Tag Archive for Social Calendar

Taking the Plunge

My daughter has been almost constantly by my side since she was born. The number of times we’ve been apart is in the single digits.

Call it baby separation anxiety.

At the start, it was new mommy attachment–I didn’t want someone else taking her because she was my baby. I had just worked through 24 hours of difficult labor with complications to bring her into the world, and I felt like I wanted to hold her forever.

Then, we found out about her heart condition and I found myself alone. With my husband deployed and family so far away, it didn’t seem fair to ask another to accept the responsibility for her care, assuming anyone would have.

After the operation, there were months of house hunting and moving and several phases of developmentally appropriately stranger anxiety. And recently, she added the breath-holding and fainting to her infrequent but intense toddler explosions.

Most of the time, though, she is a happy and social child. A real flirt at playdates, where I notice little toddler boys feeding her fruit.

When I signed her up for swim lessons, I thought we would enjoy the experience together. But the Mommy and Me class was geared for much younger babies–“Now if your baby has good neck control, you can try this…”

So, I held my breath and dove in–splurging on the individual lessons. Lessons that required I hand my precious child to another person and then walk away. I could watch from the observation deck, but she would not be able to see me.

As she approaches her second birthday, I am realizing it is long past time. Time for her to embrace new experiences. A healthy attachment is a beautiful thing and so important at the start. At the same time, I do not want to limit her. I have to let go, just a little, so she can grow.

I know she feels loved and secure. I knew she could do it. I just was not so sure about me.

So, yesterday at the the pool, I released her into the arms of a trustworthy someone who is not a blood relation.

And for the first ten minutes she screamed. She howled and raged at the betrayal. And I gripped the rail and felt terrible, for her, for myself, and especially for her poor, patient swim teacher.

But after that, she was finally distracted by the joys of the pool, the fun toys, and the excitement of actually being encouraged to kick–the lure of the forbidden fruit. She swam, and she smiled, and she didn’t even start crying tears of accusation when I returned poolside to pick her up 30 minutes later.

All the way back home and the rest of the day she talked about “swim fun.”


There you stood on the edge of your feather, expecting to fly. While I laughed, I wondered whether I could wave goodbye… (Expecting to Fly, Neil Young, Buffalo Springfield)

Toddler Empathy

We had a fabulous day today.

First we went to a “Soccer Tots” demo. We’ve been joking all week about what a 1-3 year old soccer clinic looks like. We imaged half the kids sitting on the floor, a quarter of the kids crying, and a quarter accidentally kicking each other.

Despite my high expectations for humor value and low expectations for organization, the class was actually quite fun for the kids involved.

Baby LOVES kicking the ball around so I was hoping it would be a big hit. She’s been getting better and better at being around new people and today she participated like a champ. A little boy her age wanted to share with her which is just about the cutest thing, but Baby isn’t quite at that stage yet. I was very proud, though, that she managed to throw the ball as well as kick it in the right direction. Here’s another picture…faces blurred to protect the cute little people who aren’t related to me.

After her nap, we ventured out again to check out our local libraries. We have a choice of two and as a Libra I am incapable of reaching a quick decision.

At the library was the calmest, sweetest dog and Baby actually got close enough to touch the dog (though she stopped short of an actual petting)! This is huge for us. Usually she doesn’t even want to be in the same room as a dog, although she is fascinated by plush dogs and dogs in books. All the way home she kept telling me, “Mama, Woof Woof!”

Just for fun, here’s another pic of my cutie:

Finally, at bedtime tonight, my daughter gave me a glimpse of the caring young woman I hope she will become. We were reading Babar, one of her new favorites, and when we got to the part where Babar cries because he misses his mother (who was shot by the hunter), tears started streaming down my little girl’s face. She pointed to me and said, “Mama!” I hugged her and told her that I was fine and mumbled something about trying my best to avoid getting shot by a hunter.

Then I reminded her that the story had a happy ending and asked her if I should keep reading. I made sure to keep my tone upbeat through the rest of the story as we followed Babar’s homecoming, wedding, and coronation. Her smile grew as we continued the reading and then she burst out in applause as Babar and Celeste rode away in their beautiful balloon.

The End.

Sigh…

So, I had two posts planned, one about the new study that says pregnant women can have a couple of drinks and another, ironically enough, about thinking positive.

But I’m not feeling as positive right now. I’m hoping writing this will snap me out of it.

We’ve been staying at a family place temporarily during the house hunt that never ends. I haven’t been as involved as I usually am in the community because I have enough friends who live more than an hour away who I hardly ever see and have barely enough time to keep up with as it is.

We had been hoping we’d find a house fairly soon, but after various VA loan hoops, snags in closing, and more hunting, the whole thing dragged out far longer. Now we seem to have found a house again but since we won’t be closing for at least another month (and with our luck, who knows?), I wanted to try to find ways to get out of the house for some fun with other moms and babies a couple of times a week.

Our local library has a story time, but last week Baby Diva decided to take one of her rare morning naps.

Today was story time day again and I got myself all ready (a spot of lipstick and everything), dressed baby up in a cute orange and black outfit (cause it IS almost Halloween), packed up the bag with everything baby might ever need just in case (sippy, crackers, diapers, wipes, toys, pacis, extra clothing), located all the things that usually like to hide from me (my shoes, her shoes, keys, phone), and walked out the door…

…and one of my cats ran out.

So, I tossed the cat back in, locked up, grabbed everything, walked to the car, opened the car door and saw…

Captain Dad drove off with the car seat today.

Party Girl

I know a baby, her name is Party, Party Baby…

Because Baby Diva had a heart condition, because she never really liked a bottle, because we are moving soon, because we live far away from family and life-long friends…for so many reasons…we never got her a sitter here.

For the most part, I had avoided formal occasions. Before her surgery, I had to avoid crowds in general, anyway. Now that Super Dad is back from making the world safe for democracy, though, there are tons of Formal Balls and other parties.

Baby Diva had full dance card last week.

First, an all-ranks Military Ball:

Then she went to a rehearsal dinner:

Then she went to a wedding and saw her Daddy lead a saber arch: