Sunday, April 3, 2011

slapping the boat

i felt the baby move today. flutters i probably wouldn't have noticed had i not been here before. wearing flattering and comfortable and stylish maternity clothes courtesy of my mother and enjoying food for the first time in five months, today was a first bloom. full of plans for the future and cheeseburgers and a mid afternoon nap.

three. sigh.
why is three so hard? i find myself snapping at her because she is like a walking remix of herself, perpetually echoing her questions which do NOT go unanswered. she pushes every single boundary put in front of her and i find myself getting angry in a crowded shopping center because she tries to run away and i hear my mom's voice echoed in my own while my own mom is standing right next to me with the exasperated smile of someone who knows exactly where her granddaughter gets this behavior.

she has taken to hitting. not hard. just enough to make her point. but with the same look in her eyes that nemo gives his father when he slaps his lucky fin on the bottom of the boat. she will do it, knowing the consequences, just to see if we will follow through. it's exhausting, knowing she is keeping track. impressive, but exhausting.

but i won't remember that, will i? instead i will remember how we went to carney's for lunch and while we were waiting for our cheeseburgers, she grabbed the sides of my face and gave me a big kiss. 'i love you, mommy. and i love the baby.'


  1. I just wrote a huge comment and accidentally deleted it. Argh!!!
    Anyway, I'm so glad we got the clothes - you look so cute in all of them!

    And Finn's meltdown in the store - just brings back memories of times past - and the reason I would say "wait until you're a parent, then you'll understand". Toddlers, teenagers - they seem to push the boundaries even knowing the consequences - just to make sure you're the same each time. The psyc docs say that's their way of making sure they're loved - I'd much rather just show them and tell them, but it just doesn't work that way. At least you and Bryan are a united front and support one another's decisions when it comes to discipline, even if you don't agree at the time. That's what's important - but you already knew that.

    Y'all are great and loving parents - Finn always knows she is loved, no matter what the situation. Just as I tried to make sure you always knew I loved you (even though there were times I'm sure you knew yet doubted the depth of that love). And that is totally understandable, given the situation. But even then, you were the utmost important thing in my mind and heart.

    Love the picture!!!! Hugs to Baby Kulisch! Mom

  2. Oh, I love this. I've been struggling (for the last 4 years) with how to best respond to and discipline (not in the punishment sense, but the guiding into a person sense) my middle kid, who is 4.5yrs. The strategies and instincts that have served me well for my oldest and youngest don't really work or apply with my middle. So the other day, i pick up Raising Your Spirited Child to see what it has to offer, and I realized... *I* am a spirited child!! It's almost embarrassing that it took 4.5 years for me to see myself in him, to realize that spunk and feistiness just may have some genetic origins... Slapping the boat, indeed.

  3. I just got back from visiting my sister and her 7 year old twins. I don't know how you moms do it. I get frustrated that I can't give them what they want and feel like I'm losing somehow. But you're so right. They pushed limits to see what I'd do.

    And I remember once in college, a friend had told me that she announced to her mother that she was going to quit school and start stripping, just so she could hear her mother forbid her from doing it. Her mother didn't, and I watched my friend cry over it.

    Stay strong, and relish the outbursts of love from the little one, and soon, ones. We have no filter at that age and mean everything we say with such intensity.


  4. This is such a great post... I think you are right. You will remember the I Love you's most. Then one day it will be your own turn to look at your daughter and grand daughter and smile.

    Hope you have a wonderful day! All the best to you and your family.

    That Girl in Pearls

  5. The Nemo analogy is perfect!
    One of my favourite and most exasperating moments is when my mother watches my daughter being particularly hellish, turns to me and smiles and says 'I knew a little girl like that once.'
    Enjoy the kicks while they're still small and fluttery :)

  6. Yet another amazing post. Not being a mother, I tip my hat to those who are because you guys are heroes, and your patience and your love is what keeps the world spinning, one hug at a time.

  7. Don't you just love the look, that look evaluating your response when they push the envelope? The "what are you going to do about it" look. I wish I could say I am always calm and sane in response but I can't :) And it's always the mom, the one they are most attached to that they do the most of it with isn't it?
    Maybe that's all you need to hear? Hugs.

  8. Zoe is only 2 and a half but even that is getting trying! The whinging/whining/tantruming ergh! Thankfully she is lovely a lot of the time too. It has to get easier soon!


use your kind words.