Everything nice

In the comments of Friday's post, Jaycee said:

"When I read comments about how difficult or challenging or frustrating or tiring it is having young children, I feel sad and angry. This is not a judgement. I know I should probably stop reading, but I'm always hoping to read about the joy and bliss and pride and utter euphoria of being a parent. I feel so lucky."

Yeah, I feel sad and angry, too. I wish it was easier for all of us! It seems so unfair and isolating and cruel that we find ourselves in these difficult places, and feel like we're in the bottom of a canyon with no way to climb out (or even knowing we can climb out but it'll be a long hard trip).

I know I appreciate the great moments more because things haven't been perfect and blissful all the time. But I also feel a responsibility to other parents to be honest about how it sucks, sometimes a lot, and how it is also unbelievably wonderful, sometimes a lot.

So, since we shared signposts and frustrations Friday, how about sharing signposts and delights today?

I'll start:

My older son crawled in with me on Sunday morning and we had a discussion about computer hackers, how I'd let him live with me even if he became a computer hacker, our cats, the role of cats in ancient Egypt, and the current challenge he's working on in one of his video games.

Last night my little one crawled on the couch with me and snuggled for a full half hour before getting up and running off. And recently he likes to sing everything he says. Mostly to the tune of The Imperial March from "Star Wars."

What made you thrilled about being a parent recently?


143 thoughts on “Everything nice”

  1. I woke up Saturday morning to hear my 5-year-old reading out loud to himself in his room. He has just “gotten” reading and that was great, but realizing that’s what he was choosing to do on his own was great too. There was some pride involved there.Later in the day I wrapped presents and he sat doing a craft and we chatted about snow.
    Earlier this year our family spent a fair amount of time cycling together (my son on one of those ‘third wheel’ things that attach to the back of the bike). It was a lot of fun to explore our local trails and beaches together. I would never have made the time sitting down looking in the sand for myself.
    I find a lot of joy in our family. But I still find the moments sort of extend themselves after the age of 3.5.
    One reason I don’t really go on too much about those moments though is that I do feel like there’s pressure on WOMEN in particular to be creating this bliss all the time. Sometimes reading other people’s happy moments makes me feel like I suck for having let my kid watch Cars for the 213423235 time while I did something else rather than creating opportunities for wildly meaningful engagement.
    When really those moments are just given.

  2. *Finally* at 3.75 and 18 months I have a moment day when both boys snuggle up with me- sometimes it’s to read the little one a book and the larger one drops his toy and joins us or it’s in the morning these days when I do the (online) advent calendar with the bigger one and the little guy toddles over to look. No whining, rolling, hitting, fighting jealousy – just the three of us, together.

  3. I know I too often get mired in the drudgery of parenting, so this thread is a great idea.Yesterday having a football-viewing-marathon with my 7 yr old who has an encyclopedic knowledge of all things NFL. Then when putting him to bed, he asked for a story so I told him about some of my favorite Christmas memories from when I was a little girl which he loved hearing.
    With my 3.5 year old, watching her re-enact scenes from her new obsession, the Home Alone movies. Watching her scream, “Kevin” and fall backwards like the mom in Home Alone 2 is priceless.

  4. In the midst of a truly awful day last week, my toddler ran up to me, gave me a kiss on the cheek and extended his own cheek for a kiss as well. It made me instantly feel better.

  5. The most recent heart-warming moment was this morning. My DS (5 years old) who had a snow day, told me to “be careful” as I was bundling out the door to work this morning. It just shows that he is growning more aware of things around and is concerned about those around him.Last night my DD (3 years old) was super snuggly which was really nice because she can be quite prickly sometimes! It was nice to have my little one want to spend some snuggle time with me before she went to bed.

  6. New parenthood was mostly hell for me, and if I had had to bullsh*t and say everything was buttercups and sunshine I would prolly have climbed that watertower….But, as they say on the Interwebz… it gets better. Much, much better.
    Delights which may be in your future…? Getting a call from your Mom saying how much she enjoyed your daughter’s rehearsal. Calling up Mom to gently tell her she called the wrong person; she meant brother, and brother’s talented pianist daughter, who lives near her. Nope! MY daughter. In concert with her college orchestra on the road in GP’s city… independantly called her grandparents and invited them to the rehearsal! Such naches, all around.

  7. I love watching my kids draw. Their creativity, their facial expressions, humming to themselves, tongues wiggling around. It always fills me with warmth.We all sleep in one bed, which has had ups and downs. But lately, I sink into bed with my husband between them, and we snuggle in for the night. It’s been snowing outside, which I see through the window next to our bed. I find myself feeling like I never want this to end, because it is so very good.

  8. Recently overheard between 8 y.o. son and 5 y.o. daughter:Son: Bye! I’m going to basketball practice. Love you!
    Daughter: Bye! I love you, too. Have fun!
    Still making me smile days later.

  9. Yesterday my fourteen month old son went up and gave my three year old daughter a hug for his first time. Earlier in the day they were sitting next to one another on the floor and my daughter was gently rubbing his back and then I noticed he was rubbing her’s right back. The random moments when they play nicely together and are laughing are amazing. Last week my three year old saw Santa in a parade and was overwhelmed with happy. I think one of the best moments ever is when your baby takes their first steps. It’s the first time they know how awesome they are and the pure joy expression on their face is priceless. And, toddlers and babies in their winter PJ’s are simply adorable, especially when they’re sleeping (not only because they ARE sleeping, which is nice, but they look so sweet).

  10. Yesterday, playing in the snow for 2 hours with my 3-year-old. Shovelling the front walk together, and then teaching him how to slide down the snow pile in the driveway, and then making snowmen and a snow train and a snow house and a snow tree and a snow snowplow and a snow airplane (the first being my idea, all the rest being his idea).

  11. Frankly my parenting experience has been so wonderfully augmented by Moxie and the Moxites. I don’t find the comments sad, but comforting and supportive. We’ve got it good with one wonderful 3.5 yo boy. I know there are loads of parents with much tougher rows to hoe, but I find this community simply inspiring.My wee one gives me multiple wonderful parenting moments daily (of course along with the usual hair-tearers…) 6 months ago this wasn’t the case, we hit a bad patch and i wondered if I would come out the other side even liking my son; but just as Moxie said, those bad patches in hindsight help me to appreciate the wonderful times that much more.
    Thanks to all of you for every post. The community makes this blog the best I have ever found.

  12. We bought a racetrack to go around our tree this weekend – DH and I both had one as kids. A bit more interactive than a train. So we tinkered with that and DD who is 1.5 years old enjoyed that. It has some piece that are like large legos which she put together and she likes the cars too. Great for a snowy weekend.As I was putting her to bed last night she asked for “Tinkle” one more time which means “Twinkle Little Star”. So cute and funny.
    There are many more. I in no way create these “bliss” moments. They just happen. And yes, they are completely interspersed with things that make me cringe (like DD insisting on putting her muddy boots on the back of the car seat and throwing a temper tantrum when I tell her she can’t). And not everything is perfect, but it’s life and it’s mine.

  13. Having OTHER people tell me that my daughter is delightful, creative, talented, special, etc. Dh and I (esp me) get the brunt of her crap. Nobody else sees the fits she throws every time we ask her to straighten her bookshelf or empty the bathroom trash…but since the beginning of the school year many other adults (over and above her classroom teacher) have stopped me to tell me what a treasure she is.And the other day my 4 yo answered the phone, was delighted to hear it was his grandmother, and chirped (unprompted), “Savta, how are you feeling? Is your back better?” (She had hurt it a few days before.) I nearly died of cute (so did she)–and pride, because that kind of proved to me that we are succeeding more than failing at the whole gig. With him, anyway.

  14. The smile on my 13 month old’s face (and the squeals of delight) as I climb into the car after a long day at work washes all the stress of my day away. Yes, this last year was incredibly difficult but he’s worth it and it’s the little moments that make me so thankful to have him in my life and so proud I *get* to be his Mommy. I can’t wait to do it all over again 🙂

  15. My daughter insisting on cleaning and bandaging my very little cut with so much care and love yesterday. Putting the paper plate ornament she made in preschool on top of the tree. Her sweet/proud face as she handed me the ornament she made–with a cute pic of her. The family snuggling on the couch watching a Charlie Brown Christmas DVD. Reading books while snuggled in front of the Christmas tree. She and her dog chasing each other like nuts through the fresh snow. All this sprinkled into some very tough behavior days–she has sleep apnea and we’re all overdue for a good sleep. Preparing for tonsil/adenoid surgery…hoping it helps make more of these sparkling moments.

  16. My kids have started play hide and seek. The two year old will count (uh uh uh uh) and then the four year old will yell, “Ready or not, here you come!” And he’ll run off to find her. It is very charming. He never hides because he’ll run out to her instead of staying hidden.So, yes, charming, but you can find cute kid stories anywhere on the internet.

  17. on saturday, i was sitting on the couch not engaged with her. she was sitting on the other side of the couch with her dad being goofy. out of the middle of nowhere, she stops what she’s doing, crawls over to me, and gives me a HUGE bear hug and says, “i love you, mama. i got you!” ummm, hello?!?! heart melt, heart melt! i mean, and she’s totally got that 23-month old toddler adorable voice. so cute! i just kind of melted right there and held back the tears. she’s never given me an unsolicited i love you before.i swear i’ll remember this uber sweet moment for the rest of my life!

  18. My 2-1/2 year old was really sick all day Saturday. That miserable kind of sick where she just wants to curl up on me and sleep all day. After a full day of that, Saturday night I was putting the 5-month old to bed. I told my older, “E is going to bed, say goodnight” and she suggested hugs & kisses. I said ok to the hug but told her to kiss E’s forehead to minimize germ spreading. C kissed E’s forehead and E erupted in the most adorable laughter I’ve ever heard. It warmed my heart! C thought it was great and kissed again. E erupted into laughter again. I called for Dad to come watch and it happened a 3rd time. After a miserable day of wondering why I wanted kids, all that doubt melted away to sheer happiness watching my 2 daughters love each other so much.

  19. 4 year old son doing his ‘ballet’ to cheesy Christmas music, completely unselfconscious.Yes there are lovely times but I need to know I am not the only one who finds parenting/life in general er ‘challenging’ a lot of the time.

