Thursday, July 7, 2011

It's not me, it's you. It's definitely you.

Toddlers can be finicky little people. They can also turn on you on a dime. One day, only YOU can satisfy their yearns for affection, and the next day- you're OUT OF THE CIRCLE! Seriously, OUT! They are like that girl in middle/high school who would be your best friend one day, then pretend she didn't know your name the next. Though, toddlers are way cuter than THAT girl.

When Kaia was about Skye's age, she turned on ME and became the #1 Daddy's Girl in the whole entire world. Seriously, I could not go near that kid without her screaming her head off and running in Jabiz's direction. Ironically, we also went to Phuket, Thailand for a vacation around that time, and I distinctly remember one particularly embarrassing evening when Jabiz dared leave the room for 30 minutes to go to the hotel lobby and check his email.

Kaia did not take that well. No, no she did not. Not at all.

The screaming basically started the second the door shut and continued in high-pitched howls that seemed to have no end. I did what any parent would do- first, I tried to comfort her. Then I started begging her to just lower the decibels a BIT so that I would have the nerve to dare to look the people in the next room in the face the next morning at breakfast. Then, I just decided to ignore her until she wore herself out.

Sounds like a good plan, right?

I went to the bathroom, and as soon as I closed the door, the screaming stopped. I breathed a sigh of relief and figured that she had finally, FINALLY given up.

Clearly, I did not know with whom I was dealing.

As I came out of the bathroom, I suddenly realized that the reason why the screaming had stopped was because she had ESCAPED. The hotel room door (which, inexplicably, did not automatically lock when closed and which was also ridiculously lightweight and easy to open) was ajar, and Kaia was GONE. Freaking out, I ran down the corridor, until I heard the screaming start again. Except, you know, THIS time it was just all out in the open, in front of all of the people walking to dinner.

"Daddy! Daddy! DAAAAAAAADDY!" There she was, sitting on the hallway floor, tears streaming down her face and looking at me as if I was coming to take her for her first root canal.

"No! No! NO!!!" That was all that I - or anyone- could hear as I approached her, and I swear that if we'd been in the US, someone would have called Child Protective Services. But we weren't in the US, we were in a foreign country, and is there CPS in foreign countries? I have no idea, and neither, apparently, did anyone else.

I picked up her tiny little flailing body and carried her, still screaming, back to the room, feeling my face turn a deep shade of red. I then proceeded to sit with the screaming, though by now I had just given up and turned on the television, volume LOUD, hoping that people would simply assume that maybe I was just obnoxiously watching a really, really violent program. We sat like that the entire time until Jabiz came back. About 5 hours later. No, not really. But it felt like it.

I finally got my redemption on the 8-hour flight back to Doha, when Kaia would ONLY allow Jabiz to accompany her up and down the plane aisles as I sat and watched the first entire movie that I'd seen on a flight since she was born. It was right then that I decided that this new phase? Didn't suck as much as it had first appeared to. But I knew that someday, it would all come back to bite me.

Karma, thy name is Skyelar.

Skyelar, as it turns out, is NOT a Daddy's Girl, she is a Mummy's Girl. Like, really, really, REALLY a Mummy's Girl.  If you went online and looked up "Mummy's Girl", you would be faced with a picture of Skye putting up her hand and screaming, "No!" whenever Jabiz tries to carry her anywhere.

Some of you may think that secretly, I like having Skye all to myself. After all, she is adorable, loving, and for the most part, usually somewhat delightful to be around.

You people would be wrong.

Allow me, please, to outline the things that being the mother of a Mummy's Girl entails:

* Having to eat with a small child wriggling around on your lap because god forbid she spend 5 minutes away from you. This is particularly thrilling when you have a glass of beer in front of you that she assumes is hers to share and really doesn't appreciate being denied.

* Enjoying the pleasure of spending hours wading around in the shallow part of the ocean during trips to the beach while Jabiz and Kaia are out swimming past the breakers or boogie boarding.

* Waking up in the morning with sore arm and upper back muscles because the Little One has decided that walking 2 feet away from you is just too, TOO much distance to have. Except when we are in the grocery store, that is- then she cannot seem to run away from me fast enough.

* Did I mention the lap sitting? I think I touched on it when in reference to restaurant eating, but I must elaborate here and extend it to include 3-hour plane rides, as well as ALL car rides. And NO, we did not bring a car seat with us, because we did not plan on renting a car, so just deal with it and don't judge me or email me about it.

* Having to carry a GINORMOUS diaper bag PLUS a 24-pound toddler everywhere you go, because the second that Daddy tries to carry her, she gets her Pitiful Look on her face, throws out her arms, and screams, "Mommy! MOOOOOOMMY!!". We've learned to resist that, but then The Flailing starts, and it's really hard to ignore The Flailing.

These are just a few examples. However, I've been told by friends who've been down this road before to enjoy it while it lasts, because in time, Mummy's Girls have a tendency to turn into Leave Me The Hell Alone Girls, and then I apparently will look back on this time fondly, even WISHING that we could return to it.

I have a hard time believing it now, but my friends are all pretty smart and seem to know what they are talking about in all other areas, so I will take their word for it.

And have I mentioned that my arms have never been so toned?

Did your kids ever go through this phase?

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