Wouldn’t it be wonderful if being a parent was made up of a million happy tales and no bad ones? I’m very happy that the first half of that question is true, but unfortunatly there are many bad events to talk about as well. Sometimes the tough moments are an onery kidlet or an extra curious ans destructive one. Those times may be trying, but nothing compares to seeing your child in pain.
Cailyn climbed up out of the port-a-crib and fell on our last day in Ketchikan She was so tired when we put her down and she had only been in the other room and hr and a half, so neither Brett or I had any idea she was awake. She climbed out silently, but we heard her after the fall. The panic that grips a parents heart when they hear that cry from their child is so intense. With out any thought (and a major adreneline rush) Brett and I rushed in for Disaster Relief.
We think that as she climbed out she slipped and knocked her mouth onto the side railing (which is padded). This didn’t stop her teeth from cutting into her bottom lip. Why-oh-why do mouth wounds have to bleed so much? Even though I knew that I had to stay calm for her sake, it was really hard when I was so upset that I had let this happen and when her mouth kept filling with blood. She would not drink any water to help flush out the blood, nor would she open her mouth so I could make sure that all of her teeth were still there. I finally decided that this was most definately the time to turn to comfort nursing. No, this is not a habit of mine or Cailyns. She only nurses once every 2-3 days at this point and that is only when nothing I do will distract her from wanting my “mulk”. Of course, letting her nurse worked like a charm in calming her down. The unforseen side effect of it was that I burst into tears. Once I no longer had to be strong for her, I found that it was impossible not to break down. I was doing all that I could for her and it was obvious that she was feeling much better.
All in all, it turned out to be my own little horror story, not Cailyn’s. Once she was comforted I doubt that she really ever thought much about it again. She has never shown any indication of any pain from her lip and all of her teeth are still firmly planted in her gums. I, however, will continue to struggle to make sure that I am there to protect her and will never forget most of her bumps, bruises, and scrapes. I can tell you the first time she cut her mouth and how she got that little scar on her ankle. But no matter how much it pains me when she gets hurt, I know that I still have to keep back a step and let her experience life. I shouldn’t always protect her from life now, and I won’t always be able to later. But she will always be my baby.
Well some of you have been asking for pictures of my hair since the cut, so I thought I would finally oblige ya’ll.
This is what it looks like when it hasn’t been blowdried. I didn’t do anything to it; it just dried like that without me having to use any type of iron. Please forgive the goofy looking face I’m making in the second picture. Cailyn was on my lap and we were rocking out to They Might Be Giants.
I have a confession to make. This is hard for me to say, so please no casting of stones in my direction when you read this. (Well, unless you are completely without sin. Come to think of it, don’t throw stones even if you are perfect–it’s a waste of effort trying to hit me all the way up here in Alaska.) So what heineous sin did I commit? I invaded my little girls privacy. *shock* She’s only 17 months and I’ve already done it.
It was an accident I swear! Or at least, it all started innocently enough. Cailyn has been napping for about 2 hrs and I decided to sneak into the room so that I could try and get a little rest before she woke up. We are all sharing the same small little room, so I didn’t have much of a choice on where to go. I snuck into the room quietly enough, but in pulling the blanket off the bed the russling was enough to cause Cailyn to sit up in the crib. I dropped instantly and decided that the floor was the best place for a nap. I rested for a bit on the floor until I heard her playing quietly with herself without talking. I know most everyone has heard of Cailyn’s facination with poop paintings, so this is where I started to worry. And it was this worry that led to my trangression.
I creeped along the floor and under the bed so I could see what she was doing without giving myself away. I knew if she saw me or knew of my pressence she would immediatly want out so that she could reek havoc, but I knew she was still short on sleep and needed this down time. So I spied on her. I was happy to see that her diaper was still on and she was just sitting there quietly playing with her blanket. After a bit she would lay down and then start talking to herself. It was really cute and made me feel like I was looking into her world. She would talk a bit and then say “ohno-ohno-ohno” in the same tone that I say it when I just miss rescuing a glass contanier or some other breakable object from her curiousity. When she was done talking she would rest a bit longer and then go back to sitting up quietly playing. I think this whole routine went on for about an hour until she decided to climp out of the port-a-crib and I had to scoot out of my hinding place to scoop her up and start a high quality cuddle session.
So that is my confession. I have to admit that I loved every moment of that time. It was facinating to watch her when she wasn’t performing for me or trying some other way to grab my attention. And to be honest, I don’t think that I really broke any basic “rules” of parenting seeing as how she isn’t even 2 years old yet. Now, if I try and pull the same stunt when she is 13 I will completely understand when I am handed the “Bad Parent of the Year” award.