  20. We are in day 4 of a flu related Dora The Explorer Marathon.Shortstack is cuddled next to me and he comes up nose to nose with me, strokes my face and whipers, “Dora needs to take a picture of Swiper the Fox”.

  21. “And recently he likes to sing everything he says. Mostly to the tune of The Imperial March from “Star Wars.””This is HILARIOUS.
    I would guess that most of the time you probably just respond to the content of what he’s saying without even thinking about how ridiculous and funny it is. I love it.

  22. My son, who is almost 4 and sometimes exasperating in a way that 3.5/4 year olds often are, did an act of kindness that I didn’t expect. We were visiting with his cousin, who is 3 months older and much more intense (ie: prone to tantrums and less able to deal with disappointment). When we were getting into the car to go home, I handed my son the cheap dragonfly toy he’d received that morning from a birthday party. When the other boy saw the toy, he started to wail that he wanted it (and his mother tried to placate him by suggesting he might receive one for Xmas). Then my son gave him the toy in a matter-of-fact kind of way, and was thanked profusely by his aunt and cousin. His spontaneous generosity was as surprising (and not surprising at the same time) as it was touching.

  23. I have to say for me it’s not one cute phrase or action (though my 2.5 year old is FULL of those, especially his recent love of singing and how in church on Sunday he repeated every 5th word the priest said during the sermon!) – it’s watching his face light up when he’s happy or excited about something. That is the *best* feeling as a parent, and makes every bit of sacrifice and energy it takes to make his face light up worthwhile. As for the baby, he has this delightful habit of wrapping his arms around my neck when I pick him up as though he’s hugging me. He digs his little fat hands into my hair and just hangs on for dear life. (He’s 6 months.) It makes me feel so good!Also I know I lot of women struggle with breastfeeding so I totally get it is not all puppies and sunshine (or even mostly for some), but for me it has been pure bliss, especially the second time around.

  24. I made sugar cookies with my 2 yr. old daughter last night. She was in charge of the sugaring. I put the ball of dough in her hand, she tossed it in the cup of (red) sugar and wiggled and wiggled until the dough was completely coated. She did this 24 times. Brilliant!

  25. Oh, and, Moxie, you are so right about having a responsibility to tell mothers about the dark times as well as the bright. As others have already said, the world is full of “bright happy shiny” motherhood messages for women, which makes honesty about the other times more important. I was at a party this weekend where a woman was commenting how she tells every pregnant woman she meets “You WILL want to throw your baby out the window.” Her (college aged) daughter was horrified, but the woman held her ground, commenting that there was a “conspiracy of silence” around mothering, and she thought everyone deserved to know that how they felt was *normal* and they were not bad parents! Her daughter is so lucky to have a mother so full of wisdom. (In contract my mother is always telling me delightful gems about how 1) I slept through the night at 2 weeks old; 2) we never fussed or whined or threw tantrums; and 3) she was never frustrated with us. She always tells me the last one when I’ve had an outburst of frustration at one of the children.)

  26. I get bummed, too, when it seems like all I’m reading is about the drudgery of parenting, so I really like the idea of this thread.Highlights for me are when my 20 month old does her fake, maniacal laugh when she’s doing something she thinks should be funny. She sounds like Renfield and it cracks me up everytime. Also, her “conversations” and her delight with everything around her when she wakes up in the morning. It’s like she seriously surpised and happy that the pets are still here everyday.

  27. My strong-willed daughter, 3 years and 9 months old, finally started using the potty this weekend! Major victory!Also, my 17 month old is hilarious right now. She’s talking up a storm and watching her personality emerge is such a joy!

  28. As many of you have already articulated very well, this really is a place where we can shed the “smile” of parenting once in a while. It’s a breath of fresh air. I love how validating it feels to read everyone’s thoughts on this site, whether positive, negative or vacillating between the two.On the other hand, I also appreciate where Jaycee’s post comes from. Everyone is different. For me, it’s not all sunshine and light. I believe we demonstrate our love of parenting so much more truthfully when we can talk about how much we adore our children even wIthin the context of how raw and real and sometimes just plain hard this gig is. Did that make any sense?
    My delights:
    Last week my six year old said, “Mom, you’re my best friend.”
    Yesterday, my 2 year old son sneaked up on his napping father, putting a tiny pumpkin on top of dad’s head and said, “Pumpkin Head!” with a giggle.
    When my son sings, “Somewhere over the rainbow” in his broken baby talk.
    When little boy asks his sister to read to him and she wants nothing more than to snuggle up on the couch with 15 board books and read to him.
    When my toddler son say “good morning” to his sister every morning before either one knows I’m awake.
    When my daughter sings to her brother when he has trouble falling asleep.
    Anytime they look at me and ask for a hug. They don’t need to know I need it just as much as they do.

  29. My five-month-old daughter has recently started trying to give us kisses. Whether this is deliberate or not, I don’t know, but when she lunges forward and plants her mouth on my face it makes my shriveled little heart grow ten sizes. And then we giggle together while I wipe off all that baby slobber.

  30. We decorated our tree Sunday, and while we’d had a very stressful weekend & I’m very burnt out, I was able to get into it, and enjoy our family time, and DS’s joy. Then we watched Mary Poppins together!Watching him work on his version of Jack & the Beanstalk. He is learning to write & read, loves writing. To see him sit down on his own & self direct this project, and deal with correcting mistakes gives me hope. and also makes me aware that he’s in the midst of major developmental stuff which is contributing to our stress. which helps me feel more hopeful.
    I agree about the “conspiracy of silence” around parenting…it’s like noone wants to make themselves vulnerable by admitting to the dark times, and hence we get isolated which makes them darker. Thankfully I had an older mother speak a small amount of truth during my pregnancy and I’ll always be grateful for that nugget of reality.

  31. My shy 5-year old decided to hand Santa a letter he wrote himself so that he wouldn’t have to speak to him. All of our coping strategies are paying off (and the letter was adorable). I got the letter back from Santa afterward and I am so putting it in the hidden place in the baby book.My two-year old says “needs new batteries” whenever something is broken (even if it’s an apple) or “got new batteries” whenever something is awesome (like tickle cuddles). It’s quite charming.

  32. This morning my eight year old daughter surprised me by packing her own lunch and her brother’s and the best part is that she included very healthy items.

  33. Last night, as my 4.5 year old son got ready for his bath, he grabbed the jingle bells decoration and ran around the house singing, “jingle bells, jingles bells, naked all the way!”. and this morning, he was looking for three new tree decorations that came from Israel and are wood carvings of the nativity, he called out, “Hey, where are those Jesus ornaments?” He makes me laugh so much. It’s a survival tactic for him. His imagination and love of stories is also something I cherish. From the moment he work up today until we opened the car door at daycare, we told “whisper stories” which are made up stories by me based on his plot ideas. Thanks for posting this today – I needed to remind myself of this good stuff

  34. There are the moments when everyone is playing together nicely. Or the belly laughs. But then there’s also the occasional evidence that they’re really growing up.The newly 8 year old got her hair cut a few weeks ago, and I let her tell the stylist what she wanted, went back for the shampoo, and chit-chatted with the stylist while she did the hair cut. I sat in the chair at the store entry way, and sort of eaves dropped on her conversation with the stylist. It was amazing – I have no idea why it was startling, other than I don’t get to see it very often, but it struck me how grown up she was getting.
    The soon-to-be 17 year old, too. Out in public, when you ask him nicely to do something, he will generally do the job that you ask him to do. (Things like can you show him where this is? Or could you help me carry that? Or please run the leftovers back to the car.)
    The three year old is telling knock-knock jokes. They kill me. She only knows about three, and she frequenly skips ahead to the punchline, but it’s just really neat to see.

  35. This morning, the baby slept later than the rest of us. (That alone is cause for celebration!) When Sam woke up, he and I came out to the living room where his dad was making coffee. The three of us got to hang out for a while, which is rare. We had the monitor on, and when Grace stirred Sam heard her first. He shouted in excitement, ran to the bedroom, and kicked the door open. She sat up in bed and pointed at him. The two of them played on the bed for a good five minutes before we all got up again.

  36. – Hearing my boys sing, anything, really, but Backyardigans theme cracks me up along with a dopey “it’s a wonderful of wonderful day” from JJ the Jet Plane …- When my 3 yo insists on walking on the street-side of you on the sidewalk “because a car might come and moosh you.” He came up with this on his own (though it was always DH’s and my practice to be on the mooshable side.)
    – When my esp moody right now 7yo said this am, “No matter what I get at Christmas, Mom, I’ll be happy with it.”

  37. I’m a new parent, so I know I have a lot to learn, but like Jaycee, I, too, am sometimes overwhelmed by the negativity generated by parents who try to break the “conspiracy of silence” Erin mentions above.I guess I feel that while the media generates a mythic and unachievable ideal of motherhood (a myth that of course needs to be actively debunked), my friends, acquaintances, and many strangers constantly remind me (and began reminding me, as soon as I became obviously pregnant) how hard it is, how little sleep I will have, how my former footloose-and-fancy-free life is gone forever.
    At a recent dinner-date with a couple about to have their first baby, the Mom talked about how guilty she felt because she just wanted the baby Out Already! Meanwhile, everyone she knew warned her to enjoy life now before it descended into the seventh circle of hell. I found myself (myself! A woman who has spent nights [sometimes weeks of nights] contemplating bashing my head through a window for want of sleep) telling her that despite all the horror stories she has heard, being a parent is pretty fun.
    It’s pretty fun when your baby achieves his tiny little milestones, when he screeches out of happiness, rests his head on your shoulder, of looks at you mischievously while destroying another part of the house (that last one is also annoying). It’s pretty fun to receive any indication at all that the child on and for whom you expend so much might actually be on his (slow, meandering, more-or-less sleepless) way to becoming a real child (and then maybe, much, much later, a real person).
    Her husband later thanked me and told me that it was good to hear someone say that being a parent, while it can and will suck, can–at the same time–be pretty okay.
    And I guess that’s what this post prompts for me: in between the extremes of the media’s Ideal Motherhood and the workaday Parent’s actual experience, there is a medium on which the bad and the good co-exist (as blue articulates above).
    Oh dear, this is long and getting longer! Thanks, Moxie and everyone, for the chance to reflect.

