Sunny Shines

I’ve been trying to read The Happiest Toddler on the Block (Harvey Karp) because I want to have the happiest toddler on the block.

As Husband says when he’s being especially infuriating: “It’s nice to want things, isn’t it?”

Z’s a very happy little kid, truly. She is also prone to fits and tantrums, and demonstrates an alarming capacity for drama (if one single person who knows me makes a “like-mother-like-daughter” comment they will never receive a Christmas, birthday, or Valentine’s Day card from me again. That means you, Mom). I don’t think Z is atypical of toddlers in these respects. It must be very difficult to be three feet tall and not able to run to the store for a pint of Ben & Jerry’s whenever life gives you a smackdown. Instead, your mean mom doesn’t even let you have ice cream (more for her, she reasons), and she’s even put restrictions on the goldfish crackers. Then your dad jumps in saying, “It’s nice to want things, isn’t it?”

Because life is rough for a two-year-old, I’m making an effort to be a better mom. That includes trying out some of the ideas in Karp’s book. What usually happens, though, is I try something which doesn’t work, and then I come up with something that works better for Z. Example: he recommends “hand checks” as rewards, which is just like it sounds–taking a pen and putting an ink check on your kid’s hand. Well, Z freaks out if you come at her with anything pointy, especially if it’s going to leave a mark. Hand checks? Not such a good idea for her. Before I figured that out, I started drawing on my own hand to show her it was okay. The middle-schooler in me (who is really just below my 29-year-old surface) jumped out, and next thing I knew I had this:

Pretty cool, huh?

Okay, fine, maybe not cool to anyone old enough to read, but Z thought her new friend was awesome. She named her Sunny, and we had such a great time with Sunny that I considered getting a Sunny tattoo.

Sunny talked Z into trying broccoli again, she convinced Z that diaper changes are fun, and she generally gained Z’s cooperation in so many areas that I started to feel a little jealous of Sunny. I mean, who is this imposter, anyway? Z will run down our driveway towards the street while I shout fearfully for her to stop, but she’d probably be potty trained in a second of Sunny suggested it. (In fact, watch Sunny come back today so I can give that a shot.)

The thing is, little kids need heroes, and for the longest time, I was Z’s hero. Nobody else. After all, for Z’s first year I had the mama’s milk and nobody else did. Stupid Sunny never had mama’s milk. It’s all part of growing up, I suppose, my daughter adopting other people and characters as her heroes. If I’m already having trouble with her adopting a character invented from my own hand, I can tell this is going to be hard for me.

Maybe I have some growing up to do as well.

New Look! Same Great Taste!

A Friday Free-for-All…

I’ve been hating my old theme for awhile; that narrow strip of text stressed me out. But what doesn’t these days. Anyway, still working out the kinks with this new theme, so I apologize if you visit my website and are greeted with life-sized images of Z’s Entourage of stuffed animals.

Speaking of new looks. I need a haircut. Or,  like, a tattoo or something. Things are getting desperate, the elliptical machine is not working its magic, and I’m ready to take things into my own hands (or the hands of a talented hairstylist or tattoo artist). Z just noticed Husband’s tattoo for the first time the other day, and her delight was infectious. I’m ready to impress her with my own tattoo.

But you know, a haircut might do the trick.

Actually, she’d be thrilled with goldfish crackers.

And if I got a tattoo of a goldfish cracker!? I’d have myself a new 21-month-old BFF.

The thing is: I want a good haircut, and those aren’t cheap. At the same time, getting a real style seems sort of pointless, as I’ve worn my hair up every single day for the last fifteen years. Actually, I think I was born with my hair in a ponytail. (Total lie; I was a baldy just like Z was.) All I know is I’m ready for less hair. Something between what I’ve got now (down to middle of my back) and what I was born with (nada).

I’m adding a new feature to my blog: interviews with UNpublished authors. If you are a struggling writer, or just a writer who would love to be published someday, don’t wait for fame to come to you! Tackle fame through my obscure website, where I will treat you as a guest on my very own imaginary talk show. Which means: without the makeup and hairstyle, and without a studio audience. Leave a comment if you want the glory.

I promise I won’t make fun of you. Much.

Since what the world needs now is Clark, sweet Clark, I end with this: