It says a lot about me that for every post where I basically call my kid a sh-t monkey, the words gush out like a flume of water expressed from a cannon, fed from a thunderous waterfall that never dries up. But when I attempt to form kind motherly sentiments, I freeze up.
Lord knows I try. It feels like a real writer must have the capacity to make you feel what they are feeling - that emotional connection separates real Internet writing from SEO jibberjabber. Words arranged in the right order to pluck at the strings in your heart. There are lots of very good Mommy Bloggers, classically trained in making me cry on the regular. They can spin a disastrous day into a love story for all time. Imagine the first 10 minutes of Up, the last 10 minutes of Field of Dreams and putting your family dog to sleep all in one swollen blog post. It's deadly and so skillful - creating really real sentiment and evoking feelings from complete strangers.
Let's be realistic though. Every parent, no matter how saintly they portray themselves has terrible moments. Every day my kid interrupts something I want or desperately need to do. When I'm lucky I can toss a crayon across the room and she'll toddle after it and then eat if for 20 minutes so I can finish an email. When she's determined that I AM THE ONLY HUMAN BEING WHO COULD POSSIBLY SATE HER NEEDS, I take a poop with her on my lap.
As my days get more full and the hours stay the same and she gets bigger and smarter and faster, I am proud of one thing. I am still hyper-fascinated with her development. She is the baby I once contained in a tight uterine package, methodically rubbed cocoa butter all over her outer shell while making pacts with the devil to avoid stretch marks. It is genuinely amazing that she now runs. That she clambers up stairs and playground equipment on feet clad in real shoes. That she blatantly touches all the stereo equipment knobs and even while she's being hauled off by her Pops for a time out, I can see a smirk under her soother. She is starting to repeat ABC's, counting, full sentences and agrees to things she likes with an enthusiastic "okey!" I grew that! In my guts! That will never be not cool for me!
Bedtime doesn't have much of a routine around our place. She's been an easygoing girl with many Grandma's and Aunties and Uncles helping since she was fresh and new so she rolls with the punches. I don't always read her a bedtime story. I don't always feel like cleaning her sh-t out of a bubble bath so we can start over. I don't fight her over mismatched pajamas anymore.
What I have been doing, right before I lay her down, is holding her tight (and she wraps her arms around me - miracle of miracles) while I sing a song my Mama used to sing to me. It's only been two nights but I think the ritual is here to stay. It goes a little something like this:
Lullaby and goodnight
I love you and I care
You're my special darling angel
My most beautiful dear girl
And I love you
Truly love you
You're the sunshine of my life
You're my special darling angel
The most beautiful girl in the world
Sure, it's not gonna win any song contests - although if I threw on some glitter and a bodysuit and backed it with a techno beat I might win that Eurovision contest. My voice is weak and thin at the best of times but I power through the high parts. And nowhere in there does it throw any value on smarts, kindness or confidence. But it is a short and sweet ditty passed down to me, and it is high time I used it. Every monkey, even a sh-t monkey, deserves a little lullaby before the lights go out.