  38. 1. Just-turned 3 year old sat still at the cake shop while I ordered baby shower cake for a friend. Was excellent listener. Gives me hope for the future.2. 4.5 year old greeted me this morning with “Hello Beautiful!”
    3. 7 year old tried to clean up dog mess on her own to be helpful rather than just getting me to do it.
    I feel extremely lucky.

  39. DS (2.5) decorated his first Xmas tree yesterday. Naturally he hung all 12 nutcracker ornaments together on top of each other at the bottom of the tree. I was about to grab my camera to snap a photo when he went back to the tree saying ‘away, away’! Oh no! Missed my Kodak moment while trying to explain that we LEAVE the decorations on the tree, unlike our toys which we put away when we’re finished with them. I was simultaneously a little sad that I missed the moment photo-wise but also happy that he seems to have this ‘away’ thing ingrained in him. :)I finally gave up and gave him the boxes to put the ornaments away. But of course, he surprised me by wanting to play the game again and put them on the tree again. Happily, I had the presence of mind to ask DH to video it.
    I was so impressed with how helpful DS was in unwrapping the ornaments and in generally taking care when taking them out of the tissue. Really fun afternoon. He’s really turning into a little boy and it’s fun to be able to share moments like this.

  40. I think I love most the moments when I see Mouse excited about learning something new. Recently, she’s discovered indexes in books and she’s just fascinated by them – she was freaking out over my cookbooks all weekend. Adorable. And when she’s proud of something and wants to show me…and when she insists she needs a cuddle at bedtime even though she’s a big girl. I don’t think there’s a real conflict – it’s awful and fantastic most days, and the fantastic is getting to be a higher proportion as the kiddo gets older.I think I felt a lot like Jaycee and M about childbirth – there were the dewy-eyed people who said everything could be perfect, but they didn’t annoy me nearly as much as the ones who grabbed me in the elevator and said IT’S TORTURE, you have to get an epidural. I kept thinking but what if it’s ok for me? So yeah, I hear you – but I don’t mind talking about the rough bits. I think it’s healthy.
    One of the wisest things anybody said to me about parenthood was that it’s harder than you can imagine, but it’s also WAY better than you can imagine. I’ll stick to that.

  41. Oh, how these posts have made me laugh. So cute, all these little people!Yesterday, my 3yo DS told me, “Mommy, I like your dress! I like it because it’s yellow.” So charming and adorable!

  42. I think part of the reason there are negative comments here is twofold. First, Moxie has made such a safe (I accidentally typed sage, and I think that’s accurate too) place for us that we feel comfortable sharing the ugly bits of parenting.Second, we rarely go looking for help or advice when things are going well. It’s when you’re drinking coffee straight from the pot forgoing the mug or cackling with glee as your drop your kid off at daycare that you start to second-guess yourself and come looking for advice and commiseration.
    As for the delightful bits, my 5-month-old daughter’s smile as she wakes up and looks over at me in the morning. My 3-year-old’s imagination which is going wild right now. I love listening to the discussions that his trains and other toys have with each other.
    One final thing, there is payback. My mother gleefully laughed as I recounted lugging my son out of church as he was shrieking “no.” Apparently, I was lugged out of church approximately 50 Sundays in a row. Oh, and my dad was the pastor.

  43. watching our girls enjoy Christmas decorations, festivities and excitement this year has been priceless!In a moment of sheer bliss yesterday, the girls glommed onto me, rubbed my fuzzy fleece nightgown on their cheeks and chanted “Fuzzy Wazzy” over and over again (they love that little song) — too cute!

  44. The last 24 hours have exemplified both the best and the worst parts of being a parent.The worst? Up all night with a barfing 4-year-old, who woke up the baby with his screaming. Baby wouldn’t go back to sleep until 1:45am. 4-year-old was up every hour until 5:30.
    The best? The baby learned to say “uh oh” yesterday (and wanted to practice, which was why he didn’t want to sleep). So cute. And he’s starting to cruise a little, and is SO pleased with himself.
    I REALLY love the statement above–“it’s harder than you can imagine, but it’s also WAY better than you can imagine.” That seems to me a happy medium between “parenting sucks” (which is partly true but isn’t the whole story) and “parenting is amazingly wonderful” (also true, but not the whole story either).

  45. It’s great to have a forum for support when things are crappy but I’m so happy for the reminder to remember and look for the joy.My toddler’s burgeoning vocabulary makes me happy! I love his learning to give “soft hugs” (instead of enthusiastic head butts), playing “chase” with him, and thinking about how fun our Christmas morning (just the three of us this year) will be.
    Like many of the previous commenters have said, the lows can be so lonely, isolated, and discouraging, but the highs are enough to make your heart burst open like the Grinch at the end of the movie.

  46. This morning, both of my baby girls (three months, 2 months adjusted) smiled at me at the same time!When we’re going to sleep, my toddler puts her hands on my face for comfort.
    Both of these things give me all sorts of warm fuzzies.

  47. My 9 month old has started saying Mama and I think he mostly means me when he says it. He laughs all the time, at the smallest things (like fake sneezing or when I lift my eyebrow at him a certain way). He loves to snuggle. Watching him try new foods is the funniest thing in the universe – even if it’s something that he ends up loving, his first taste is always this alarmed, shocked look like “Why would you think THIS is food?!?” and then you can see him thinking about it for a minute and decided “Hey, that was pretty darn good! More?”. Before I had him I thought I’d dislike nursing, but I love it and how connected I feel to him.

  48. My son, who just turned 5 a week ago (sniff), is really into playing card games now, like Go Fish. We’ve been playing that a lot as a family (son, DH, and me) with the TV off, after dinner. It’s been a lot of fun, and not a chore, like “playing” Candy Land and the like used to be a year or so ago. He’s also taught us a new to us card game called Trash and it’s funny to see the rules that are obviously not accurate, but he insists they are. It’s great because I feel like we’re all on equal ground more or less when we’re playing these games together. We all get silly and goofy, and genuinely enjoy each others’ company!

  49. @seadragon, I often find myself responding to him using a Darth Vader voice, without realizing I’m doing it. The nerd doesn’t really fall far from the tree…

  50. Yeah, its the singing. My child singing equals my child is happy. When she goes downstairs in the dark, by herself to play, no tv, at 6:30 a.m., and wanders around singing, I feel I’ve done my job well so far, and that she feels our love.

  51. My 14-month-old is talking up a storm and learning new words–or at least using new words–every day. I love how she surprises me with things I didn’t even knew she knew. My husband and I keep giving each other the “Holy crap, did you hear that?” look.Today I got “noss!” (for snow), “sky” (for where snow comes from), “dush” (for my makeup brush), “nose” (for the nose of some guy on a DVD cover), and “issu” (for tissue).
    When we’re out in public, I try to make her babble her vocabulary just to show her off. I’m worse than a grandmother with a wallet full of pictures!

  52. 4.75 y.o.In Shi Shi grocery, “yuck, what’s that?” (split boned chicken breasts displayed unwrapped by the dozen) “it’s chicken. We like chicken”. I begin to plot my route from the free samples of smoked salmon to the little cups of fruit trifle….
    “…it looks like chicken vaginas…” repeated 3 more times before I tune out the treat map and tune in to “vaginas”.
    Curious George interrupted for PBS fundraising. Tantrum ensues. “I’m NEVER giving them any of MY money!!!!!”

  53. @lisa, LOL! As for Curious George interruptions, last Monday, on my son’s 5th birthday, our local PBS station had the nerve to REPLACE the 7am Curious George with a Sesame Street Hanukkah special! Talk about an unhappy birthday boy… (And we even celebrate Hanukkah, but dear lord, let nothing come between my son and his 7am Curious George.)

  54. Oh, it’s all joy and bliss over here. He is bright and shiny, and so darn happy all the time. He wants to know and understand everything, he listens and says thank you. He resists cuddles most of the time, but is extremely polite about it. “no thank you mama! I must go move those toys”.Data points, 2.75, boy, only child.

  55. I have to say that the stories of the adult kids having intiative and being polite and living out of the house makes me both happy and sad. I’m glad all this hard parenting work actually works, but so sad that its goal is to make myself somewhat obsolete. Some day my babies won’t live in my house and will call me on the phone and tell me about their lives. Bittersweet. At least their nighttime waking won’t be my problem any more.

  56. My almost 6 year old son’s translation into Italian (for the benefit of his Italian grandmother)of a conversation he’d been having with me in English, explaining how Diprodoton was the first dinosaur that actually chewed its food rather than swallowing it whole and digesting it with the aid of rocks. I was bowled over both for the information and the accuracy of the translation!

  57. I feel incredibly lucky that my parenting experience is 90% joy and bliss, 10% hassle and frustration (or maybe it’s even 95-5). But it’s amazing how guilty you can feel for the “bad” 10% and how helpful it is to have a place to go to vent and commiserate.My 3.75 y.o. son is a funny, sweet, helpful, musical, energetic (usually without being wild or rambunctious), fairly flexible and mellow guy. Most of the time he’s an absolute delight to be around, and when he’s not it’s usually some behavior that’s developmentally appropriate or I’m just tired/in a bad mood.
    He is really hilarious right now with all of the funny things he says and my husband and I are constantly cracking up at the things he says– we have a lot of family inside jokes, which I love. He’s intellectually curious, loves understanding how things work, loves being read to and “reading” to himself, which I’m so happy to see developing in him. On the other hand, he also loves all kinds of physical play and fantasy play– it’s amazing and fun to see how he can lose himself in long, complicated pretend games with his friends (“bad pirates”, “bad robbers”, and pilgrims and indians are current favorites).
    I’m also so proud of what a helpful and considerate little boy he’s becoming… of course, there’s plenty of normal 3 y.o. narcissism, but he’s amazingly good at sharing, helping out, saying please and thank you and reminding us to “be careful” and “drive careful”. I am constantly in awe of what a wonderful little human being he is turning into, how every day he has new ideas, abilities, insights and experiences to share. Again and again I think of Hedra and Will’s manifesto for how to “not break them”, because the truth is, he’s pretty wonderful as is and my big parenting goal is to create the conditions where he can just keep becoming himself.
    Baby #2 is due in a couple of weeks. I’m hoping the transition to a family of four won’t be too tough, but I know it will throw us all for a loop; I’m worried for my son, though we’ve been doing a lot to prepare him (including acknowledging he may not always be so excited about his sibling, which is ok). I just hope our little trio eventually makes even sweeter music as a quartet.

