Several weeks ago Dave and I were joking about Leah growing up and dating, and how he will “not allow it”. I asked Leah,
“Are you going to date boys when you get older?”
“No, mommy.” Leah said. “I would rather date girls.”
Being that my daughter is three, I think her response had a lot more to do with her mentality that “boys are stinky” than her sexual orientation. However, it did give me cause to stop and consider the possibilities. My child could grow up to be gay. And how would I feel about that?
The answer is simple. I want my daughter to grow up and be confident, happy, successful and to find someone that she loves, and who loves her back. Notice I didn’t say “a man” or “straight” anywhere in that sentence. The truth is, if Leah or any subsequent children I may have are gay I would be perfectly okay with that. It doesn’t change who they are, what I want for them, or how I feel about them.
That being said, I want my child to be able to get married when she is grown up and in love. Whether the person she wants to marry is a man or a woman, I want her to be able to have the same rights as everybody else. Family is essential, and who are we to try and stop anyone from having that?
I hope someday that we can stop putting people into categories so that we can stigmatize them. Gay, straight, black, white, man, woman… We are all people. And we all deserve the same fundamental rights. I hope that when my child is grown, she is able to live in a world of acceptance and equality for all.
Sorry for the poor quality, but it’s too funny not to share. This is Leah pouting over an unwanted dinner.
Leah is a very picky eater. She has been since she was a little baby. She has never really liked meat at all. At first, I couldn’t blame her. The mushy meat that comes in the baby food jars reminds me of cat food. But now she is nearly four and her only sources of protein are hotdogs, chicken nuggets, peanut butter, yogurt, and cheese. To make matter worse, she plays the typical game of suddenly “not liking” something that she normally eats. I am sure she must get sick of things with having such a limited palate, but it is still frustrating for me.
As a child (and now) I have always been overweight. I do not want to give my daughter a complex or for her to even be thinking about that right now, but I am very conscious of it on her behalf. She will always be beautiful to me, but I don’t want her to go through what I went through, from being made fun of in elementary school, to crying in the fitting rooms in middle school. And yet, I have this gorgeous little girl who would live on a diet consisting of carbs, ice cream, and cookies if I let her.
I am getting sick of the routine of making a second meal for her almost every night. I have heard the whole bit about just giving her what we are having, but you have no idea how stubborn this girl is! She will resort to tears or just downright refusal to even try anything new. So, if she won’t eat her dinner, what do I do? Let her go to bed hungry? Maybe that is what I have to do. I want her to eat a more balanced diet so that she can be healthy, but I am also sick of throwing away food that she used to like because the wind changed.
Leah wrote her own name on her chalkboard! She is getting so big and learning so fast!
My little burrito-baby telling me she loves me.
I have taught Leah so well. I have taught her how to love deeply, and easily without condition. Perhaps just as importantly, I have taught her to say it. We are a family who does not say the words “I love you” just at specific times such as before bed or only when saying goodbye. In this house, those three words are said with abandon, whenever the mood strikes.
Sometimes I look at my child as she is playing. I watch the way her eyelashes rest on her cheek when she is looking down. I think about the adorable little curve of her nose, and I wonder how quickly the rest of her childhood will fly by, when the first three and a half years have already gone way too fast for my liking. At those moments, I don’t hold back.
“Leah,” I say, “I love you.”
Dave and I are the same way with each other. It doesn’t have to be a special occasion to say those three simple words. It’s not that we wouldn’t know if they weren’t said; but it sure is nice to hear.
Leah has learned so well. I caught her very first time saying it on video (lub you!) and she hasn’t stopped saying it since. I was just in the kitchen making my coffee when I heard her calling me from the livingroom. I stepped into the doorway and said “Yes, Leah?”
“Mommy, I love you.” She said.
“I love you, too, Leah.”
I am all for co-sleeping. I am also all for having your kid sleep in their own bed. That’s just my way of saying, it’s your business, do whatever works for you.
Co-sleeping has never worked well for us. It’s hard enough for Dave and I to co-sleep with one another. I love my husband very much, but we really need to invest in a bigger bed someday! I drive him nuts by sprawling and taking up most of the room, he drives me nuts by becoming a furnace the second he falls asleep (and snoring), and we are both cover hogs. We used to allow Leah in bed with us in the morning, but when it became earlier and earlier we had to put a stop to it. Now that she is a little older, she will come in with me once in awhile after Dave has gone to work, but neither of us really sleep at that point.
Well, the other night was a great reminder to me of a few other reasons why we don’t co-sleep with Leah. Her and I took a little road trip to visit some family out of state, and we shared a bed for the night. I was very crafty by lining pillows up along one side of the bed so that I could save myself a spot when I put her to bed. It worked! I was elated to see that I would have plenty of room. Until I got in, and she immediately ninja-sensed another body and backed up into me. I looped my arm under her head and around her.
It was very comfy and pleasant to be holding my little girl like a baby as she slept. I got warm and started to fade into dreamland. And then Leah used my ribs to propel herself away with her legs. All night it felt like the girl must have moved every twenty minutes or so, and each and every time I was kicked, slapped, or even grabbed (she actually put her arm under my pillow and grabbed my arm at one point!) Needless to say, I didn’t get much sleep. Furthermore, I am sure that Leah can not possibly move around that much every night and still be well-rested; I believe that, although she was asleep, she was restless having me in the bed.
So, that pretty much made me feel very justified in keeping my marriage bed just for Dave and I. I am happy to report that Leah and I snuggle and hug all throughout the day at various times, but at night…not so much!
That’s my girl. She does great with a few people, but get her in a crowd and she completely clams up and clings to me. Today I brought her to a birthday party at one of those kid places with all the climbing and different activities. All of the other kids were taking off into the large climbing structure, but my Leah stood next to me, literally shaking and covering her ears. She finally ran in with her uncle for a few minutes, but then the party leaders gathered the kids to get them into two groups for organized activities.
The first activity was a lazer maze. Leah immediately did not want to do it because she is afraid of the dark. My niece, Mikayla, offered to take her, but she still refused. Okay, so I told her we would wait until it was her group’s turn to climb the rock wall. She watched the first group do it, one by one and she seemed pretty psyched while she was in my arms. She went in with her group and lasted in line all of about 10 seconds before she is shaking like a leaf and begging me to get her out.
Being afraid to do things is one thing, and I get it. But my kid then sat at the table quietly eating her food and cake and not interacting with any of the other children. I know she didn’t know a lot of the kids there, but she knew her four cousins! It was so sad and heartbreaking to watch.
We do playdates with a couple of people once in awhile, but they don’t live near enough to do it all the time. Right now we are not planning on preschool because of the cost, and I have been teaching her at home, but she really needs some socialization. She is such a great kid, with a huge imagination and a kind heart. I want her to be able to share that with other kids.
Okay, parental readers, I am asking you all for advice here. How can I get my kid to meet some friends, and more importantly, how do I teach her how to interact with other children in a positive manner and not to be frightened? Help!
One happy blogger with one cute, sweet, adorable little girl.