But did I really know my child?

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.

Missing our park adventures

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!

9 Comments Add yours

  1. Ooo, challenge accepted–as we’ve got summer vacation here ahead of us, last day of (remote) school for my kids today. I’ll tell you, one of the blessings–and drawbacks–of having twin boys (who get along amazingly well, still, even after more than 2 months of isolation as a family) is that they don’t always let me in. Not that that’s an excuse not to know them super well. They are 10, are in love with video games (of course) and talk about them ALL DAY! I do try to join in, but I have noticed that to understand them more fully I need them on their own, one at a time. Your daughter is so adorable–and I remember that age being both fun and frustrating. The language thing is huge; I felt like so many tantrums were from me not understanding the baa, ba, ba ba, stuff. If I had it to do over I’d probably do a little of the sign language for babies. Enjoy your time together!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Shelly DS says:

      Haha it’s so ironic that you need to have the twins separate to understand them 🥴twins must definitely have been a challenge at the early stages too… I can only imagine how it must have felt dealing with two frustrated toddlers! Gabby is my world, and thank you – I do think she is super cute too! But it really is tough trying to stay calm and keep her calm

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Right!? At 10, twins are pretty fun, but I don’t recommend twin infants. When younger friends talk about having kids, my husband always says, “Have them one at a time.” Of course I wouldn’t change it, but there’s a reason 5 was my favorite age: kindergarten gave me a little break. Toddlers really are amazing though–learning something new every second. I wish I had good advice for keeping calm. I used to have to tell myself, “Stop trying to reason with them like they’re little adults.” Kids are smart, but I often expected too much. Being with your Gabby all day now you’re probably getting attuned to the times of day she’s better at adapting to change. I was always trying to drag my guys to the grocery store at the wrong time–and regretting it after tandem tantrums. I think I’ve become a better listener in many ways over the last 10 years! Love your blog–and I’m looking forward to reading more. So glad we connected here!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Shelly DS says:

        Thank you so much for your kind words! I can only imagine how hard it must have been, but it’s worth it because you win the mom of the year award twice over! Looking forward to sharing this journey with you 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Josephine Nerissa Leão Panzo says:

    I can’t wait to start this journey in december 🙂 I might need a few of your tips, I like the way you and Nuno have been raising Gabby.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Wow, so mind opening! 💛

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Jane Tawel says:

    Love this — first I am so glad for the pictures — how beautiful you both are. Secondly, absolutely LOL’d at the names you give her as you flit across the feelings any one who has ever been a mother of a daughter can understand: “spawn, mushroom, angel, butterfly” — delightful and hilarious. Lovely narrative here. My three daughters and one son are all grown up now and sometimes I am most proud as a parent for the fact that I managed to keep them alive. Do enjoy all the childhood years– it is a lovely, lovely time, job, relationship and journey — the best of my life! It is obvious it will be of yours and hers as well.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Shelly DS says:

      Hahaha thanks so much Jane. I do love her more than I’ve ever loved anyone, and you’re right, she gets lots of nicknames as a result! Lately she’s porcupine because she’s going through the terrible twos but is still the cutest thing alive 😅
      I’ll take your word, mama. Will make sure to enjoy every waking moment with this one!

      Like

  5. Shayla says:

    I’m only a part-time working parent yet I am still learning things about my daughter everyday. Admittedly, as I am with her 24/7, I know quite a whole lot but as she grows it is still so rewarding to see her learn new things and become her own person. That being said, I think I’m ready for normality to be restored now lol!

    Like

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