I had a scare recently. I couldn't open the CD containing my "Development Notes" on Peanut, the only place I had saved it. The notes run from six months to two and a half years. I finally somehow managed to open it, and saved it immediately to another location. But almost losing this precious record of Peanut's babyhood was sobering, and I resolved to be more careful with keeping digital records. One way to do that is by publishing it here on my blog. I love blue milk's "10 things", which she has been doing for years. She always says feel free to skip these posts, that they're just a record for her and her kids, but I always eat them up. Now this near-disaster of mine has inspired me to do my own. So here, in no particular order, are a random number of things I enjoy and do not enjoy about Peanut at age three and three quarters.
Seven favourite things:
1. You love putting everything in its place. Your dad drives me nuts leaving his clothes in the living room all the time, so at least you balance out the crazy-making. Now it's two against one!
2. You know what you like aesthetically. I love how you help me decide what shoes to wear. You're always right. And you make the decision in a split second. You're so sure of your taste. I don't have that, and I envy you. I also appreciated how vehement you were about where you wanted the pictures placed on the bathroom walls when we moved into our new place, even if I disagreed with you.
3. You are so attached to me yet so independent. We stopped breastfeeding a little over a year ago but your transitional comfort mechanism, "touching boobie" is still going strong. The other day we were going over the fact that "please" must follow every request. And you demonstrated what you learned by asking, "Can I touch boobie, please?" You are still very physically attached to me, and your poor daddy is still waiting in the wings, ready to swoop in and be your favourite pal. You've got to admit, he's so much better at playing than I am. Yet you still prefer me over anyone else in the world. And of course that melts my heart, as much as I feel bad for your dad, because he really does deserve some preferential treatment from you. At the same time, you've always pretty calmly accepted me leaving you with other people, a lot of the time. I know you'd choose to be with me constantly if you could, so I really appreciate how much you enjoy your time out in the world without me.
4. Speaking of enjoying your time out in the world, you love to party. As long as you're out and socializing, you're happy. This is definitely one of the ways you make parenting easier for me, so thank you.
5. While I must admit your crazy-high level of energy is annoying sometimes, you rarely sit in front of a screen for more than 20 minutes at a time. I took you to the cinema for the first time a couple weeks ago, and honestly didn't expect you to be able to sit through the whole thing. You did manage, but I'm glad that's a rarity. I hope you can continue to balance sedentary entertainment with lots and lots of running around.
6. Although you've showed signs of being affected by the narrow gender stereotyping everywhere in our culture, you allow me to convince you that "colours are for everyone" (my mantra thanks to Mamafesto); you let me be Iceman sometimes, not always Firestar, to your Spiderman; you love babies and are incredibly gentle with them; and although you are generally very "boy" (see #2 below), you associate yourself with "girly" things and pink without a second thought.
7. You've got an engineer's brain, apparently. Two engineers close to us have said this about you. You're amazing with Lego. You skipped right over the Duplo stage and are better at remembering how to build your helicopter than I am.
8. You are affectionate. You often tell me how much you love me and like me. One of my favourite things in the whole world are the light pats you give me on my back when we're hugging or I'm carrying you. The other night when I was trying to get you back to sleep in the middle of the night, you gently explored my face with your hand.
Three not-so-favourite things:
1. You are so aggressive. You seem to love fighting, pretend shooting, hitting, kicking. That part of you has nothing to do with me, and it's really hard for me to handle. Also because since you were just tiny you've regularly caused me physical pain. Dealing with your aggressive nature has been one of the most unexpected and crappy aspects of parenting for me. I had no idea it could hurt so much physically.
2. On a related note, you're very "boy". As a feminist, queer-friendly mum I was probably better prepared for you to be gender non-conforming. I can see I've got my work cut out for me. You are also soft in places (see #6 above), and it's my most fervent hope that you always fight the urge to suppress that.
3. You don't eat anything. Or hardly anything. I was so smug when you started eating solids. We went to Canada when you turned one and it was such a delight because you ate practically everything. Now the list of things you'll maybe eat can be counted on two hands. I always thought I would be one of those mums who refuses to make a special meal for her kid in addition to what I prepare for myself. Ha! It is so much easier to get through this by making the same few easy things I know you'll eat, giving you vitamins, and crossing my fingers this stage passes soon.