My little girl turned two years old last week. That’s two years since I lay in that hospital and squeezed out a tiny human being.
If you imagine the multitasking mind consisting of two (or more) sections then one of these sections has since been focused on her entirely. That’s an entire section of my brain that’s constantly thinking Where is she? What is she doing? Is she alright? Is she climbing the bookshelves? Is she feeling alright? Why is she coughing? Why is she crying? Is that her waking up? Is that her laughing? Is she happy? Does she need to be changed? Is that dirt on her cheek? Does she need another pair of pants? What more can I do to make our lives better? And so on and so forth….
And while other parts of my mind are focused on other things there is this part of me that’s constantly focusing on parenting. I guess it’s like people who have their minds on their jobs constantly except something tells me that the part of my mind that’s constantly on her is a primitive part of me that is assuring my offspring’s survival like my foremothers did before me. But this also means that my focus is always shifted. Focusing 100% on one thing has always been hard for me and now it seems completely impossible.
Life with a two year old is never boring. A while ago she started to show her strong opinions on things but since a two year old isn’t so skilled at communicating she, like most other two year olds, throws small or bigger screaming fits. Sometimes to test boundaries but sometimes out of plain anger because she can’t do something or isn’t allowed to do something. She can be furious one second, hitting me because I’m saying no to something and then the next second she is hugging me. She is rarely satisfied however until she’s got a hug after one of these arguments, which is sweet.
Life with a two year old is quite giving. It’s not easy. You constantly need to navigate life around her will (or through it) and think ahead to avoid (or be prepared for) major outbursts. And I believe my daughter is a delightful two year old. I believe it can (and will) get much worse before she will learn how to properly express herself, her will and her anger. Until then it is my job to navigate (well after that too but something tells me that the navigating will change a lot – it has so far). Mostly she is a joy. She is such a happy little girl, always quick to smile and laugh and so keen on learning new things it’s scary. May that continue forever and ever.
Some things are easy to do with a two year old. Most of these things require you to be active however. It’s easy to do the dishes, do laundry, organize closets, clean the entire house even but if you’d like to sit down for a cup of coffee be ready to have a children’s book in your lap (preferably about elephants) or a repeated request of “tower, tower, tower, tower” (which means you’re supposed to built a tower of some sort, this can entail lego, pillows, teddybears and other toys, books, DVD’s, etc). Sitting in front of the computer for any length of time is impossible. She seems to sense that I’m at the computer even when she sleeps and starts to stir (*knockonwood*). That also means that sitting down to write something is very hard, at best.
Any moment of peace (that is time you can sit down and focus on yourself) has become a precious commodity (stop wasting your time people! Effectivize or at least stop and enjoy the fact that you CAN waste your time). Fitting everything you want to do and everything you need to do into that time is hard, if not impossible because there are always things you want to be doing. Books to read, books to write, movies and shows to watch, friends to catch up on (forgive me friends!),… that list is endless. And so what do I do when a time of peace presents itself? These days I’m reading a book by Wayne Barlowe on my Kindle called God’s Demon (I love it). I am writing a new book (although the process has been mainly going on in my head so far), I am playing two PS3 games and reading several other books.
I guess that part of my mind that is now dedicated to her will continue to be so until the day I die. I guess these questions of how she is and what she’s up to will not quiet even when she’s 28 and doing her own things. I will need to learn how to multitask (I’ve always loved multitasking and I’m not bad at it) with more balls in the air than before. It can be done but it’s going to take time and practice. I’m guessing by the time she’s 28 I’ll have it figured out.
Until then I’m enjoying every moment.