  58. Jaycee and M, I have to say I’m with you. I love infancy. LOVE IT. I did NOT EVER want to throw my baby out the window. Sure, the sleep deprivation is rough, but I never minded. I did not find my baby uninteresting or spend a lot of time trying to stop ceaseless screaming. I have spent a lot of time snuggling, cuddling, playing and wondering at their helpless beauty. It bothers me, too, to think of all those mothers to helpless infants who resent them. (There, I said it.) At the same time I know that my infants were pretty happy, as babies go, so if I had a real screamer/child with colic… my experience would have been very different.My life with infants, nevertheless, has NOT been perfect and I really want people who are having a rough time to reach out and get help. So I respect people needing to reach out and speak with each other, and I’m glad Moxie provides such a place.
    I am also not some sort of perfect parent or paragon of attachment. I find toddlerhood/preschooler age incredibly rough, at least with my older (the younger is not quite there yet), and am constantly questioning myself and feeling inadequate there, so that’s my particular Achilles’ heel so far. I figure we all have them, just for different phases.
    However, I did want to get this out there, to say that if you love infancy and infants, it is normal and OK, too, and it really does happen that way for some people.

  59. I helped my four year old fill out her “Habits I’m Practicing This Week” chart this morning. She wants:- to be Brave (try new things, not wake mommy up at night!)
    – to be faster (exercise, practicing her bike)
    – to cooperate (obey mommy and daddy, help with chores)
    – to be creative (getting the art supplies out again!)
    It just fills me with joy when she wants to tackle big, heart-things like that with such confidence. I know that comes from the family culture we create at home, so I pretty much burst with pride too.
    It’s my signpost for knowing that I’m doing a good job as a mama, despite my fragmented sleep (hello 9.5 month old near-walker) and a slight over-reliance on Curious George as a babysitter. 🙂

  60. This was a tough weekend for us. Cold, grey, rainy, stuck inside, DS (3.75 or so) not wanting to go the places he generally enjoys going in such circumstances (e.g. library, mall, lovely warm indoor swimming pool), and completely outraged by the way the layers of his winter clothing line up one on top of another, no matter how they are placed, not to mention the horrors inveighed by SOCKS and SHOES.And yet, and yet. The expressions on his face watching classic Donald Duck shorts on youtube (Out on a Limb, Test Pilot), his comments when he finally braved the layers of winter clothes to go out for a walk yesterday evening and saw all the neighbors’ Christmas lights, and warning me there was “lightning” then realizing it was our neighbors walking behind us with flashlights and his sheer joy both at his confusion (about lightning) and at seeing the neighbors. An implausibly pleasant dinner out on Saturday evening after an implausibly unpleasant venture when I insisted we would go to the swimming pool together. Having him wrap his arms around my neck so I can pick him up to open today’s advent calendar door. The utter joy he derives from helping me make banana bread, and from discussing at length the (many) colors he chose to paint the mug he gave me for my birthday.

  61. A parent of a child at my daughter’s preschool told me that her son said “today I was sad, but Melinda made me feel better, she’s a great friend.” Wow.

  62. 1. My 15 month old’s face lights up when I walk in the door at the end of the day.2. He’s in a phase right now where he wants to be read to, constantly. He’ll bring book after book after book, handing them to me and then either climbing up in my lap or settling on my knee (if I”m on the ground).
    3. Belly laughs from everything from birds flying through the air, to the cat jumping over the baby gate, to being tickled, to the lights twinkling on the Christmas tree.
    4. He now knows how to indicate that he does or doesn’t want something. He’s still not talking, but this little act of communication makes SUCH a big difference.

  63. @Sarah, safe and sage- two spices this mama needs!Before baby, I got the spectrum of what motherhood would be like- idyllic, dreamy, pastel, heaven! And the Calvinist version- you feed em’, clothe em’, then they leave, that’s the way it goes. And the almost threatening version- you don’t know what you’re in for. Men would also tell me childbirth would rip me apart and I would scream for painkillers.
    Well, I never did scream and I had a natural birth. Not because it didn’t hurt, but because I was in so much pain I didn’t open my mouth a peep. Because that’s how I handled it.
    I handle being a mother like that too, and it’s hard for me to ask for help. I found Ask Moxie and it’s definitely been a safe/ sage haven for me. So thank you mamas and papas!
    One lovely moment happened the other day. I was pretty defeated, just sorta sitting in the nursery (where baby Jack has never slept) and Jack was screaming his head off. I had to just sit and breathe. He came over, blinked his eyes and cocked his head at me. I was crying a little myself and he just started clapping his hands tentatively. It made me very happy.

  64. My daughter (just turned 6…6!!! How did THAT happen?) has always been funny, but now she’s making comments and saying things that are actually witty and clever. Love. She’s so smart and funny I just cannot get over her. And my son (2.75) is hilarious, every day. Lately he’s been singing to himself in his crib, which makes me giggle, and has taken to walking up to one or the other family member, throwing his arms around their necks, and yelling “I yuv you SO MUCH!!!”I was stressed to the max this morning with an ill-timed snow day and that just made everything OK. H’s also insisting on adding his snow boots and a pair of fairy wings to every single outfit. And right now my girl is snuggling with me and watching TV. I love that she’s this very grown up 6 year old but still likes to snuggle with her mom.Yes, there are days my husband and I do the “touchdown” signal when we walk out of their rooms at night, but generally, this is the best time of my life and I know it.

  65. Yes, this gig is hard, yes this gig is wonderful, yes to everything everyone has already said good, bad, ugly, amazeballs, etc etc etc. Like others, I’ve always said if you want only unicorns, rainbows, and a Stepford-esque, essentialized version of motherhood, you’d best look elsewhere. I keep coming back here because I can be vulnerable, hear the perspectives of smart parents who get it, and get the truth about what raising an X year old is really all about – which helps me immensely, and given the small town where I live, this is something I can’t find IRL.Back when I had one child who was a sweet 8-month-old DS, I confess that I couldn’t even imagine anything that could incite me to get angry enough to want to (gasp!) yell at him. Now that he is 3 and I also have a 14-month-old DD, I have definitely been kicked the eff of that old high horse. YMMV, but try to take the long-term view. Things change. Kids are wonderfully weird. Which is a good thing! If you’ve never experienced something firsthand then yes, it can be hard to identify with others who have.
    I’m glad @Moxie addressed this so proactively. Sometimes the whole “two camps” dynamic we occasionally fall into around here whenever someone makes a comment speaking his/her unvarnished truth about the difficulties of parenting that sparks something inside someone else who was able to live it differently who then responds along the lines of “I kind of feel sorry for people like you who weren’t as lucky as me even though I’m not perfect or anything,” which is a no-less valid comment BTW… and occasionally it all gets awkward and even feels a little too media-created-eyeroll-worthy-“mommy-war”-ish for me. So glad we didn’t go down that path this time (said lovingly). Thanks @Moxie!

  66. My 2.5 year old DS is delayed in speech and for a long time we worried about autism. He is being evaluated in March of 2011. He recently began talking up a storm and amazing his therapists with huge changes on a weekly basis. When he went in for his nap today, I heard him sing the alphabet song to himself. The whole thing. I couldn’t believe it.He also sat with me in my studio and helped me make a wooden car. We whacked with the hammer and he laughed. He said, “help momma.”
    Tears in my eyes. Yeah, my little man is in there.

  67. I was able to actually read a little board book to my 17 month old and she was oohing and aahing over the pictures. Usually she throws the books.My 5 year old wants to wait to meet a “husband (just like her daddy[meaning a nice man])” and then WAIT to have babies.
    I love these funny conversations with 5 year olds. They sounds so “grown up” but yet so innocent!
    I love my kids and I know even in the midst of the “crappola” of parenting that it’s worth it…

  68. I vacillated about whether to post anything here. I am one of them who is very glad to have a place for the commiseration. My family, friends, daughter’s parents, etc. are the people with whom we share our delight in our children.Then I came across this quote from an ex-pat site I read, and wanted to use it to express why I think we gather here in Moxieland for bemoaning (and troubleshooting!) our difficulties with our children: “We count our miseries carefully, and accept our blessings without much thought.” –Chinese proverb
    Daily life is where I accept my blessings. Places like Ask Moxie is where I *need* to focus on the miseries carefully. Not to wallow in it, but to understand it, find sympathetic ears, and then rejoice when I’ve felt it’s no longer a problem. That could just as easily be me deciding to make peace with an “issue” as it could be my daughter growing out of a challenging phase.
    Right then, on to the cute stuff: She is social without demanding the spotlight all the time. Sometimes she has the timing of a stand-up comic. We were on a horse and carriage ride at a Christmas village, and she sat with the drivers in front. She cracked all sorts of one-liners, loud enough for the whole carriage to hear. One being (told in Danish), “I can speak English, but I just don’t have time for it.”
    In general, she’s fun, funny, happy and polite. We interact the way I (ideally) interact with anyone; with mutual respect, normal tones of voice and a light heart. She has been way more joy than difficulty since she was 2 1/2. But even then, when she wasn’t in a horrid tantrum, she was still fun and happy. I am proud and thankful and awe-struck that we are so lucky to have such a genuinely great person as our daughter.

  69. Playing jump over the plush soccer ball and after many failed attempts to clear the soccer ball he finally does and says “Good job myself!” He’s three and I love, love, love his language, motor skill and cognitive growth spurts.I love being his mother. Best choice I ever made in my life was to become a parent. I love him beyond words.
    And yet, I get tired and frustrated and life, including the being a mom part, can occasionally seem overwhelming. Being able to say so and hear back that I’m not alone in feeling that way, instantly lifts a great deal of the ohmygodican’ttakethisonemoresecond feeling. It’s just a shift in my mental state but I need the outside validation to help me get there. This place is one of the best I’ve found for that. I will be eternally grateful to everyone who has commented along the way.
    But back to kids say the darndest things – “mom, why don’t spiders have a penis?” Um, what?

