Charlie had a huge tantrum after school because she refused to wear her stroller straps. I pulled over and told her we were not leaving until she put her straps on. A man (in a suit) shouted out me, “Nice f-ing place to park, bitch!” I do not love New York today.
Her hands are still so small, but to me they’re huge. They’re no longer fat baby, “screw on” hands; they’re little girl hands and I don’t know when that happened.
She’s really funny, with her own sense of humor. She gets jokes. She can read people so well. She knows when we’re mad and says, “Sowy” and hugs us.
She has not mastered “ch” so “cheese” is “keese” and “chair” is “cair.” She is “Carlie” and she shouts it proudly. CARLIE! A month ago she called herself “The Baby.”
She is so independent. She wants to use “poons” when she eats and refuses help. She demands to walk home from school and stubbornly pulls her arms out of her straps, “Carlie walk!” I tell her she has to stay in her stroller because it would take us hours to walk at her pace. And then I get mad at myself because I’m always in a god damn rush.
She knows every kids’ name in her class and she knows which cup goes with which kid. I can barely remember her teachers’ names and I am reminded every day that kids take in everything. And I want all the things my kid takes in to be completely amazing.
She has “duck curls” and I could spend hours doing braid-y things to her hair, but she barely lets me put pigtails in and some days she tells me, “No hair.” She only lets us brush her teeth if she is also holding a toothbrush.
She knows what she wants at all times. This morning she woke up and told us, “Eggies, bread, peas.” The last part was “please” not actual “peas.”
When I lay next to her before she goes to sleep, she slides a little arm under my neck and says, “huggie.” It’s one of my few, slowed down, quiet moments and It makes my heart explode into a gazillion little love pieces.
Love you, little Carlie.
Charlie had her 18-month checkup today. I am so proud of that kid. She said, “Hi, Doc!” when the doctor walked in the room. She didn’t cry when he gave her a shot. She told him that her bandaid was yellow. When i dropped her at school, her teachers had all the kids sitting in a row. They held up a color and had each kid say the color. I friggin’ love that place. This is not just a “make sure your kid stays alive” type place. We are so lucky.
Apparently, it was Teacher Appreciation Day on Tuesday. They even put up a sign at school reminding everyone. I missed it. My NYC, get to where you’re going as fast as humanly possible attitude made me miss the giant sign telling me to thank Charlie’s teachers for, like, keeping her alive and well every single day. And, not to make excuses, but, Sam had to work late every night this week and our sitter was away.
The next day, there was a thank you to all the parents who took the time out to wish them a happy day or gave them a gift. I felt horrible! More than horrible. I felt like the worst parent ever because I honestly couldn’t be more thankful to them.
Sam wanted to send them something, but I thought it was overkill since we had forgotten (OK, I had forgotten). So I got them a card and gave it to her head teacher with a giant apology. Today I saw it was hung up in their cabinet. Life please slow down a little. Chicken with her head cut off is not a great look for me.
At our amazing neighborhood pub, Charlie had a diaper mishap and her pants got socked—just as dinner arrived. She was clapping and SO PUMPED for dinner, it didn’t seem fair to drag her home and change her pants. So, she ate her noodles with pee-pee pants and then I strapped her pee and tomato sauce covered legs around me in the Ergo. We’re taking things as they come, world.
Today we had a great playdate with two of Charlie’s classmates, e. and c. The girls’ moms, K. and E. are super nice, down to earth and noncompetitive, which is refreshing.
The girls were on the swings and K. said to me, “Charlie is so advanced with her words.”
E. chimed in, “Yes, Charlie has such a great vocabulary!”
They didn’t make it about their kids at all, yet I felt the need to say, “Well, yes, she is pretty good at talking, but her motor skills aren’t the best.”
Excuse me? Charlie’s motor skills are just fine. They’re great, in fact. As the words came out of my mouth, I realized I was doing to her what I had done to myself for thirty or so years. I had always downplayed what I was good at so I didn’t stand out too much or so it didn’t seem like I was showing off. Somewhere along the line, I realized how dumb this was and stopped. Except now I had just done it to my daughter. I was an asshole.
So, I’m sorry, Charlie. I will never, ever again dismiss or downplay your awesomeness, smarts, strengths or skills.
Sorry, Sheryl Sandberg, women, little girls and myself. It won’t happen again.
Tonight Sam was putting Charlie to bed and noticed she was totally wet. “Diaper Malfunction!” he shouted. But Diaper Malfunction this was not. I had put her diaper on inside out. Mom Malfunction. Happy Monday.