Monday, September 17, 2007
When Ittybit was his age I couldn't imagine getting angry with her. When I gazed into her eyes all I saw was sugar and spice. Even the unconsolable crying jags had a sweetness I didn't expect.
Babies. They are like little old souls despite their awkward, sideways smiles, their lack of motor control and almost total absence of articulation beyond nearly deafening screams.
It seems like a lifetime ago that I looked into her eyes, touched her face and wondered what she was going to be like when she was older. Even as she grew into her own person, enough of the baby remained. Or maybe it was the reverse. Maybe she grew into the sly little wit who I brought home from the hospital on the date she was due.
But lately not a day goes by that I'm not biting my lip and clenching every muscle in my body trying to hold back a rising flood of frustration. "Stop fidgeting. Don't touch that. Please put that down. Be gentle. Will you just sit still. You need to eat more. I made that for you and now you're not eating it. We have to leave now. Please brush your teeth. Don't swallow the toothpaste. We don't waste shampoo. Pick that up. You have to wear a sweater. PLEASE WEAR A SWEATER. Look at your lips they're blue. When I feel your arm it's FREEZING ..."
And with four words she wins the whole war: "Don't feel my arm."
As I hang my head in defeat this little guys is smiling up at me with his cockeyed grin.
And I know. ... I'm in big trouble.