Thursday, January 9, 2014

life with a one-year-old

Life with a one-year-old is something else: it is a life full of drama and boredom, it is suspenseful and sedentary, it is confusing and straight forward. I do not remember the older two girls being this all-consuming, but my brain has probably blocked it out.

Lucy is so sweet, hilarious and full of so much personality- there I got the affirmatives out of the way.

This morning I found myself pounding the grahams and milk alone with her in the kitchen because really, I can only spend so many hours sitting on the floor attempting to entertain someone whose favorite activity is loading and unloading the same bag of markers over and over and over and over to infinity before my brain starts to melt a tiny bit. The only alternative other than the solo 28 year-old and 1-year-old play date is to let her run loose on a trail of destruction, mostly centered on the Christmas tree, which is still up and probably will be until next Christmas.

She can only stand at the gate watching the girls play with the toys she longs to tear apart and destroy for so long before she comes begging for diversion from the mother.

And I get it, it's really not very fun watching all the fun you could be having if your brain was at the appropriate developmental state to be able to pretend and engage in imaginative play, but it's not. I keep telling Naomi and Bernadette to try to include her in their play because she obviously desires to be included. But then they do and within seconds their beautiful duplo creations are all lying on the floor torn down at the hands of the 24 pound predator, and I feel like maybe I should have let them be. Thus the gate goes up.

Her new favorite thing to do is to bring books over, hand them to me, then turn around backwards and slowly back up to my lap and sit down for me to read. It is so cute and starts to melt my icy heart, but then she shows her true colors by sitting peacefully for 3 words of the book, then finding a way to destroy even the sturdiest of board books-- while in my lap, under my supervision.

She seems to be very torn in her little soul over whether she wants to walk the independent route with the older ones or crawl back into my womb. My suspicion is that she's been having ultra-early PTSD type memories of the birthing process and being torn from her comfy uterine nest, on account of the death grip she will get on any part of my body she can grab onto. Sometimes if she can only pinch a tiny piece of skin, she will and hold on as tightly as she can for fear of not being glued always and forever to my person.

She was so eager to join us for our afternoon tea party the other day, but then I remembered that each and every time I have ever given her a dish made of anything other than plastic, she has done nothing but bang it on the nearest hard surface until is breaks. So she stood at the table and watched with a hopeful spirit of one day being included.

I say all this while she peacefully toddles around me, graham cracker in hand getting in and out in and out of the booster seat on the floor and occasionally heading back over to her bag of markers to load and unload 40 more times. But like I said, it is dramatic and boring, and which one you are going to get at any given moment of the day is totally unpredictable.

But no matter how long and hard she can make the hours leading up to her cherished nap time, she will always win me over with her very favorite thing to do: pontificating in her babble language while wagging her finger at Naomi and Bernadette. I think she is mimicking me and my constant corrections, and it is hilarious.
I love her.


  1. She's so adorable! We're having the same thing going with our youngest. Alex really really wants to play with the older siblings, but turns into a micro-typhoon anytime they have stuff set up. We have turned the extra bedroom into a LEGO room because Alex is like a small Godzilla around them.

  2. I don't know if you saw Lindsay's post the other day, but it made me laugh that it was so similar to yours! I forget what it's like to have a destructive toddler around, until I've got my best friend's 16 month old here. My husband refers to him as the "tiny tornado" because he leaves a swath of destruction in his wake!!

  3. An emptied Kleenex box and wipes box this week tells me that we too now are living with a 1 year old!
    Great pictures!

  4. A one year old pontificating--very apt, great phrase :)

  5. Maybe it comes with the third child -- my youngest's name is Jürgen, but we call him Jürgi-zilla when he comes in a room with a nicely built lego or duplo creation (or anything else, really). Then again, it seems like the only reason any of the toys are here for any of the boys is so they can dump them out, spread them around, and find something else to destroy… :)

    He also wags his finger, but it's at me. Hahaha.

    Lucy is such a sweetheart! She just melts my heart. I can also imagine brain-meltage. ;)

  6. I think I write variations of the same thing every time I comment on your blog, but it's worth it again today...I am so glad it's not just me that feels this way! I beat myself up for being a "bad mom" but reading things like this remind me that it's really that one-year-olds are just such a hard age!

  7. I totally could've written this post about my kids!

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  9. I can relate! On one particularly crazy day I googled, "How to keep my sanity with a one year old..." a lot popped up, haha! :)

  10. Oh, boy, I myself tend to forget about the quirks of every phase....and I'm getting ready to do this again for the 6th time! Lucy is so adorable....we could use a little girliness around here! Sanity doesn't make for saints, (unfortunately).....the insanity of life as a mother is what sanctifies us. You're a great mom, and your girls are so lucky to have you!

  11. This too, shall pass. I only had two children, but I'm one of 4 sisters. (One older, two younger.) We were raised in the 60's when kids weren't micro-managed. I don't recall playing together with my younger sisters, but have strong memories playing with my older sister (by 2 years). Family dynamics are worth keeping an eye open so Lucy won't always be on the outside looking in, so to speak. The photo of her peering over the gate makes me feel sad. Good luck! Kudos for trying to integrate her into play activities. She'll outgrow the tornado effect or embrace it.... so be vigilant about which behavior gets "fed."

  12. What? So big, Lucy!

    Also, I am looking forward to her additions to Too Much Talking ;)