I often say that my career has prepared me pretty well for parenting: five years of Starbucks taught me how to live off of no sleep; working in the prison taught me how to appreciate my freedom; working with mental health patients taught me how to deal with schizophrenia, violent outbursts and periods of mania and managing has taught me how to have difficult conversations and to use positive reinforcement. Maddie, however, has taught me the most important lesson of all, which is how to love unconditionally, even when she is exhibiting all of the aforementioned lessons.
Toddlers, my friends, they sure are something.
Luckily, they are also hilarious little humans. This morning after getting dressed (which is either the most awesome or the very worst most terrible thing ever, depending on the day, or minute) Maddie dug around in her toy box pulling out a pair of bright orange star sunnies and a metal Curious George radio. She then proclaimed "mama, I going to school" and gave me a kiss, a hug, and an uggamugga (if you don't know Daniel Tiger, it is like an Eskimo kiss). She asked that I "stay put" and left towards the front door, only to come back a minute later to tell me "I can't find school, so I go to the zoo instead".
Sounds like a logical alternative to me.
This little girl of ours is turning into such a funny, passionate and smart person. She continues to have a ridiculous amount of energy and loves to the max - people, animals, intimate objects like her bath toy boats that she has to kiss goodbye at the end of tubbie time. She is starting to understand empathy and that her actions have a real effect on people, though the face pulling and screaming bouts are not quite being understood as the very worst thing she can do to mama at the end of a long day. She is very interested in letters and the alphabet song and points out "H for Hannah" and "D for Dada" whenever she sees them in a puzzle or book. She flips through her photo book to point out her Aunt Megan and her Gramma and her Jane and is so very excited to go on a plane to see Gramma and Grandpa Bob in a couple of weeks.
My Maddie is growing and changing and evolving every minute of the day and I am just so glad to get to be her mama and be along for the ride.