Today, the Bear accompanied me to a consultation with my OB/GYN, followed by brunch at Whole Foods (she had pancakes, bacon and a biscuit; I had sushi), and an hour trying out everything at the BeneFit counter at ULTA before dancing in the aisles while wearing hilariously oversized hair accessories.
During none of this was there any complaining, any need for a changed diaper, any miserable tantrums or outrageous demands. In fact, there was nothing but giggling and genuinely hilarious insights on her part and, when we got home, we were both ready for a nap.
It was perfect.
I feel like I’ve finally gotten to that part in parenting when she’s not just a cute blob who is completely dependent on me for everything and, thus, has become her own little person. She’s at an age where she hasn’t been influenced by the stupidity and meanness of other kids and she’s still young enough to think that I’m cool and wants to hang out with me all the time. (She also really likes Jimi Hendrix and the Black Keys, although she’s not that into 90′s grunge/alt. Ah well. Gotta start somewhere.) Although we definitely have tantrums when she’s just exhausted and her incessant curiosity has lead to an ongoing refrain of “Why?”s, she’s become far far more wonderful to hang out with on a daily basis than I ever thought a kid could be.
I know, that’s pretty domestic-housewife gross of me and, truthfully, I can’t even believe I’m admitting that out loud/in print, but her simplicity is therapeutic and her genuine curiosity for the mechanisms of society is refreshing and lends itself to pondering my own personal definitions of reality. And her joy – oh, it’s just infectious and addictive. It takes me out of whatever “problem”-that-isn’t-really-a-problem-but-is-just-a-stressor-of-adulthood-and-doesn’t-really-matter and demands that I return to the present, where there is dancing and hours of dress-up to be had. The gigantic hugs for no reason, the random comments about our day-to-day habits, the desire to be around me and cuddle as a means to cure whatever is ailing me… it’s impossible to feel alone anymore.
Which is a huge step from these last 3 years when, even though she’s been developing into her own person, I’ve still been exhausting myself with changing diapers and feeling alone during the day to the fickle demands of someone I barely relate to and like a faceless servant the rest of the time. Somewhere in there, there’s been a shift and now I have a friend who gets me out of bed and demands that I enjoy my life as it is immediately before me. She pushes me to researching where we can go ride horses and pick strawberries and she wants to help with any project I take on, from painting walls to “growing flowers” to folding laundry. She’s the sidekick I never anticipated and I want to freeze her at this age forever.
Tomorrow we’re going fishing and taking a canoe out on a lake close-by. And, no offense to the friends I have around here, but I’m looking forward to it being another day with just the two of us without any sort of adult/societal crap to get hung up on. It is, incidentally, more of Exactly What I Need.