  70. We made gingerbread cookies yesterday and no one fought over the decorations!Little brother yells at big sister every morning as she runs to the bus “Have a good day!” and today she said it back to him instead of just running onto the bus.
    Big sister is now responsible for feeding cats every day and she is doing a great job.
    Little brother did a great job at his preschool Christmas program on Saturday and acted more maturely than most of the other 4 year olds.

  71. My 7 year old says she’s going to live with me forever, open a restaurant in the open space area at the entrance to our development (Italian, because everyone likes Italian food, Mama), and become an astronaut. She’s delightful.My 3 year old gives me kisses every day. She’s delightful too.

  72. My almost six year old liked dinner so much tonight (Jamie Oliver’s Chicken Pot Pie) that he gave me some “thumbs up on dinner, Mama” action. And cleaned his plate twice.

  73. Parenting has far and away been the best (and also hardest) experience of my life!! Every single minute you put into your kids is so incredibly worth it! I’ve believed that with my whole heart the entire three years my daughter has been here whether it’s been a particularly challenging or easier time.In general, the more challenging things in life are the ones that turn out to be far and away the most rewarding. Sometimes we get stuck in the difficulty/challenges/tiredness of it – especially when we’re in the middle of a long climb (newborn/first year stage, bad sleep phase, medical issues to deal with, etc.) But, honestly, it is all so very worth it and rewarding.
    Instead of listing all of those little tiny things that I find rewarding, I’ll offer a different perspective: Each year (around my daughter’s birthday) I make a scrapbook for her on one of those online photo places and it is AMAZING for ME to relive our past year in pictures of all of the incredible things we did, adding commentary of how awesome we think she is and all that she has accomplished. It brings up all of those tiny moments and many, many more. I make it for her and I also always order one for myself so I’ll have it to look over in the nursing home years from now 🙂

  74. I’m in constant awe of how smart and funny and observant my almost-three-year-old is.”Mama, does Santa wear red undies?” was her question to me this morning. There are too many of these instances for me to mention or remember. I try to write them down when I can, or at least keep them in my brain long enough to share with my husband when he gets home from work.My daughter is delightful, entertaining company, and even on our tough days, I’m keenly aware of what a privilege it is to be her mother. I feel especially fortunate that I get to stay at home with her; I can’t think of another job I’d rather be doing.

  75. When my 15 month old points to the CD player, asking for music. And when I turn it on, we dance! I love it so much! It makes me smile and laugh and he even lets me hold him for the slow songs. Or when my 3.75 yr old plays Indiana Jones (Andy Jones as he says) or cuddles with me each night or gets so very excited about Christmas! He is an emotional and sweet boy.

  76. My 2.5 year old checks the tree every morning because he just can’t grasp the time/days till Christmas thing. Some days he just sits in his pjs and looks at the lights and ornaments in wonder, his hair sticking up in the back.This morning he lay down in front of the tree in his pjs and pretended to make snow angels.
    Totally makes up for the toddler meltdown last night.

  77. @Kristina, I know just how you feel. My son had a speech delay also. When he was 2 I was the only person in the world (my husband sort of, not as much) who knew what a great sense of humor he had. We signed (ASL) but it was more than that…just timing and facial expressions, somehow.

  78. i was in the middle of stress from finals and trying to memorize artists names and styles and trying to find time to do my homework without distraction and then my 3 year old boy climbed into bed with me where i was studying and picked up one of my books and started looking at art and telling me which he liked and what he wasn’t into and it was just amazing to suddenly realize that we can share things like that now that he is getting bigger.

  79. I can feel my dander getting up even though it’s not necessary. I think because I am SO optimistic and perky, and here (and twitter) is often the only place I ever let go and admit the miserable times. I love “look at the good stuff” posts, I just hate that it is in response to a “there’s too much bad stuff” post. Perhaps it’s defensive, but I it really is exhausting. It’s like when you talk about how hard it can be to breastfeed and people say you shouldn’t talk about it because it might make people not want to do it. I don’t know, I think getting told it would be easy then finding you were lied to would be a bigger problem My kids are completely amazing. my 4yo is so smart I have to work hard not to make her feel labeled. my 21mo is loving and adorable and hilarious and SO DAMN SWEET. my 4mo is one of the prettiest sweetest pleasantest babies I have ever seen. I want to eat all 3 of them on a regular basis. I do, however, find that the 1.5-3yo stage makes me want to stab myself in the ear, babies are easy and loveable, and 4yos are sasspots. That doesnt’ mean anyone else will find the exact same thing. But it is nice to know people aren’t universally feeling good or bad. I love that this site encompasses the good and the bad both and doesn’t make anyone feel shamed.Typos courtesy of the wiggly 4mo and no time to go back and correct.

  80. I hated the first 2-3 months… but my 11-month-old is perfectly lovely. Oh, she has her moments (“Mommy is just going to wash her hands, she is not Leaving You Forever!”), but it’s just amazing. Lots of people told me that it would be hard (though no one quite described to me the awfulness of the first month until after I had the baby… I wish someone had), and lots told me it would be worth it, but I feel like no one quite communicated the sheer joy of watching cognitive development from the very beginning. It’s just SO much fun to see her figure out things… last month she was obsessed with how doors worked, and she’s gone from not understanding the difference between push and pull, in a couple of weeks, to being able to consistently open and shut any ajar door. Which, okay, is not all great if a cabinet in the kitchen is left open, but man was it cool to watch her figure it out.As to negative vs. positive comments: I’m the sort of person who would rather know the worst and be pleasantly surprised by the best (I’ve loved being surprised by how fun having an 11-month-old is), but I know other people are different.

  81. The delights… my 10 month old Annie dancing to Christmas songs, smiling away. The best – when everyone, and I mean everyone, asks me “is she always this happy?” and I say “yes” because she really is. She’s the happiest baby ever. During the day. ;)My 3.5 year old Rosie who tells me she loves me soooo much completely on her own without prompting. And who loves to bake and cook with me, and to do crafts several times a day. She also loves to clean, which when she gets a little better at it, is a really awesome bonus!
    Both my girls are at a really trying age… Annie’s sleep is getting worse and worse and our nights are awful, and Rosie’s tantrums and 3.5ness is just about more than I can handle on a daily basis. And yes, this is the place that I feel we can all come and discuss how difficult it all is. But I sure hope that no one mistakes our difficulties as being regret or dislike. Because for most of us, that’s not the case. It’s like @Bethany says above, “the more challenging things in life are the ones that turn out to be far and away the most rewarding.” So true.

  82. (sorry if this is a double-post – the internet ate my first version and I’m not sure if it will spit it back out.)@ L : “I can feel my dander getting up even though it’s not necessary. .. ” Yes! I’ve been struggling with this all day. The breastfeeding parallel is a good one, and I know what you mean by exhausted. Some of the posts have made me feel like I have to justify being a loving parent! I don’t think that sharing my struggles makes me negative (as a person or a parent), and I’m certainly not resentful of my children. Since the birth of #2 I’ve been so blissed out most days I feel like I’m drunk on oxytocin. But the nearly five months of unrelenting sleep deprivation are getting to me, and making parenting my spirited 2.5 yr old more challenging. I’m just so grateful to my fellow Moxites for their advice, support, commiseration, & encouragement in joyful times and sucktastic ones.

  83. My parenting experience used to be nothing but joy and bliss and pride and utter euphoria. Then we had a 2nd and 3rd. Whole different ballgame.

  84. Erin, glad you enjoyed the analogy. :)momofmany, I kind of want to make out with your comment because YES that is EXACTLY my experience. My first was challenging but I didn’t care and I loved nearly every second. My second is just as loveable of a person, but is just flat-out HARDER to deal with things when you have another kid or two (or 5) to also deal with. Part of my issue may be some stress on my part that we originally wanted to stop at 2 kids but ended up with a surprise (adorable and wonderful) 3rd? But yeah, parenting one kid was easy and sunshine and rainbows and unicorns. 3 kids has made a bit of a dent in my innate optimism. 🙂

  85. After a full day of our almost 4 year old twins screaming at each other and running to me every few minutes I got to listen to them have a long conversation over the baby monitor. After they were done, the conversation at an end, our son said “night, I love you” to our daughter. She returned the sentiment and I could hear them blowing kisses to each other. That erased my weariness from a day of screaming.

  86. Ooh, you got me on a bad day for bliss. My baby is home with yet another mysterious fever and my preschooler didn’t want to go to day care today because she says the other kids won’t play with her.But I’ll try… when she’s sick, Petunia (the baby) just wants to be held. She is miserable and pathetic and I’d do anything to make her feel better. But holding a snuggly little baby is a very sweet thing, particularly since I know that I won’t be having any more babies, and she’s 14 months old now- so coming up fast on the phase when they just want to run and move and hardly have time for snuggles.
    Pumpkin (the preschooler) is smart and sweet and loves to make her little sister laugh. Last night, she played a vigorous game of peekaboo for as long as we’d let her, just to cheer up her little sister. It was sweet.
    There’s more, but today is not the day for me to come up with it. Sorry to the folks who find that a downer! But I don’t think you should feel sorry for my kids. They are loved beyond anything else in their parents’ lives, and if I vent here or on my own blog, the primary reason is to clear the mental space to dive back in and parent them with the patience and intensity that such an important undertaking deserves.

  87. I am only ten months into parenting, and many times over, I have been deeply appreciative of the honesty here (in the blog and its comments) about the challenges of having a little one.That said, today’s moment: her signing “milk” back to me for the first time.

  88. My soon-to-be 3-year-old son will sometimes sing Mr. Sandman by the Chordettes (his all time FAVE song is their Lollipop Song, but he likes Mr. Sandman, too). Naturally he skips words, or repeats them, and the tune and phrasing are pretty “interpretive”, but eGADS it makes me happy to hear it! And my favorite part of his version? “So please turn on your magic BEANS…” That’s my heart there, melted on the ground, y’all. :-}

  89. I have a lot to add to this one, but here are just a few. My daughter and son (1.5 and 3.5) often reach their arms out to one another and say, “Hug?” And then give each other hugs that end in giggles. I think our affectionate parenting has something to do with this.My daughter has begun to say things in sentences and hammers them out in a really hilarious methodical robot-like voice. I guess it’s all about the effort when she comes up with a new sentence. It’s both funny and amazing. My son keeps telling me random stories that are truly beautiful or singing songs out of the blue that are stunningly thoughtful, lovely boy soprano tunes.
    I do love parenting. Enough that even in the midst of supremely frustrating times there is a little voice that tells me it’s just a short span of time and soon I’ll feel the total adoration of these two people again.

