Elder Girleen’s philosophy of life might be Get Down and Boogie (when it’s not It’s No Fair!) but Younger Girleen, who, though she looks much like her sister, is her own little person, swaggers through life like a pirate.
I’m often dumbstruck with admiration at this joie de vivre, but I also find the take-no-prisoners approach to life a little exhausting. If no guns for hostages is the way you should approach toddler terrorists, despite our best intentions, the Husband and I may have lost the fight. At the age of 2+, Elder Girleen was mercurial but easily distractible; Younger Girleen, on the other hand, has never once in her short life forgotten anything once she set her mind to it.
Right now she’s finally settled down into a nap, and as I tiptoed out of her room after reading The Bears’ Picnic for the umpteenth time I realized how quickly the earth spins on its axis and how fast the time goes. Soon, no matter how strong my denial about the necessity of it is, she will have to sleep in a big girl bed. The nap that’s my daily reprieve has probably only a few short months before it’s history. (If I’m going to write the draft of a novel while my toddler naps I better get cracking.) All this will happen whether I actively facilitate or not. We are here right now, and soon we will be there.
There is something very soothing about this. One of the bonuses of having a second child is that it puts you firmly in your place, and I mean that in the best of possible senses. With the first child, I earnestly read parenting books and thought it was all up to me. With the second one, I understand that I’m not actually Master of the Universe. This is humbling but liberating at the same time, and you’re welcome to remind me that I thought so when I start going through the four stages of grief (Denial, Bargaining, Anger, Acceptance) over the loss of her nap, probably right about the time that school lets out for the summer.
The best parenting advice I received was from my sister who said, “Remember that it’s all a phase.” That’s it, right?
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