Friday, August 28, 2009

A Little Ahead of the Game

When I was pregnant, I signed up for an e-newsletter from a Web site called It was supposed to help me learn what I needed to know about pregnancy, giving birth, my child at each stage in her life. Although I didn’t and still don’t learn much about my daughter from these newsletters, I do learn about where she’s supposed to be and, inevitably, isn’t. For example: The most recent article I read was called “No Comparison” and discussed where my two-year-old should be at this stage in her life compared with other "normal" two-year-olds. When I first read it, I was all, "Huh!?!":

1. Points to an object that you name. (Let's see, how about she points to it, calls it by name, hops over and grabs it, and hurls it directly at my head.)
2. Recognizes the names of familiar people, objects, and body parts. (How about, "Mommy, Kota wants to go outside potty now. MOMMY, KOTA WANTS TO GO OUTSIDE POTTY NOW!!!” Is recognizing bodily functions sufficient?)
3. Uses short phrases and two- to four-word sentences. (OK, I’ve got a good one: When asked by Nana how she's going to get her buggy filled with all her dolls down the steps, Kensie throws her arms up to her shoulders, palms up in the “what” pose and says, "I have a problem: I just don't know how to do that!")
4. Follows simple instructions. ("Kensie, go get your BB," which is followed by a pensive look, her remembering she left her BB downstairs in her bedroom, her opening the gate, holding the handrail as she walks down the steps alone, closing the door behind her, going into her room, grabbing her BB, and heading back up the same way.)
5. Repeats words she overhears. ("No Kensie, don't do that!" Reply: "No Mommy, YOU DON'T DO THAT!" And, by the way, “DON’T LOOK AT ME LIKE THAT!” Does that work?)
6. Finds an object even if you hide it under two or three blankets. (How about finding a paci under three blankets topped by an oversized pillow and being crushed by a 100-pound Samoyed lying on top of it.)
7. Sorts objects by shape or color. (Kensie has a backpack full of balloons, and she'll pull the balloons out one by one and ask, "Which one d'ya want, Mommy?" I say, "Red," and she hands me red [same goes for all colors, books, blocks, pacis, you name it] then forces me to blow that balloon up repeatedly followed by letting it go to shoot around the room like a rocket. I fall for that one every time.)
8. Plays make-believe. (On her toy cell phone: "Hi Alex, how ya doin'? I'm good. You wanna talk to Mommy? Here Mommy, it's Alex," followed by, “I’m busy, you talk to her.” Enough said.)

Needless to say, these articles tend to come a little too late for Kensie, but they’re always nice to peruse and see what I needed to know six months ago—the days when she was a little quieter, more subservient, less mobile, still enjoyed a cuddle, and was a good napper. Yes, those days are gone, and all I’m left with is a beautiful “little tornado” who, in the right light, looks like me through the eyes but always, always reminds me of what a lucky mommy I am.