With the arrival of 2010, it’s always worthwhile to sit back and examine the changes in the household over the past year. No surprise Simone has changed dramatically, as all toddlers are prone to do. I often chuckle at the almost mirrored stories coming from friends with children the same age. Erratic sleep patterns, toy-hoarding, stubbornness, discovery of the word “no”, fascination with using the potty, discovering their own sense of humor. A mix of joy and frustration and affirmation that one child is all we want.
Self-discovery is a huge component of parenting–at least for me. Yes, in part I refer to understanding one’s own character in different situations; learning how to curb the temper, keep a civil tongue, recognize your own weaknesses. In another sense, self-discovery via parenting can be simply observing a process you otherwise would never get to witness–one that you too must have gone through. It’s not like any of us carry experiences form early childhood with any real clarity. I have a few early memories: using my dog’s outdoor water-dish as a toilet and waving at the cars going past (would be nice to forget that one). Or, peeking under the deck to see a litter of puppies nestled in amongst unused lumber. My wife has a memory of being in a crib and seeing light on the window curtains. That blows me away. But none of these are a proper chronology of change.
When I watch Simone, I see a constant forward motion. I see eruptions of both myself and Sandra in her speech, her movements, even in her sleep. There’s also a fierce individuality that is actually a little startling…intimidating even. She doesn’t flit in and out of shadows the way our memories do, but tears up the earth, absorbing new information either to archive for later or use immediately.
Case in point: she watched The Wizard of Oz for the first time two days ago. This morning she woke up wanting to see it again. As it was playing she started singing the words to If I Only Had a Brain (not sure if that was supposed to be a hint). No complete sentences, just the last word of certain lines. Then she went on to announce the upcoming scene of Toto barking to me while I cleaned the kitchen. This from a singular experience a few days ago? Of course, this isn’t a pure example, but it makes me wonder what she will remember of this when she’s older. What of her toddler-hood will carry weight. Will it be me losing my tempter or giving her chin-whisker rash when we rough-house?
Should I start playing The Return to Oz, as well?
Where was I going with this? Right, it’s 2010. Change is afoot. No more counting the days for each post. Now we will work with stranger moments. This is a journal for Simone, after all. Someone has to keep track of her behaviors. Future leverage. An interesting document for the “father of the bride speech” down the road.
And I’ve got a lot of it on video too.