  90. After reading through these, I just wanted to add that I, too, thought parenting was going to be one, long lovefest. And I ended up a pretty miserable mess the first 5 months–sleep deprived, anxious, overwhelmed, and scared. What got me through were good friends who always tell it like it is, and sites like this where parents are honest and sympathetic.I love baby like nothing else in this world, and the responsibility of that–and the loss of life as I knew it–is pretty dang hard to cope with at times. But coming here, and talking to friends, to vent and realize you’re normal and not alone… well, that’s like Prozac for me.
    I totally respect all those parents who find parenthood a breeze and a joy all the time, but I must honestly admit that I simply can’t relate to you (even though I’m sure you’re all really, really nice!).

  91. I was at a baby shower on the weekend and we spent the whole afternoon sharing stories about everything, from dropping babies on their heads to over-hearing the conversations our kids have when they’re playing. It was so much fun.Last week I was getting ready to go out and I was putting make-up on. My nearly-6-year-old son came in to me and said, “I like the colours on your eyes mum” and after I put my glitter mascara on he asked, “Why do you have sprinkles on your eyes?”
    It was adorable.

  92. OK, I’ve got another one: Petunia (14 months) dancing to the Dora “we did it” song, and then turning to her big sister (3.5 years) with her hand up for a high five. And Pumpkin giving her a high five while dancing.

  93. Yes – I love this! It is so important to revel in the Good of Small People!My 2.5 y.o. son spontaneously sings songs, even songs that he’s only heard a few times. Very few things are as cute as, “You Are My Sunshine” sung by a high, lispy voice.
    When I’m having an irritated moment with him, or if I stub my toe, or for whatever reason I have a sad look on my face, he will stop everything, put his hand on my shoulder, and say softly in my ear, “Don’t worry Momma, it will be alright.” *melt*
    He pretends his stuffed animals are brothers and makes them hug and kiss each other.
    He dances to music, both played and in his head.
    I could go on, but you get the point. I would say by 18 months, The Good definitely outweighed The Bad.

  94. My 3 1/2 yr old said, “What did one slippery say to the other slippery? I feel slipperous!!” My 1 yr old said, “Mumum” with a sweet smile. They wear me out but they rock.

  95. My son (2.5) and I play this kiss game. It’s where we slowly lean in to one another, going, “MMMMMmmmmmmmmm,” (as in Muah) then just before we kiss I fake out and turn my head and scream, “Nooooo! No kisses”. It cracks him up and he then proceeds to hold my chin between both of his chubby toddler hands and force kisses me, or gives me rasberries on my cheeks or chin. Over and over we’ll do this until we’re both belly-ache laughing and filled up with kisses. We played this while waiting for our to-go order yesterday and it was the easiest, best 20 minutes of my weekend. Love that kid to pieces.

  96. Postpartum depression robbed me of the ability to really enjoy my son’s infancy, so I bristle at the thought that this web space need be infused with a modge podge of sunshine and rainbows when all I saw in the first year of his life was miserable grey. There are enough sites out there that made me feel like an asshole mother. This one didn’t. If the posts and the comments here make someone sad and angry upon reading, so be it. I was pretty sad and angry then, too.That said, I now have some seriously profound joy in parenting my almost three year old. Man, he is something else. Just today, he found a button in the car that he believed to be the button missing from my coat. It’s not the missing button, but he was so excited to find it and share it with me that he ran into the house shouting and waving it about. I just love that he remembered that I was bemoaning the fact that I had a missing button, love that he got so excited about finding it and love, love, love that he couldn’t wait to give it to me.

  97. I think it was Deborah Tannen who noted that women, in particular, bond over “troubles talk.” That’s what I need when I come here, usually, is to hear the troubles talk and know I’m not alone in my struggles. I find it tremendously helpful to read the negatives, so I do want to thank you, Moxie and Moxites alike, for this service.With that said, I have an Everything Nice: my daughter turned three this week, and I was talking to her about how three years ago my tummy, which was full of fetus, started to rumble, and then we went to the hospital, and she came out, and we brought her home, yay, yadda yadda.
    She sat there for a while, and then spontaneously told me that when she was born, strange people put their fingers in her mouth, and that if she’d had teeth then, she might have bitten them. She then also detailed that she emerged from me headfirst, that it felt like a tight hug, and there were bright purple lights. Given that she has never heard anything about the mechanics of vaginal delivery, postnatal cleanup, Apgar testing, or the bilirubin lights, it seems that she genuinely remembered her birth. My husband was equally floored. Guess what went right into her baby book that day?
    (Of course, she also told me she came out through my mouth, she didn’t remember hearing anything because her ears hadn’t grown yet, and that the attending OB was in fact her favorite white-cheeked gibbon from the zoo. I wrote in the baby book that we “could not confirm these details.”)

  98. Today is my daughter’s third birthday and she is an absolute delight 90% of the time.She has discovered the meaning of “same.” She told me that the baby bunny is going to be a little girl bunny and then she’s going to be a big bunny and a mommy bunny, and then these two bunnies (pointing) will be the same.
    She wants to be a mommy herself. She will have a boy and a girl and name them Johnny and Fox. They will both have big red tractors that will be the same.
    I know no one finds other people’s cute kid stories to be as cute as the parent does, but if anything was an invitation to share, this was.

  99. I found AskMoxie when DS#1 was a few months old and not sleeping and I was sure I was doing everything wrong. It was nice to read that I wasn’t alone. That being said, I’ve now had DS#2 and I LOVE what someone quoted above. It’s a lot harder than you can imagine, but so much more wonderful, too.Onto the fun stuff!
    3.2 year old asked if he could jump on me and “knock me over.” I said yes and he jumped into my arms for a big bear hug that “knocked me over.” My 13 month old saw us laughing on the ground and came over to join in the fun, by laying on his big brother, of course! We were all laughing by then. After that they took turns giving me kisses. It was the first time they both did that and it seriously melted my heart.
    On a less serious side, earlier the 3 year old was jumping around, then looked up at me and told me, “I’m jumping over my toots!”
    And the 13 month old made himself laugh today. Not sure what it was, either. Just glad to know he’s happy with himself.

  100. I’ve long had a habit of making up lyrics to existing songs (I was a Mad Magazine kid). My 3 yr. old daughter gave it a go yesterday, describing what we were doing to the tune of Frere Jacques and nailed it first try! She was really pleased with herself and I was misty.

  101. Reading through these comment yesterday gave me many smiles and some laugh out loud moments (“Jesus ornaments” and “needs new batteries” for example.) @Amanda – LOVED the baby lunge/kisses when my little guy went through that phase. Attack of The Happy Baby!!The “conspiracy of silence” around parenting has not been my experience. (Around pregnancy, yes. I felt guilty about how I loathed being pregnant, when every woman I knew seemed to love it.) I had a lot of fear and apprehension about having children; Like M mentioned, it seemed that so many friends and relatives whom I trusted talked of nothing but exhaustion, misery, and tension. So far it’s been a lot easier and so much more joyful than I had ever imagined.
    As Blue pointed out, everyone is different. This is an amazing community where people can share their experiences, positive and negative, and find so much support.
    My delight this morning: Asking my son “Where’s doggie?” and seeing his eyes widen and look around the room, then a quiet little “foof” (woof) and pointing when he laid eyes on him.
    Thanks everyone for sharing.

  102. I never knew how hard parenting was going to be until I was in it, but gratefully, I also never knew just how deeply I could love. The profoundest type of love, the kind that makes you know you’d give up your life in an instant to save your child. Thank goodness it’s there to carry me through.

  103. My eight and a half month old is currently in the middle of trying to crawl and while her waking up 3-4 times a night to practice is currently making me want to rip my hair out, when she rocks up onto all fours and smiles and goes “heeeee” like she’s so proud of herself, it makes it all just a little bit better.I am also glad to see I am not the only one who hates the rainbow and unicorn sites out there (coughkellehamptoncough) that make me feel like I am not sucking enough marrow out of life or whatever. Yeah, thanks for making me feel like an asshole terrible mother for not taking fuzzy soft focus pictures of my children in expensive clothes on the daily, lady. I mean, I get it if that’s their deal, but I love, respect and appreciate the real deal bad with the good HONEST moms so much more.

  104. @ Amanda and Jaycee: YES with the baby kiss lunges. My little man started doing this a couple of months ago. I always shriek and laugh (his mouth is so wet! and cold!) and say: “Are you trying to EAT MY FACE?” Because that’s what it feels like, but in a good way. DS #1, deeply lovely though he was, used to flinch when we kissed him and never would relax against us, even as a baby. He was always trying to be his own independent little person (in some ways now that he IS more independent, he’s more affectionate – it’s like he couldn’t do it until it was on his own terms.) #2 is pure joyful gloming-on affection 24/7.

  105. My 2 year old son is fabulous and I feel so lucky overall. He is extremely well behaved and caring (I know, just wait until 3) and ridiculously adorable to boot. A few recent gems: he says “sneeze you” when someone sneezes, instead of “bless you”; he asks me how my showers/meals/etc are, as in “nice shower, mama?”; he lists the people (and food!) he loves before going to bed at night- “my love mama, my love papa, my love gaga, my love breakfast…” etc. He seriously rocks. My challenges with him are that he still wakes up several times a night, he is not quite ready to wean although I am, and he is very shy/slow to warm up, especially around other kids, so I am very nervous about preschool next year. But those things are definitely miniscule compared to the positives.

