First, the joys. I was poking around my picture boxes and found some pictures that I just love.
This is Marley about 8 months old. Looking at it six years later, I recognize something in her expression that I didn't see then. I'm sure when I took it I just thought she was making a cute, scrunched up face. Now... now I see the face that I've seen a thousand times since--her wild thing face. When she is feeling feisty and full of herself, we often are treated to that face and usually an accompanying snarl. I'm not sure that I've always appreciated that expression but I've come to know that it is the essence of my live-in-the-moment, no-holds-barred, free spirit daughter. I keep going back to this picture over and over again. I am amazed at how strongly her personality was developed back then and, in that way that all parents are, astonished at how much she has grown up.
See, all grown up (sort of) and there's that face!
Here she is about four months old. Look at those chubby legs and double chin! This from a girl who, aside from when she was born, was never above the 10 percentile in weight her first 18 months. She still managed some rolls. We had just come home from buying her that doll and I laugh when I see how big it was next to her. It also cracks me up that she and the doll are positioned the same--even their hands are held the same way. (This was probably the one and only time she wore a headband bow. I was never a big fan of them, especially the ginormous tulle ones but her daddy absolutely detested them.) She still has that doll although there are one or two above it now in her hierarchy of doll love.
I also came across pictures of He Who Wishes Not to be Mentioned, and although I will respect his desire not to have pictures shown (this week at least), I will share a story about him which brought me joy a few days ago. HWWNTBM had an assignment for English to write a letter from the point of view of a character in a story they had read in class about a teenage girl who is raped and copes with it by becoming mute. The students were to write a letter ten years from the time of the story to either the rapist, the girl's art teacher or her best friend. HWNTBM was struggling to get started and told me he didn't know what to write. These letters were to be read aloud in class and he wanted it to be good. I tried to give him some ideas of approaches he could take. Eh, he wasn't too thrilled with my suggestions. "I'm just going to start writing," he told me and that was that.
A day or two later, I asked him how the letter ended up. He shot me a sideways smile and said that it went "good." He proceeded to tell me that his letter had the girl disclosing to her former art teacher that she was a superhero. Her secret identity by day was an emotionally scarred artist. By night, though, she was a superhero who hunted rapists. I loved his approach (the teacher had offered complete creative control on the assignment) especially the superhero aspect. (I'm a superhero fan; X-men, Justice League, Batman, The Tick--I love them all.) Mostly though, I found joy in his creativity and in his pride in himself. I think an assignment like that could be difficult for a 14 year old. Putting yourself in the position of someone who's experienced something traumatic and trying to imagine what they might have to say 10 years later? I think that kind of insight is hard for a lot of people, not just a teenage boy. But HWWNTBM made it work and I felt joy in his success.
Now, a couple of D'oh moments.
I was drinking a Cherry Coke Zero last night. Paul took a sip and said that it was the real thing. No, I countered, it's diet. I picked up the can and looked. Sure enough, it was regular Cherry Coke. So, little Miss Weight Watchers had been drinking the real thing for a couple of days and hadn't realized it. D'oh! So much for my point tracking.
This next one falls into the category of Mother of the Year. Marley has been sick since yesterday. She's been running a fever and had a little bit of a cough and stomachache (no vomit, though, whoopee!) I rarely take her temperature because she fusses about it so much and all I have is a glass thermometer. I also wasn't giving her Tylenol because I've always been told that unless they are feeling really bad or the temp is pretty high, it isn't necessary. The fever is just their body working on the infection, blah, blah, blah. Well, I had to go out and run some errands, so I decided to go ahead and buy one of those ear thermometers. Marley's cheeks were red and I thought maybe I should make sure her fever wasn't too high. Well, I get out the thermometer to take her temperature (are you guessing where this is going?) and it was 104.3! Double D'oh! I gave her Tylenol immediately and she has now settled into the 102 range. Goodness, I should have my mothering license revoked.
Well, I guess those are my joys and D'ohs this week. As always, you can find links to more Sleeping with Bread here.