Yes. Yes I am. For a few months now I have had the privilege of writing for babble over at Baby’s First Year about my baby Vivi’s first year (we’re almost to 5 months and she’s still happy about being born!) I sort of stopped talking about my older daughter, Addie, on my personal blog because she’s old enough to tell her own stories now. Well, she tells her own stories but they are hardly to be believed especially when she talks about the time/space relationship. When the opportunity came up to write for Kid’s Scoop I realized that while raising a newborn is overwhelming and exhausting in its own way…raising a grade schooler may beat out the newborn phase. Newborns have an expiration date…grade schoolers? They’re like those three random condiment bottles in the door of your fridge, they’re going to be there for a long time, even when there’s times you’re not quite sure why you keep them around.
Don’t know what to do with your baby? Fake it ’til you make it. They’re not going to be paying attention to every little inconsistency and word that springs forth from your mouth. However with a six year old around? They are going to walk in at the exact most inopportune time, pick up on swear words in movies you never even noticed before (Did you know they say asshole in Home Alone?), read text messages over your shoulder (out loud) in restaurants and let’s not even get started on the keen observation skills they have of the general public.
I never got to the chapter in my parenting book about what to do when you see the neighbor kid hold a toy gun to your kid’s face and yell “GIMME YOUR MONEY OR I’LL KILL YOU” or how to respond when they ask “Why are grandma and grandpa not married to each other?” I know she’s learning from me, and I’m trying to be a good example, I really am.
However at the same time I learn so much from this little girl whose favorite thing to do is play with her baby sister and linger for hours in the Barbie aisle.
The truth is I’m scared, and I know I can’t do this alone. I also know the struggles I experience with this strong willed offspring of mine are not all that unique. That whole village thing? It’s true. But since everyone can’t live in Indiana and I refuse to live any further North than Chicago? This ::waving arms about wildly:: is going to have to do.
So, how about you?