  106. My oldest daughter always called the nativity scene ornaments “those baby Jesus guys.”I do understand where OP Jaycee is coming from – I don’t expect joy and bliss necessarily but sometimes you hear people’s stories/problems/issues and I feel like shouting through the computer, “stop doing this to yourself!”
    (this does not apply to every issue of course, but a lot of issues do have simple solutions, it’s just that we are not ready to give up/add that necessary piece, for a varity of reasons). Then I feel guilty for thinking this because my kids are at such great ages right now (8,6,4).
    Here’s an example:
    Mother laments that older baby/toddler is up two or three times at night. Baby is still being nursed. In most situations, weaning the baby will solve this problem. I feel like saying this, as I would say it to a friend, but this nursing may be something that is really, really important to you. There just comes a time, when you have to decide which is more important – the nursing or the sleeping through the night – and the answer will be different for each mother.
    Then I feel guilty for thinking this, even though I nursed my own kids for 12-14 months each and I am damn proud of it.
    (BTW they all woke at least once/night until I weaned them at 12-14 months.)
    I hope I don’t come off dismssive here, I’m just trying to articulate how I feel when I’m hearing other people’s struggles.
    Oh, and on a tangent much? My favourite part of parenting lately, is listening to my 6 and 4 year olds play Harry Potter. 6 year old is getting a Gryffindor robe and Nimbus 2000 for Christmas. Wands (chopsticks) can be found all over the house and I always get to be McGonagall.

  107. Cloud said, “They are loved beyond anything else in their parents’ lives, and if I vent here or on my own blog, the primary reason is to clear the mental space to dive back in and parent them with the patience and intensity that such an important undertaking deserves.”Perfectly put, Cloud. I think it also speaks volumes on just how many responded to the post with there positive stories. When my husband and I are out to dinner, we spend most of our evening talking about our children as though they are our gods and goddesses, and we go on and on and love to do it and cannot believe how unbelievably lucky we are to have these souls in our life. And, yesterday, when I first posted on this topic, it was great to write just two of the zillions of things that make being a parent utterly divine. I just must say that having blogs like askmoxie, where I can vent about the tough times and refuel for my kids and myself, is priceless. I do not feel down when I read people’s comments, I feel a kinship of honesty, because a lot of their toils ring true for me, too. Also the suggestions from people who have been there, are such lifesavers. Thank you to everyone’s brilliance when I posted about finding some renewed fun in our tiny, Euro-apartment.

  108. @regiemino- I understand what you’re saying. I feel like that sometimes with my sister, who is lonely but refuses to take any of the steps that seem obvious to me to fix that.BUT, I have to say- for some babies, stopping nursing does not equal instant sleeping through the night.
    And it is possible to nightwean without weaning completely.
    Or get the baby down to a manageable number of night feedings so that the mother doesn’t feel like the walking dead, but still gets to keep the nursing relationship.
    So, see- it is not always as simple as it seems to an outsider.
    And just because there is something that seems like a solution to someone else but that I don’t want to do, does that mean that I can’t say “gee, I’m really tired and it sucks”?
    Sometimes, we’re just looking for someone to nod and say, “yes, it DOES suck, but you’re doing a great job”. I think it is fine to make some gentle suggestions about things to try, but the person giving the advice has to understand that it is only a solution if it works for the person on the receiving end, and if it doesn’t, that is OK.
    (BTW, this is all hypothetical- my preschooler sleeps through the night and my baby is usually only up once a night, and I find that totally OK. I’m just going with your example. And yeah, I totally keep my mouth shut with my sister, because I think it is the same sort of thing.)
    So, in the spirit of gentle advice that you can freely ignore: if reading other people’s stories/problems bothers you…. stop reading them. Just click away and come back on a day when Moxie is talking about something else. Because some people really need this space to talk about those problems!

  109. @regieminoWell, night-weaning didn’t work for me. DD was up sometimes 8 times a night ( between the ages of 2 and 3) and she had been night weaned at 7 months.
    See, it doesn’t work for everyone.

  110. @regieminoBaby was down to 1 feeding a night and is back up to 2–with lots of non-feed wakings in between. If only nighweaning were the solution…
    Actually, she woke up twice last night screaming “more ice cream!” before flopping over and going back to sleep. Hubby and I were in hysterics. She really is a riot!

  111. the morning after we put the christmas tree up, the 6 year old instructed the 2 year old on what happens Christmas morning (while I was in bed, eavesdropping). And then later, she decided the little guy needed to play Fritz in her living room production of the Nutcracker. All I could hear was C’mon N-, you need to break the Nutracker now!And the little one force fed *me* his animal crackers when his big sister refused to share. And he had the most blissed out look on his face that he could give mommy cookies for a change.

  112. @Tina- the “more ice cream!” comment cracked me up, and reminded me of a story my mom tells of one of the times they were watching Pumpkin overnight, while Hubby and I went and slept in a hotel (OK, maybe we went out to dinner and had some drinks, too).Pumpkin woke up and wouldn’t take a bottle. She pointed to the door, so my mom took her out of her room. She pointed to our room, so my mom took her in there and showed her that we weren’t there. She paused for a minute, then pointed down the hall to the kitchen. My mom took her there, and she pointed at the cupboard. My mom opened it, and she pointed at the box of graham crackers. My mom gave her one, she ate, and went back to sleep.

  113. OK, I’ll start off with another nice thing and then I just have to jump in on a few other things.So, DS’ new favorite word is ‘nutcracker’ in his cute pronunciation which I can’t even begin to figure out how to write. This is presumably the result of our tree trimming activity. He’s so into new words and I love it. Oh, and it seems that putting decorations on the tree and taking them off is a new game. Fine with me as long as he sticks to the non-breakables.
    ITA with @Charisse, @M and others who have lamented the negative advice and warnings received when pregnant. When I was pregnant, if anyone told us one more time that we could kiss our sleep and our lives goodbye, that our lives would never be the same, yadda, yadda, I thought I was going to punch them. My thought was ‘Well, this experience is going to be what I’m going to make it, not what it was/is for you’. It’s not to say that I didn’t think our lives were going to change (or even that I understood how and in what ways exactly).
    It’s just that saying stuff like that strikes me as just negative commentary or foreboding, not actual advice. Especially for first time mothers. For my newly pregnant friends I always just send them the link to Ask Moxie and tell them that if they have any concerns, or worries or difficulties along the way to come here for non-judgmental, compassionate advice/commiseration/BTDT reading.
    Which brings me to my next point, which is that I see a big difference between those pregnancy negative warnings and advise and what happens here on Ask Moxie. Yes, many posts are about difficult things. But I just don’t see difficult as being negative. Not overall, anyhow.
    @regimino, I don’t want to belabour the point as @Cloud already very nicely and respectfully summed up all that I wanted to say…but…I will just add an IRL example to your example.
    I AM that mother of a toddler who is up multiple times in the night. We have night weaned twice. Each time stuck for about a month or so. Various factors contributed to night feeding again. And I’m pretty convinced that anyone else with my temperament in our situation with my DS’ temperament would be doing the same thing.
    And I’m also pretty convinced that the night waking, while not helped by the night feeding is not caused by the night feeding.
    i.e. there are other issues at play here like the 2.5 yo stage disequilibrium, DS just getting over a gastro virus, the fact that DS just changed to a new daycare, the fact that I am not in top form emotionally (daycare and work BS I wrote about here recently) or physically (fighting off cold and/or gastro). It’s really not the time to be night weaning right now. And even if we did, I think he would still be waking. I hate that we are at this stage where night weaning (again) is not appropriate. But, unfortunately, it’s where we’re at. And I have to suck it up and get through this stage by any means possible, which includes being able to vent here and have the support of fellow Moxites who get it and/or have been there.
    Anyhow, I really have to agree with @Cloud’s suggestion to just take a break from reading if it’s getting to you. It gets to me some days too (even if in general I find reading about other’s struggles and experiences more supportive than anything). Some days, you just need the sunshine and the easy answers more than anything else. That’s OK, and totally cool.
    I know you were just explaining how you feel, which of course is totally valid and not to be disputed. It’s how you feel. Period. I just find it hard not to come back with the other side of the story when it’s out in the open.
    @Paola, Please tell me things have calmed down after 3!!
    @Erin “Yes I will Stop Posting Now”, nice moniker :).

  114. It’s cold and a little snowy here and we’ve been mostly cooped up for two days. I just realized how busy my kids have been playing with bar stools, empty boxes, a dog leash, my hair straightener and some christmas decorations and how neither has asked to watch tv. It amazes me how much imagination a 3 yr old and almost 2 yr old have. I may have a little cabin fever but they have been so happy playing with non-toys. I love that!

  115. My 5.5 month-old letting out a shriek of delight, scrunching up her shoulders and giving me the biggest smile ever that shows her two cute new teeth with her eyes almost closed because her cheeks are so big when I put her in the sling (2 seconds later she is giving out because it means that we are attempting to get her to nap)…. It may be manical overtiredness, but I tell myself that she is happy…

  116. My daughter just asked me for a glass of wine with her dinner. She is three years old. It made me laugh and made me realise she is her mothers daughter. She made do with blackcurrant juice instead.

  117. @millinerNotice that I didn’t write anything nice abut my almsot 4 year old? No, seriously she’s great, and has been sleeping all night every night since around 3.5. But I warn you, there is a bumpy phase at 3.25 and in our case ( both kids) not at 3.5 as is well-documented. Just now she is seriously argumentative and billigerent! Am waiting for the developmental spurt that happens every year at this time to finally kick in.

  118. There is something wonderful every single day I am with her- the trick is stopping long enough to notice it, savour and enjoy it. This morning it was the sight of her at my bedroom door in her footie pjs, hair standing on end, teddy bear in hand, saying, “Good morning to you!”