What is it that makes us who we are? Is is the way we dress or our really nifty sunglasses (that no one else has)? Is it the length, color, or style of our hair? Is it what is in our minds, our intelligence or our beliefs? What about our DNA or the way we are raised? Nationality, personality?
By posing all these questions I’m sure you think that this came from deep self-actualizing moment, or something similar. Actually, this has come about because I have an appointment at 9am Saturday morning to cut off my hair. I’m going shorter than I have ever gone before and that is what got me to thinking.
Hah! How shallow do I sound? Maybe it’s because in the past my hair was so much of who I was. I had massive amounts of hair down to my waist. It stayed that way until I finally got up the guts to cut it off when I was 18. It was the knowledge that I was overly attached to my hair that motivated me to cut it off. It’s just hair! And it isn’t like it is very long now anyway.
I want to have short hair before I die. And that is all I have to say for tonight.
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways:
I love. . .
. . .the love in you eyes when you look at me
. . .how you love the fact that I am a dork
. . .that you are a geek
. . .your ears
. . .how calming you are to me
. . .the way you squirm when I tickle you
. . .that you like my friends
. . .watching you read with Cailyn
. . .that you change cloth diapers
. . .how you say I’m sane, even when we both know I’m not
. . .that you answer me honestly
even when it isn’t something I want to hear
. . .how you provide for your family
. . .that we are your family
. . .how you turn over when I hit you for snoring
. . .that you kiss me while half asleep before you roll over
. . .cuddling with you
. . .how you play the guitar for/with Cailyn
. . .that you make me laugh
. . .that I want to be a better person because of you
. . .your hair
. . .listening to you and Cailyn laugh together
. . .how you and Cailyn are my home
. . .who I am now that I have you
. . .how you make me feel
. . .your arms
. . .that you listen to me
. . .that you understand me
. . .that you think me being about to make you emo is a good thing
. . .how you are always here for me (even if you aren’t here physically)
. . .that you miss me when you’re gone
. . .how excited you get over computer stuff
. . .that you are constantly trying to learn new things
. . .that you are “drama free”
. . .how you push me to find what I like
. . .your belly button
. . .that you always hold my hand
. . .how we are a team
. . .that I always feel that I can be honest with you
. . .that I never doubt you
. . .that I know you are always honest with me
. . .your long toes
. . .how grabable you are :)
. . .that you help me feel at peace
. . .how you show me you love me in every little thing
. . .that you gave me great in-laws, and you like my family as well
. . .how sane/rational you always are
. . .just being with you
. . .the way you help me love
. . .the way you love Cailyn
And I love the way you love me.
I had to make myself stop at 50…but I just felt like I was just barely getting started.
Holding someones hand.
What does that represent? What does that mean to you? Love, security, control, comfort, protection, lust, ownership, friendship, or something entirely different?
I love holding Cailyn’s hand. Her little fingers griping mine so tightly. Sometimes, I admit, I hold her hand to keep her safe. I have more control of where she is going and I feel like I am more in a position to protect her. I am there to support her if she trips, and to help guide her to our destination. I can anticipate her movements and can tighten my grip or gather her up in my arms if she tries anything that could put her in harms way.
Other times she reaches up to grasp my hand. My hand. She turns to me for protection. I am her security. No matter what else is going on, or what is around us, I am her constant. I am her security. There is no doubt from either of us on the measure of our love for each other. We often walk together and are holding hands without any effort. Our hands just find each other. It is a very comforting feeling. She feels like home to me.
I wonder if my hand in Brett’s feels like Cailyn’s hand in mine? The electricity that passes between our interlocking fingers and palms pressed together. . .well, holding Brett’s hand, there is enough to write about for a whole other entry.
Cailyn and Brett are my home.
Cailyn is my favorite little buddy. This morning before her nap, she laid back into my arm and we had some great cuddle time. We exchange bunches of kisses and giggles galore. She also relaxed back into my arms while I fed her rest of her breakfast. The little munchkin was mellow enough to actually have “breakfast” in bed, and the breakfast didn’t actually end up all over the bed! I love those moments where she is just content to cuddle sweetly with me without any desire to squirm away and try and take over the World–or at least the room. I’ve been around a lot of children in my life, but these moments are different with Cailyn. We share such an enormous bond as mother and daughter. We both know it–and love it. I have such an overwelming feeling of love overcome me at these moments. I want to hold her in my arms forever. Protect her forever. Make it perfectly clear that my love for her is unending and unconditional.
I will always love Cailyn Mae.
And there is nothing she can ever do to change that.
