Mommy Ones and Baby Ones

>> Wednesday, August 29, 2007

“That’s the mommy one, and that’s the baby one.”

Samantha is two (and a half) and says this often. I suppose this is the age when children take a step back and see themselves and their place in the family. They begin to role play, put their baby dolls in time-out, and sometimes pretend to be a mommy, putting diapers on everything.

This reflection of motherhood is heartwarming when I see them lovingly adhere band aids to their stuffed animals; or when they tell me I am beautiful; or when they attempt to read a book to one another. In those moments, I realize I’m doing all right.

But it’s also scary. Do I really sound that impatient sometimes? Do I say “actually” and “all right” that often? And I swear, I never put anyone in time-out just for singing, so I don’t know where they got that idea. But if I take the time to look at their interpretations of mommyhood, their reflection helps me tweak my own interpretation a bit... you know, to work on my patience and say “all right” less often.

At times they reflect our relationship in the simplest ways. They see mommies and babies everywhere -- two bubbles floating in the water; two rocks nested side by side; two Froot Loops balanced on fingertips, one slightly larger than the other. “Look,” they say. “There’s a Mommy Loop-Loop and a Baby Loop-Loop.” If I ever doubt how important “mommy” is to them, I don’t after hearing Samantha observe that there is a “Mommy flower” and a “Baby flower” in the garden.

It's profound because it's so casual, so incidental. There's a mommy one and a baby one. Well of course, duh. But the relationship between the two is like breathing -- essential for life, yet easily overlooked in some ways. So, while I am thrilled to receive their outward, obvious expressions of their love -- yummy kisses and tight, bony hugs -- in a way I am just as pleased to see us reflected in two pairs of shoes under the bed. Mommy shoes and Baby shoes!

And sometimes the girls find us in the most unexpected places...

This past weekend, Samantha was freshly motivated to potty train and she sat proudly on the toilet seat, announcing every tinkle and fart with a smile.

“I did it! Did you hear that?” she grinned.

“You bet!”

Relieved and triumphant, she climbed down to inspect the product of all those grunts and noises.

“Wow, good job!” She was productive, indeed.

“And look,” she said, pointing. “It’s a Mommy poop and a Baby poop!”


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