I love this time of the year! I just feel a great excitement as the days pass by and we start to get ready for the holidays. I like to go shopping for the perfect gifts, (I like to go shopping no matter the occasion), to do the arrangements for our vacation and to wrap up projects….but most of all, what I really enjoy is to have a break and to spend some quality time with family and friends. I love the excitement that the beginning of a new year brings. The opportunity for a fresh start and the hope that anything we wish for can become true in the year to come. I also like that christmas is a time for reflexion; a time to think of the blessings and the good things that happened during the year, it is also a time to think about things that went wrong and need to improve. Christmas is a time of happiness…. I really love this time of the year!
However, despite of this happy mood that christmas brings to my life; there are two things that I can’t stand about this holiday:
1. I don’t like putting christmas decoration in my house. Please don’t get me wrong, I love seeing christmas decoration all over the city, I just can’t force myself to decorate my house. The reason? Many years of torture, unpacking and packing the ridiculous amount of christmas ornaments that my mom has accumulated during the years. Does the term christmas-aholic exist? if it does, somebody needs to go to rehab! Every year me and my brother were forced to spend entire days unpacking boxes and boxes full of angels, Santa Clauses, christmas balls, baby Jesus figurines, christmas boots, snow men, etc… you name it, my mom has it. Every year, at the end of this intense effort, my house is completely unrecognizable… it looks as if Santa Clause had vomited all over the place. Back then, packing the ornaments back in January was even worse, we had to wrap every item in news paper and placed them back into the boxes that were carefully stored until the next year. As we grew old, it became harder and harder for my mom to get us excited about putting up all the Christmas decoration. We always invented things to do with the only purpose of avoiding her (sorry mom, but it is true). So my mom had to branch out to my aunts and whoever innocent creature would be around to help her with her christmas challenge. Since I moved out of my house, I haven’t own a single Christmas ornament, until last year that my mom was with us, and off course started her christmas tradition – overseas. The worse part is that now that I have a daughter I might have to start decorating my house, but I promised myself that I’ll keep it minimal.
2. I hate christmas songs! I just don’t like them, that’s all. I don’t think I need those song to be happy or to find the spirit of christmas. I’m perfectly fine on my own. I specially get annoyed by the radio stations that play christmas songs all day long. I don’t think anyone can stand more than 5 min. of that music. They are torture… Anyway, there are only two songs, that though corny, I love with all my heart, they are: All I want for Christmas is you by Mariah Carey and Last Christmas by Wham. Those two songs are diamonds floating in the nasty waters of Christmas songs!
17 months ago a beautiful daughter came into our lives; there are no words to describe the joy and happiness she has brought to us. As I say to my friends, it is the most beautiful and difficult thing that has happened to us. The first year was a big adjustment, we had countless sleepless nights and hundreds of questions. Mostly, we worried about every single thing that could threaten the healthy development of this little person. We simply wanted the best for her, so we worried about the food we were giving her, finding the toys and exercises that would stimulate her development, getting her on a sleeping schedule ( that was mostly to keep our sanity), etc. We even worried about the room temperature (O.K. That was my husband who kept changing the temperature of the house every 5 min.). Anyway, as I said before, it was a year of adjustment and constant learning. During this time, we developed a routine that worked for us and we thought that we finally had figured out the parenting thing. We felt like everything was under control; until we noticed that this little person, this fragile creature had started to develop a mind of her own…and that my friends we didn’t see coming.
The mornings became a constant struggle; just dressing her up takes some wrestling techniques that I have developed during the past months. Sometimes, though, she escapes naked, runs around the house and pees on the floor. – I’m not exaggerating, this has happened at least 4 times -. She also started to play mind games with us. These mind games consist of a three-step process: the first step is “The Cute Face”; with the cute face she fooled us for a while, until we noticed that she was getting away with everything. When we started to set some boundaries, she developed the second step; “The Fake Crying”. She uses “The fake crying” when she must get something she wants. Sometimes it is impossible to distract her from her target, and then is when step three comes in, “The Tantrum”. The symptoms of a tantrum are; a very loud cry followed by a loose body thrown to the floor, always resisting to being lift up.
Everyone says that these behavioral patterns are normal, scientist called it, “The Terrible Twos”. In this phase of life, children are constantly challenging their parents with the only purpose of being independent and figure things on their own. This phase can start as early as 1-year old and last for 4 years (FOUR YEARS!!!) The book I read said that children that are going through the terrible twos have the same behavior as teenage kids. I read this book a while ago, but this week I finally noticed the similarities between the two age groups.
A couple of nights ago I was feeding my daughter; – sorry, she was feeding herself, she is independent now -. I was in front of her and she was taking the spoon full of food and putting it in front of her mouth. She never opened her mouth though, instead she was softly dumping the food to the floor. She was trying to make me think she was eating her food and she thought I wouldn’t notice what she was doing. Basically she was trying to fool me and that is what teenagers do, right? I was so shocked that a couple of things came to my mind as I was picking the food from the floor:
1. My daughter is very smart. ( all the fish oil I took while pregnant paid off!)
2. I can’t believe that at 17 moths old someone would try to fool their mother. If she is trying to trick me at such young age, what will she do when she becomes a teenager? Should I put video cameras around the house? I’m getting worried about this situation, maybe I should buy a polygraph and run tests every week.
3. Finally, I can’t believe that at 17 moths old someone would try to fool their mother……and think they have a chance at succeeding.
I’m still shocked about this week’s incident; aren’t babies supposed to please their parents? Obviously not at this age, and not for the next couple of years. I’m glad though, that she is not able to fool me, at least not yet!