Friday, March 15, 2013


Four years ago today, I was laying in bed having just spent my second night home as a mother. Lydia had been awake crying for so much of the night because, as we later learned, my milk hadn't fully come in and she was hungry. My mom had taken her downstairs and rocked her so that Robin and I could get a bit of sleep and regroup.

Today, Lydia is at preschool, where yesterday, for show and tell, she read a book to her classmates--not just reciting the words but actually decoding them. I am rocking her one-month-old little brother and preparing to pick up her godparents (and Fousin Harrison) to celebrate at her birthday party tomorrow. It will be the first party where there will be more children than adults, because we realized that Lydia's birthday parties are now more about her than about us. Times have changed...

Lydia is such a little girl. She has a multitude of opinions, she negotiates, she sings songs, plays make-believe, gets herself snacks out of the refrigerator, and uses the bathroom alone in coffee shops (when I can see the entrance clearly of course.) On Monday, while at Caribou before her yoga class, she excitedly led me to the sofa and found a pillow so that I could nurse Holden because he was crying and opening his mouth, so she knew he was hungry. Her birthday gift was a "big girl bike" and she is so proud.

On the other hand, when we got home after yoga, she was told no and threw a remote at her brother and me, informed me that she didn't like me, and physically kicked me away when I went to kiss her goodnight. The next day at lunch, on her actual birthday, she uninvited me to birthday cupcakes. I drove home in tears, so hurt and frustrated with both her behavior and my lack of ability to give her the attention she needs.

The past month has been hard on Lyds and I. I have had hardly any one-on-one time with her, a drastic change from before when it was frequently just the two of us from the time I pick her up at four to the time Robin gets home between 6:30 and 7. Now I have both Lydia and Holden during those hours, and Holden has started his cluster feedings before bedtime. By the time Robin gets home, Holden wants to nurse round the clock, so I can't really hand him off to Robin and be with only Lydia.

On Tuesday afternoon, after she had told me she didn't want me to come share cupcakes with her, Lydia was clearly exhausted. I put her to bed for a nap, even though naptime had long passed. I tickled her face with the silk tag on the same blanket she has slept since she was old enough to sleep with a blanket. She yawned and snuggled and fell asleep. Maybe times haven't changed so much... our little girl was exhausted, she needed rest, and needed her mom. That's the thing about four. Depending on the day, she's the best (or most frustrating) of both worlds. She's going through so much change that, on some days, her growth and development is the most amazing thing to watch and, on others, it leads to situations that make me want to curl up in a ball and hide.

The rest of the night proved to be much smoother sailing. We enjoyed Lydia's chosen birthday dinner: pasta with peanut sauce and brussel sprouts followed by angel food cake. We watched Angelina Ballerina and went to bed. It was a different birthday for sure, but one that represents exactly where we are right now--in the midst of change, adjustment, and celebration, all at once. Happy birthday to my brave, strong girl. We love you, in all your four-year-old glory!

1 comment:

  1. Perfect snapshot of life with a four year old (or almost four year old in my case) and a newborn. Happy Birthday, Lydia! We miss you down here in Texas!