I would add that she has stolen my heart, but she didn’t. I gave/give it to her freely and without regret.
So this is day four in Ketchikan. What do I think of it? I’ve been asked that question a lot, but I’m not entirly sure of the answer. My first exposure to this city was early on a Sunday morning as a stop on the way up to Petersburg. It was my first glimpse at an Alaskan city. Brett, Cailyn and I got off the ferry and walked a bit down the main street to look around, but there wasn’t much to look at. It looked and felt like a small down that was dirty and had grown too big to be quaint. The streets were empty and the only other people walking around in the frosty air were others from the ferry. Every place was closed except the McDonalds (where we ate breakfast) and the nearby grocery store. Most of this was due to the time and day, but the closed shops still screamed small town at me.
Coming to Ketchikan from Petersburg has been an entirely different experience. This place is big now. There are so many cars and horrible drivers. Downtown is so much larger than our little street in Petersburg. It is like going to visit San Francisco when you are from Cupertino. It’s not far and not scary, but there is just so much more to see. There are traffic lights here, where there are none in Petersburg. There is a Walmart, and multiple grocery stores. I’ve already seen 4 gas stations here, in place of our one. And that is just the beginning. There is a different feel to the place. I got reverse sticker shock at Walmart. You mean, things are really this cheap? If I had gone to this Walmart straight from Cali, Az, or Tx I would have never thought such a thing–quite the opposite really. Brett was actually able to go grocery shopping after 10 at night. That’s unheard of! The extended summer hours for Hammer & Wikan are 7am-8pm, but in the winter the hours change to 8am-7pm. That is our one grocery store. I love our little town of Petersburg, but I wonder what our stay there is doing to me. What if we decide to try to go to Petaluma, CA next? If I have moments where I feel overwhelmed in this town with a population of under 9k verses the 3200 people in Petersburg, what culture shock would I experience going back to California?
The answer is simple. My perspective will just have to change again. I will adapt. But I will still learn from each new experience and each new town. I choose to learn from them. I’m excited about the world around me. The more I learn, the more I am aware of how much more I need to learn. I am excited about all the new adventures that lie before us. And now I’m tired.
At just before 2am Wednesday morning I pulled socks onto Cailyn’s feet, pulled a warm hat on her head and over her eyes, and gathered her up in her soft fleece blanket. As I was carrying her down stairs to take her to the car, it brought back memories of my childhood.
My dad would carry each one of us out to the car in the wee hours of the morning so that we would sleep for as much of the road trip as possible. This happened every summer. I remember how cold the night air was if it ever found a place to creep in between the folds of the blanket. How much the light penetrated through my closed lids as we passed next to the kitchen and when the door opened to the car with each passing kid being placed into their carefully made “beds” on the seats. The trick was to pretend you were asleep so that you would be carried all bundled up and not be forced to walk yourself out in the cold morning air. I also learned that if I pretended to stay asleep, it was much easier to fall back to sleep with the hum and noises of the car as we started our journey.
As all these memories came flooding into my mind I realized that I was now in the position my dad had been in, while Cailyn was in mine. I am the parent now. She is my child. Perhaps this is why I was so careful to make sure that Cailyn was properly bundled and her eyes were shielded from the light that she would inevitably encounter. I believe I was doing alright until the carseat event. I have learned that putting a sleeping child into a carseat while wrapped up in a blanket is worthy of an Olympic event. They can’t be sitting on the blanket or there isn’t room to strap them in. But did I think of this as I wrapped her up while still in the warmth of her own bed? Unfortunately no. So as I hunched over trying to maneuver Cailyn and her blanket while still trying to keep the little one covered, I was painfully aware that I was getting very low points for execution of this event. I did eventually get everything worked out though, and amazingly enough, the little pootlet stayed asleep! So maybe the outcome will increase my score? Who knows?
I want to take the time to start off my blog with the disclaimer that I am not a writer. I would love to be able to write well without effort, but in order for me to ever have a polished product it involves sweat, tears, yelling, whining, and constant arm hair pulling (just to name a few). So my idea here is not to stress myself out to the point that I would rather pour lemon juice on paper cuts I gave myself than update, but to try and give family and friends a little peak into my life. Actually, I should say our lives, as most everything in my live revolves around my dear hubby Brett and our favorite little poot, Cailyn. Hopefully it will be here that I will find a place to feel free to talk about my sewing projects, my slight obsession with diapers, update on Cailyn’s new milestones, and find a way to express in words those simple moments in life that are the most meaningful. You know what I’m talking about, the ones that help us to see all that is right with the world. Afterall, isn’t that what we should be focusing on?