I believe it is day seven hundred and thirty thousand of lockdown (I stopped counting after two weeks) and my skin has gotten so pale and flimsy that I’m scared to come into physical contact with anyone out of fear that brushing against someone will rub off the little epidermal layers I have left. Maybe that is why they implemented lockdown? Whatever the story is, it has forced me to spend days on end with my little toddler – every working mom’s dream? While it has been such a beautiful experience, I do think there are a few bald patches on my scalp from all the frustrations that came with handling the temper tantrums paired with lack of sleep. They warn you about the 3,6,9 and 12 month sleep regressions, but I have to put my hand up and admit that I didn’t realize that not only would the regressions start from day one to infinite, but I would also be dealing with temper tantrums in my waking hours.
Spawn is my world, the reason I continue to do better, to be a better version of myself. I love her wholeheartedly and truly believe that God made her perfectly – after all she is a spitting image of the man I am madly in love with! But I would be lying to myself and to everyone reading this who happens to be pulling their hair out too. My kid is driving me insane!
During this time I’ve seen the little mushroom acquire new skills, learn two syllable words and even mimic a few things that my husband and I like to say, but what has stood out most is her strong personality. Everyone who knows me on a personal level can attest to the fact that I am the most stubborn and emotional being. It has taken over twenty-eight years to finally admit it but that does not mean I have changed. This is relevant because my daughter has been blessed with the very same genetic trait that I am still struggling to correct. As a mom, I have to see my little one as an angel, but at 3am when she wants me to sing “the wheels on the bus” so she can rock her teddy to sleep, it is very difficult to see the halo.
I must admit that I have been blessed tenfold to still have a job during this pandemic and be able to watch my little one morph into a butterfly. The ideas I had of her, though true, have so much more depth that it almost feels like I’ve spent the last few weeks getting to know this little human. I’ve learnt that she does actually like it when I do her hair, granted she is distracted by a show and I don’t take too long. I’ve learnt that she likes to eat her meals with each ingredient served separately and at different times. I’ve learnt that she will willingly brush her teeth if she is using mine or my husband’s toothbrush. I’ve learnt that she loves to be praised each time she says something right, and will often cheer herself on. Funny enough, I also finally understand how some parents are able to decipher toddler gibberish and translate it into perfectly logical statements. For me, that was learning that “baa baa” is sheep, “Baa” is spider and “ba” is bath.
Now don’t get me wrong, there are so many things that I have always know about Gabby, but these new traits are particularly intriguing to me because I didn’t get to experience them first hand as I had been spending roughly 50 hours a week enclosed in a fish tank whilst trading foreign currency. Over two months of lockdown has forced me to slow down and actually listen to my little one and recognise that as young as she is, she has already found ways to make her presence well noted.
If you’re a working parent, I challenge you to ask yourself if you really know your child!