Funnily enough, I was a little more active than usual this weekend. (A little more than THIS lady, I can assure you). My daughter was invited to TWO birthday parties on the same day, one in the morning, one in the afternoon, and I was determined to fight my lazy-ass inclination and take her to both.
The morning birthday took place at one of those indoor bouncy castle playgrounds you can rent for kids' parties. My daughter (who apparently inherited the short-ass gene from both my and my husband's paternal grandmothers) was far too Oompa Loompa-ish to do most of it herself. I started to feel like Smithers assisting Mr. Burns. To scale a pretty high wall with her in one arm, I had to climb one-handed, chuck her over the top like she was a grenade, and peer over to see she made it okay (okay, not quite, I set her carefully on the top and pleaded with her to make sure she waited for mommy before going down the precipitous slide.)
I was convinced I could hear John Williams' music playing in the background. When we were asked to move to the next room we were the last ones to pass under the sliding garage-type door (her short little legs delayed us), and I came very close to dramatically rolling under the nearly-closed door to complete the tribute. A friend later suggested I should have left her on the other side then pulled her through at the last second. While it would have entertained me immeasurably, I had to think about the future and didn't want my daughter to be crossed off future invite lists. Plus there's only so much therapy we can afford to get her.
For the second party, my daughter was the only girl invited and so, of course, she proceeded to put on a show for the boys by randomly pulling down her pants and doing the "no-toilet-paper-left-on-the-roll" shuffle towards me. I have no idea what her motivation was, but we suspected an itch behind her diaper. I suddenly realized what an inconvenience such an itch would be and made a mental note to teach her the word "itchy" to save her on future frustrations.
When my mother stayed in our house just prior to her birth and for a couple of months after, she reminded me of how important it is to sing to your child. I'm not a bad singer and so often try to make the conscious decision to sing to her and expose her to charming little ditties I've learned over the years. Now that she can speak, she's able to express her feelings towards my efforts:
"Mommy? Stop it."
She's destined to be a theater critic. Either that or a world-class sprinter. I often laughed at mothers I saw chasing after their squealing toddlers in the mall and then thought "that'll be some day". It still makes me laugh, even when I'm the mother, although it quickly loses its charm when it happens in a restaurant because only my baby can get between me and a good meal.
I'm writing this partly to be able to reflect upon these moments when she's a teenager: to remember a time when her flatulence was still cute, I could stop her tears with a kiss and some tickles, and she doesn't hate my guts.