I’ve changed the title of my blog (again). The last change was to commemorate the fact that I was a new Mama. Well, the newness has worn off. I’m an old, tired, worn-out Mama these days (who isn’t when you have a toddler?).
Today was a rough day as a SAHM. the Little Lady was still cranky and restless from her shots yesterday AND it was our first day, in over a month, without something to do or someone at our house. She had gotten used to having personal entertainement (via Gramie, Papa, Nina, Poppi, Auntie Sarah or Uncle Seth) and her Mama had gotten used to have a break (via the same people)! The absence of these fine folk made today very, very, very long: I didn’t get a break and the Little Lady was stuck with just me.
Several times today I became very frustrated; the Little Lady and I just seemed to have a lot of problems communicating with each other. She would obviously want or need something, and, 9 times out of 10, I couldn’t figure out what that thing was. This little girl is getting to the stage where she wants and tries to communicate with us — and quickly gets very upset and frustrated when we can’t figure out what she wants. Little temper tantrums are starting to flare (an occurrance I never expected, given her easy-going nature of the past).
But, there were also some hilarious moments. the Little Lady really has a funny personality and a definite sense of humor. She loves to play games, sing silly songs, make silly faces . . . it really is easy to tickle her funny bone. Her laughter is one of the most beautiful sounds in the world and infectious! Hubby and I find ourselves giggling right along with her everytime she starts to laugh.
The Little Lady has become a mimic. She tries to repeat nearly everything we say or do. It’s amazing how much she picks up. We’ve noticed her mimicking our mannerisms, body language, sounds, etc. I never realized how much kids, as young as she is, really do learn from watching those around them.
For example, at one point today, I went to the kitchen, telling the Little Lady that I was going to get a drink. I heard her little voice calling after me, “Dink . . .dink,” which was my signal that she wanted a drink too. A few seconds later, I heard a shuffled clunking noise. I turned back toward the living room and saw my precocious little girl trying to wear (and walk in) the shoes I’d left beside the couch.
That image of a daughter wearing her mother’s shoes is iconic and, almost, cliche: the idea of dressing up like your mother, taking on her clothing, mannerisms, voice, and personality. And, today, I got to see my daughter in her first attempt at dressing like me.
She’s only one year old but she is already learning everything about being a woman from me. I’m the example she’s learning from every minute. And, the question that came to mind a few weeks ago surfaced again: am I being a good example to her? Am I truly, every moment, showing her what it is that I want her to learn? The answer: no.
Today, I showed her impatience, frustration, anger, low-self esteem, etc. I don’t want these emotions to be the first lessons she memorizes. I don’t want my little girl to ever repeat what I told my husband today: “I hate the way I look.” Yet, that’s a lesson she’s on her way to learning because it’s what I show her.
Being the mother of a daughter is a heavier burden than I ever realized. Coming from a household of girls, I thought girls were easy — a piece of cake. I’ve always scoffed at people who say “girls are harder to raise,” but now I’m not so sure that I disagree. I suppose it would have been an easy job if I had never realized that her big, blue eyes are watching my every move and her little ears are listening to every word. But, as it is, I learned my own lesson today: I’m her teacher, I haven’t finished preparing my lesson plans, and class started a year ago.
All of this brings me back to the topic of this post: she’s following in my shoes. I wanted to remember this day, to remember this “mothering epiphany.” And, so, I changed my blog title — to always remind me of a petite little diva who is following in my path.
Originally Published June, 2008.