  119. Sleep regression. Yes, I found Ask Moxie by searching for an explanation as to why sleep was very, very hard to come by. And found this amazing community and site.I imagine rather that sleep, or rather the lack of it brought many of us here.We’re a month away from DD turning three, and her parents are now very experienced at the month of no sleep that precedes the birthday. Also the half-birthday and the quarter to a lesser extent. But the birthday one is the big one.
    It means we’re dealing with it much better than we did before. Sleep was never one of DD’s talents.
    I’ve never, ever wanted to throw her out of the window, nor have I ever resented her but I have pretty much come near to putting my fist through the wall and have hated myself for feeling that way until I found help and understanding and shared experience and solace here.
    Severe sleep-deprivation is very bad for you. I found that unlike the advice I was given mummy didn’t ” want” her sleep, she needed it. The guilt piled on by all and sundry away from here was huge.
    The hardest part of parenting for me is when your needs collide with those of your child.
    DD throws operatic tantrums too, and has a very, very loud voice.Bad health experiences make her genuinely feared at the place they do the blood- and skin- allergy tests. She’s spirited.
    She’s the undeniable light of my life, and she’s my pride and joy in every sense of the word. And leaving the sleep part out of it, she’s brimming with talent for many, many things. You may all laugh, but I do believe she’s brought out the best in me.
    She looks nothing like me and is very much the image of her father. She’s devoted to daddy and has brought the best out in him too. She has his sturdy joints and technical bent. And night-owl tendency.
    She has huge charm and a great memory for people and places and she has a good many fans whom she remembers and who remember her. She gets lost a lot less than I do.
    She can really jig saw puzzle too. Better than mummy. She’s very strong and sturdily built which means she is a fearless climber but very careful with it.
    She has amazing strong brown hair and lets me put many accessories in it. She’s really tolerant about clothes too. So she has coordinated outfits. Yes, I am very shallow.
    She is usually good with any public. We can take her to restaurants, she can’t eat much with the allergies, but she will charm any waiter. Lots of otherwise very grim urban types wave and smile for her.
    She sings, she plays with her toy drill and hammer set, her toys have amazing adventures and she’s a do-er. Not a talker and not a sensitive type. She’s very, very affectionate and very, very loving.
    Most of all she’s a medically unexplained miracle with a miraculous feature. She doesn’t look altogether like her daddy. She has his very long black eyelashes but she has deep slate grey eyes. They shine like silver and she has flirted with them since she was six months.
    Exactly like my late mother’s. My mother, sadly had mental issues and very rarely looked happy through those big grey eyes. Much of the the time they were hostile and confused or full of anger and rage.They were beautiful eyes, but the stuff of tragedy.My mother was born disabled and her mother rejected her.
    When DD was born I realised, finally, really that once my mother was a baby with very beautiful eyes. It’s impossible to say what might have been. But it’s the most amazing thing so see those eyes full of laughter, full of joy, and most of all full of love looking into mine. It’s pure joy.
    It’s not euphoria, more redemption? I don’t know but it is miraculous. She’s the first girl born for three generations who is one hundred percent loved and wanted.
    And she’s truly delightful most of the time. Today we stood near an elderly lady waiting to pay at the corner shop drop and saw her drop the coins from her purse by accident and DD immediately said ” Sorry!” and picked them up and gave them back to her. I’m very happy to be her mother. Honestly. I may be a miserable cow, but I’m very glad to have her in my life. She is my life. This site though is a huge help because it shares the pains as well as the joys. Not mutually exclusive.

  120. On a daily basis I contemplate having the 2nd, b/c I was an only child and I so want my 18 mo. DS to have a playmate. But I’m always asking “Can I handle this?”I can get affirmation here that I can handle it b/c I can see that questioning one’s abilities is not something foreign to motherhood.
    DS has mastered “daddy” in recent weeks, but I’ve been “me”. This morning, I got a full blown “mommy” that melted my heart. And b/c I’m a softie, I get happy-teary with everything he does that fascinates or amazes me. And that happens much more than the “can I handle this?” thoughts.

  121. When my nearly-3-year-old told me she wanted a “kitchen” from Santa, but she was going to ask for one for Jesus, too, since it’s his birthday. My heart melted.And every time my 3 month old smiles at me and chatters in my direction, like he’s trying to tell me the best story! And how he gets more talkative in the evenings after his sister goes to bed like “wow, I can finally get a word in!”

  122. @Wilhelmina, your comment brought tears to my eyes. Your writing, especially in this post, was so poetic.And this:
    “The hardest part of parenting for me is when your needs collide with those of your child.”
    is exactly it! I would venture that it’s why many of us are here often. Not because we don’t know what to do, but because of this conflict in needs and having a hard time to make the choice between the two.
    @paola, thanks for the heads up 🙂

  123. My 21 month old is counting and talking up a storm – I love hearing what she’s thinking about. Also she’s taken it upon her self to call me “mum” instead of “mummy” when she particularly wants my attention. I don’t know why, but I love it!My other delight is being pregnant again after having problems and thinking we were in for a long haul of trying… It happened in a very random way right before the barrage of procedures and hormone injections etc.

  124. My Son – now at 22 months is pretty much sleeping through the night. To say I’m on cloud 9 would be an understatement for sure.He also is starting to talk up a storm and Friday night said “taco.”
    I love him so much.

  125. I was practicing what I learned in my self-defense class and had my boys stand behind me. We told them their job was to protect each other while Mommy scared off the bad guy. When I looked back after doing my kicks etc., they had their arms wrapped around each other and had huge grins on their faces. It was adorable.Everyone seems to be pointing out how important it is to acknowledge how hard it is. I realized the other day that I spend a lot of time being frustrated and unhappy with them. They are almost 6 and getting quite skilled at bugging me. Everything seems to go better when I remember that they will only be the age for a short while and I need to enjoy it as much as I can. Otherwise I will have spent this time working 16 hour days and never enjoying the little time I do get with them. When I remember that suddenly things get easier and they also seem to suddenly behave better.

  126. My two year old is just a delight to be around. He’s just talking up a storm, communicates with us, and is generally just pleasant and fun to be around. His new “joke” is to get one of us to pretend to fall asleep, and then say “wakey wakey, mama!” or “wakey wakey, baba!”. Or he’ll pretend to fall asleep himself and then say “wakey wakey, booboo!” he is just hilarious these days!

  127. I’m so sick that I can’t even think of a particular moment right now, but just in general my kid is the absolute light of my life. He’s so funny, bright & loving. Oh, I know–this morning he wanted to hold the cat (he’s only 3 so we don’t really let him do that yet) so his dad held the cat and he put his arms around her and the three of them just cuddled on the stairs for a few minutes.Also he does voice impressions, which cracks me up to no end. He pretends to be Mater from Cars, and gets down on all fours, lifting one leg up like a tow hook. His enjoyment of the simplest things teaches me what’s important about life.
    He works SO hard in his speech therapy, and I just could not be prouder of him.
    Every single day, even on the worst days, he always does or says something that makes everything bad go away. Being his mom has been the greatest thing I’ve ever done, the most wonderful adventure, and so much fun.

  128. My 2.5 year old son, while watching RuPaul’s Drag Race (yes, I know it’s not child appropriate) said “that lady is a daddy lady!”.

  129. I’ve been thinking about this thread ever since I posted a response, and now, after coming back to read everyone’s comments (and after stopping chuckling over everyone’s hilarious kids), I want to make something totally clear (even if it’s only to myself): I do not think that askmoxie is a place where negativity reigns. When I spoke of feeling overwhelmed by parents who focus on the negative aspects of raising children, I meant parents who seem to enjoy piercing what they believe are the illusions of others (although I also recognize that for some this is itself a coping mechanism).Basically, I want to be sure to communicate that I am never overwhelmed by the venting that happens here at askmoxie. I see it as totally productive (in the manner so well articulated by Cloud), and I keep coming back here searching for answers because unlike so many other venues, the community here is so obviously committed to parenting–despite the number and kind of obstacles thrown in the way of parents.
    And that’s all I want to say (oh, and to L., I had to laugh at your post: my Mom often tells me that two were hard, but the third [my little sister] totally sent her over the edge).

  130. I love my morning routine with my daughter: when she wakes up (if it’s after 6; before 6, we encourage her to go back to sleep), my husband brings her in and she nurses and cuddles with us and we all wake up gradually.

  131. Boy, the things I wish I had caught on the first day…Even the rough stuff has payoff later – the bad days make it so much easier for me to be happy on the happy days. My level-set for ‘bad day’ involves no sleep, vomit, and/or ER trips. At work, even the worst day does not involve bodily fluids or the worry that someone will die (okay, I don’t work in medicine or transit, clearly).
    But beyond that, good stuff:
    Miss R, who Loves Daddy Best (straight through from birth to 6 years so far) sneaks off to the kitchen and asks me to put on Bob Marley or the Once soundtrack so I can dance with her in my arms. She’s getting heavy, and this is getting challenging to do, but boy that’s something we’ll both miss, and we’re enjoying it every time we get a moment. Glad that she loves dancing, and music, and that she’s willing to love them with me, as something that is ours.
    Miss M, today in the Doctor’s Office told the NP that she’s going to be a Shark Scientist when she grows up. Despite all the now-casual hiding of that love from her peers-who-would-not-understand-and-might-poop-on-that-party, she still loves sharks. And still says so, in the Right Conditions. So proud of her for not giving up her dreams.
    Mr B fighting to hold himself together over the Great Unfairness Of Life and hanging in there long enough to get through a coached conversation with Mr G to where they are back on the same page, understand each other, and can give each other what they each need (autonomy, togetherness, respect, and consideration, today). LOVE that he’s willing to work that hard to get to a solution that fits them both. SO proud of him for going there, knowing that he’s prone to passionate outbursts more than reasoned discussion (by nature/style/preference).
    Mr G trying hard to not run me over with his I-AM-GOING-TO-BUST urgency to get his ear pierced now that he has permission, asking carefully and with consideration and caveats so that he can get an answer that will help him hold himself together without making me annoyed in the process. He’s thinking ahead about how I’ll react or feel based on how he says what he needs to say. He’s done that twice today, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it, love that he’s stepping back a fraction and understanding the impact on others before framing what he needs to express, looking for mutual outcomes that align both parties to a single set of actions with positive results on both sides. WOO, collaborative problem-solving is taking hold at a new level! yay!
    I love that they all still believe in Santa, that Miss M looked at the calendar in the doctor’s office and spotted that the glasswork in the photo was Dale Chihuly’s work (at 6, she knows her glass artists!), that Miss R got mad at me and wrote it out in a note, including her worry that I might not love her if I was angry at her, that Mr B asked to see his baby ‘cousin’ (my friend’s child) as his birthday gift, that they are whole, emotionally rich, engaged, interested, thought-filled people who share my life every day.
    Exhausting, sure. Wipes me out. SO much effort, and so many days I suck at it. But enough days I get it right enough, and I come back in the next season and the next, feeding/tending/watering/pruning and I get to watch them grow.
    LOVE reading all the comments, so many of them exactly what I experienced. Youngests are six, oldest 13, it’s being payoff more and more and more.
    Oh, and I find that I like the baby stage a heck of a lot more when it isn’t my baby. 🙂 Never was much of an infant fan before, but now? LOVE it. As long as it isn’t mine! I’m so set for grandparenting!

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