Face-off: Supermom v. She-devil

Now that our littlest is two years old, there are days when I feel like a supermom.  Understand my definition of Supermom is very loose; I’m not working out of the home in addition to raising my children or saving the world by any means.  But I am keeping the kitchen half-clean on an every-other-day basis.  And I am beating down the laundry monster semi-regularly.  And I am straightening (though not going through) the piles on my desk every once in a while.

What I mean is, I’m getting a lot more done these days than I ever got done in the previous two years of Life with Marsielle, a.k.a. She-devil.  I guess a baby achieves a certain level of increased independence about the time of that second birthday, which in turn allows Mom to graduate to a new kind of freedom herself.  Freedom is defined as:  doing something other than what the baby wants to do.

I wonder if there’s a law of diminishing returns here, or if my life will continue to get a little easier every year as she marks another birthday?

Marsielle is the quintessential baby-of-the-family.  Her No. 1 word?  “No.”  Her curls?  Flamboyant.  Her facial expressions?  Extreme.  Her gear?  A skinny-legged run.  She only “sleeps through the night” if I ignore her bellows of “MO-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-M!” from the crib on the other side of the wall.  About four nights of that and she’ll give it up and sleep for a couple nights… but then, just as soon as she can coax up a slight fever or a new tooth, she pulls me right back into her manipulative nocturnal stronghold.

She calls both her big brother and her big sister “Aaaash.”  She hits her siblings with little fists curled at the ends of spindly sidearms.  I spank her regularly, usually for yanking a treasure away from a sibling and then refusing to give it back, so she hides the wooden spoons and spatulas I might yield with a surprising cunning for a two-year-old — we find my torture devices/cooking tools in the strangest hiding places.  Like inside the guitar case.  And inside boots.  And at the backs of closets.  And in the garbage can.

She pokes out her lip, I mean really pokes it out, like a cartoon character would, if she thinks things might not go her way.  She wails indignantly if things, indeed, don’t go her way.  Then she turns around and cares for dolls and stuffed animals with a surprising tenderness, holding them, bouncing them, and admonishing all of us with soft little Shhhhh!s.

One of her favorite things to do is sit by the dog bowl and watch the dog eat.  And, of course, she’s consumed more than a few kernels of dog food herself in her day.

She likes for me and Beau to hold hands.  She’ll grab one of his hands and one of mine and then pull us together.  Beau says she’s “the baby born with a beat in her butt” because, as soon as she hears a few strains of music, her little diapered bottom starts bobbing up and down with the beat.

Other people seem to be drawn to attempt picking her up and cuddling her.  I’ve compared her before, in another blog, to a baby mountain lion — she’s adorable from a distance, as in make-your-heart-swoon adorable… but then, if you can actually manage to get her into your arms, you’re gonna have more on your hands than you can handle in a hurry!  Common side effects of holding baby mountain lions like Marsielle include lacerated nostrils, crumpled eyeglasses, ripped-out earrings, and claw wounds to cheeks.

She… she… she is excruciatingly cute.  Also a disciplinary concern.  And a legitimate threat to my campaign for Supermom.

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© Tami Blake

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