crush I had on her at the time. At that age, I gave up on religion because I didn’t understand how I could be damned for the way I felt when it was something I was born with and could not change no matter how much I tried. She was religious and probably knew (everyone knew) that I was in the closet but she accepted me as an equal and even went as far as hanging out with me a couple of times. She was always and still is a great person- friendly, always willing to help people and do things for the greater good, and never judgemental- the list goes on. After high school, I texted her out of the blue when I was upset about my father’s cancer getting worse and she responded and made me feel better about the situation. She could have just ignored me, but she didn’t.

Today, she is still someone who inspires me to be better even though we never talk or communicate much on Facebook.

I have always wanted to be a hero. When I was younger, I wanted to be a superhero and today, I just want to be the real-life kind of hero. My dad was a hero because he protected and provided for his family. My wife is a hero in the same sense and in other ways. Another friend of mine came out as transgendered and has recently transistioned into the person he feels he was meant to be. He’s my hero, too, for being so brave despite how cruel this world can be to people like him and for loving and believing in himself.

I see my daughter each day and some of those days I wonder if I will be her hero. Will she look to me as a role model and be inspired to be strong, brave, and selfless? Or will my short-comings disappoint her?

A hero is someone strong and confident. I know I am not always strong but in fewer instances, I find myself confident in my abilities and myself. I overindulge in things I do not need and I fail to give the right attention to the things that deserve it.

I need a change. I need to silence the negativity in my mind and make myself into a person my daughter can one day call her hero.

Apparently Crawling is Overrated

We have a blanket laid out in the living room for our daughter’s tummy time. What never ceases to amaze me is how we can set her down on one end of the blanket and she manages to randomly end up on the other side when we look away for a few minutes. For a baby that doesn’t crawl, she gets around the room pretty well. I can’t believe two months ago, she was only rolling from her tummy onto her back. Now, she wiggles her way around the room and tries to snatch up her Momma’s coupons that get left on the floor. I never knew a baby could be so mobile without knowing how to crawl.

She is getting the hang of it though.

We started her on baby food and she loves it. She screams at us if we don’t feed her fast enough and it’s super cute.

She also still loves her snuggles. When it’s naptime during the morning, she’ll watch me if I’m not lying next to her. It’s just one of those little things that makes me happy to be a mom. Like the way she smiles at me after she wakes up in the morning (unless she’s cranky because she’s hungry), and how she fusses for my attention. I love my little girl and I know she loves me, too. 

The Little Things

“She has long toes just like you do.”
I guess this would not be the typical compliment but I took it as one. The woman who said this to me knew nothing of my relationship to the peanut and made the logic assumption that the baby I was holding had come from inside me.
It’s convenient that my wife and I look a little alike. Although it is plain to see she gets her cute little face from her mother (and her countless expressions), I claim some of the more obtuse features, like the toes and the chubby cheeks.
I still dread the day our daughter understands how babies are made and wants to know who gave birth to her. But the little things keep me hopeful that when the day comes when we explain to her how she came about, it won’t matter even the slightest.

Learning by Being an Example

I see it happening around me a lot more than I should. One of my pet peeves, even before the birth of our daughter, was parents who either were not good parents or we’re not good role models. Yes, it maybe a little harsh but the truth is the truth. Don’t display the manners you don’t want your children to pick up on and have as they grow. However, you do not have to be a terrible parent for that truth to apply to you.
As a still new parent, I have many things I still need to learn.
Put lotion on the peanut after her bath.
Make sure to know where a binky is at all times.
Always have more patience than you think necessary and have more than that.
I don’t have the best relationship with my mother. It has struggled more in the past few years because of who I am and who I love. But she is still my family and family is important.
I have a fear the peanut will grow to not respect me as a parent because I am not blood to her.
I chose not to have a relationship anymore with my mother because it was not convenient for me. So, who can say I do not deserve the same intolerance from my child?
I have a lot to learn and changes to make. And I will work on them for the sake of my daughter not inheriting negative mannerisms from me.

Seven Weeks

Our daughter is seven weeks (and a day) old and it feels like she was just born last week. It amazes me to watch her everyday and although the changes might be tiny, it is awesome to spot them. She smiles every so often and she coos and talks when she’s happy and gets to lie down and kick as she pleases. And she loves her baths.
And snuggling with us in the morning. That is my favorite part of the day. Once we get back home to San Diego, I get a little while before I go back to work so the peanut and I will have Mommy/Daughter time while Momma goes to work. Excited for that- I’m sure we will have lots of misadventures together.

Lessons Learned from Gaming – Perseverance (in Parenting)

You get to Bowser’s castle at the end of the world and a fireball kills you. Then one of those skeleton dudes comes back to life as you run by and you die again. You reach the boss and you die once, twice, then have to use a continue and go through it all again. If you are a gamer, you know this is a typical day in the life.

Parenting is kind of like playing a game.

First off, anyone who survives those nine months before baby is born- mother or partner- you deserve an achievement- 50 gamer points for you! It is definitely an often rough and seemingly never-ending time.

But then your baby is born- yay!

One of the best moments in life- like reaching the end of those tutorial levels in Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation and not having to hear Werner bitch about every little thing anymore.

That moment times a million.

However, like a game after the tutorial, things get harder.

Babies cry, poop, spit up, and have no way of communicating what exactly they need from you.

Think Terranigma when Ark cannot speak with the plants and animals. It’s sad and confusing, but you figure things out eventually.

The trick in taking care of a baby is perseverance. You may feed your little bundle of joy, change the diaper, and think it’s nap time- right on schedule.

Not exactly always that easy.

Baby might have gas, might want a pacifier, might want to be held before she falls asleep, or all of the above.

Or none.

You go through the cycle of the basic solutions to baby’s possible needs (this is a lesson I am still in the process of learning). And maybe you metaphorically die and fail to soothe baby.

So you try to feed baby, check the diaper, try the pacifier, try rocking or holding baby until she falls asleep, etc. Go through the cycle a couple of times. Or you can be like a noob and consult a walkthrough- aka parenting websites or Google searches.

It’s okay- everyone does it at least once in their life.

The main thing to remember is to never give up (in this situation and life in general) because you only have one life in reality with no respawns or continues. And if something doesn’t work one way, try a different approach. 

Four Weeks

Tomorrow will mark our peanut being four weeks old. We are still in the process of getting her on a stable sleeping schedule, which is okay since we still have another month before we go back home and my love starts working again. It definitely feels like the time is flying by. Next thing I know, she’s going to start talking. She’s starting to get into a crawling position- I think she just needs to figure out how to use her arms to keep herself up.

I’m trying to come up with a compilation of lullabies to sing to her but I don’t really want to sing the typical songs to her. I would rather find songs from music I like listening to. So far, I have one picked out. I’ll post it below. Any suggestion would be nice- I like listening to most genres, like rock, country, pop, punk, alternative, musical- so a little bit of everything.

In other news, Lightning Returns is still an awesome game and I am enjoying running around dressed as Cloud. Still workiing on my short story collection (very slowly) and a novel from a series I’ve been working on for some years now.

Also, Rizzoli and Isles is back on for the end of season 4- I am very happy about this news and you should be, too.