Monday, January 12, 2009

The Perfect Toddler

Since Lauren was born, I try not to go places with both girls that would cause undue pain and suffering for all three of us. So, no driver's license bureau's, no quiet libraries, no busy department stores without carts. I know these things can be done, and - someday- will be done by me, I just don't want to try them yet. We still go places just to get out of the house, but those places are limited by my reluctance to cause a scene. We save those places for the weekend or daddy's vacation, when Justin's available to assist (Read: corral the 3 year old).

This morning, I was hesitant to go to Kohl's to return a broken Christmas gift. Lauren would need to eat soon, but she's generally easy going and doesn't get too upset by slightly late mealtimes or naptimes. The thing I was worried about, was that Mia would have to stay put...right by my side, because there aren't carts for her to ride in. Or, if there were, I'd be pushing a stroller and a cart, and that wouldn't mesh well with my lack of: a. strength, and b. coordination.

Staying put is not the usual reaction that Mia has in malls and stores. See it from her standpoint: wide open spaces, colorful items around every corner, smiling strangers to flirk's like an amusement park for a toddler.

We've been "training" her for months now (years, really, but it's only become completely necessary since LJ was born) to stay close to us, or hold on to our hands, coats, pants, whatever. So instead of putting off the errand until next weekend when Justin's off work, I looked at this as another training opportunity. 10:00 Monday morning isn't a busy time, in fact, it was my best bet for having a calm trip.

When we got there, I told Mia what was expected of her, as usual. (No screaming, no fit throwing, no hiding, embarrassing statements at the top of your lungs about boogers and such.) And she did amazingly well. She was the perfect child. Sweet, silly, obedient, joyful, and all around wonderful.

The store was nearly deserted, so I wasn't panicking about her being more than 2 steps away from me. She wanted to run, so I let her. She skipped thru the aisles, peeking over her shoulder to make sure I was appreciating her cuteness. Telling me, "mama, would you say 'you're going so fast Mia!' ?" The employees that were clustered at an intersection fawned over her giggles and bouncing pigtails (all three times we passed them). Whenever she got too far from me, or we needed to stop at a specific place, she did exactly as I asked, not complaining once.

She ran off tons of early morning energy; it was as good as the park, I'd argue. When we got back in the car, I made sure to tell her how wonderful her behavior was, telling her how much fun I had with her sweet self. If this is what happens when I step outside my comfort zone, I should really do it more often.

It was the perfect morning, followed by a perfect lunch. Not a bite-battle in sight. And I wonder where these mornings come from? Why one day, but not the next? Is it a 3 year-old thing, or just this 3 year-old's thing. Please tell me all 3 year-old have these different faces. Please tell me the joyful, obedient, sweet face starts happening more and more often as she gets older.

At least until she's a pre-teen, when I probably will have to bribe her to go shopping with me.

But this morning, her face was a reflection of all the best things we've ever seen from her. I could barely keep from stopping her just to inhale her scent as she ran cirlces around me.

What a precious girl. It makes me wonder...what huge part of my heart was waiting empty before my children were born? I never knew it was there. Now, I'd stop breathing without it.

1 comment:

  1. Sarah, such a way with words! "What huge part of my heart was waiting empty before my children were born?" Thank you for expressing your (and my) heart! Jill


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