What's So Terrible About the
so there are a lot of things that people didn't warn me
about when I first started this parenting journey. The liquid
projectile from my baby boy's lower region was one of them.
But, I'm a quick study so I only got "sprayed"
two times. That baby boy is now seven. My real baby boy
is two and a half. It seems that I should be some sort of
expert, what with two girls in between those boys, but after
four whopping kids, I am still learning.
I wasn't warned about was that my memory would start flickering
on and off like a busted TV. All I need is the snow and
that loud buzzing sound to officially be transformed into
a malfunctioning boob tube. I am being a little hard on
myself here, I know. But it seems that the babies grab onto
some of my mental capacity as they are making their exit
from my reluctant body. As a result, I lose some of my senses
and tend to have to relearn parenting each time.
I am not the
type who keeps a journal of everything that occurs with
baby. I think it's a great idea, but it just hasn't happened
for me and I've had four chances thus far. I can't seem
to remember what month babies typically start teething or
cruising or anything until...AGE TWO. That's when I literally
get a kick that jogs the "all-about-kids" portion
of my memory.
There is definitely
something to the phase called the Terrible Twos. Trying
to stay positive about the whole ordeal...I mean...deal,
I have affectionately renamed this stage in my baby's life
"The Challenging Times." Hmmmm. Does that sound
positive enough? Anyway, this is the time when babies really
start exercising their free will. All of a sudden, the green
peas are too mushy, the milk is too cold, and Barney is
too purple. "Give me a break," I say. But then
I remember that I have ALREADY had a two-year break compared
to the free-spiritedness I am now experiencing. My kid has
an opinion and he is going to voice it.
He spits, "NO!"
at me and in the next breath clings to my leg until I playfully
wrestle with him. The sight of me starts him toddling in
the other direction and sometimes it has the opposite affect--it
all depends on if he's escaped his childproofed room and
is exploring new territory of the house without permission.
He throws himself on the floor and wails at the top of his
vocal range (until he is good and tired--because I don't
encourage him with bribes). "Give it a rest,"
I think. I am certain he will soon because all that crying
makes you tired. But, I breathe, and breathe, and breathe
again because I remember that this is the time for him to
test the waters and push some limits.
is when I want him to be a baby again or a self-sufficient
teenager (is there such a thing? Hah!) or a grownup...but
then I realize that he is who he is right now. I can't ever
cut the heartstrings, even though one day he'll grow up
and I'll watch as he fixes his own darn peas. Patience is
a virtue, they say. By the way, who is they? Anyway,
they are right. This is probably the most uninhibited
time of my child's life. There is a way I can parent from
several feet away. As I learn my child, I will learn that
way. The child was born free and now he is tasting freedom.
What's so terrible about that?
Wilma Ann Anderson is the Editor-in-Chief
and Co-founder of Mahogany Baby. She's also an accomplished
singer, and works as a model and film executive. This mother
of four has freelanced for ESSENCE and Working Mother magazines,
enjoys crafting, and is based in New Jersey.