All posts for the month December, 2013

My kid has to be the BEST kid in the history of kids!!!!

Published December 30, 2013 by hrhdana

My kid has to be the BEST kid in the history of kids!!!!

No seriously, I mean it.

I know I’m supposed to be all modest and pretend that she isn’t the awesomest kid ever so that all the people whose kids aren’t as awesome as she is don’t feel bad but you know what? Not today. LOL Honestly, not any day. My kid rocks! I want her to know that I know that. I want her to feel my pride in her. When I think about the fact that 27 months ago she was inside of me, 37 months ago she didn’t even exist in this realm, and then I look at her now….it’s AMAZING!!

This weekend there were constant examples of her greatness instead of power struggles over her jerkiness toddlerhood.  FIrst, I hurt myself. A drawer fell on my leg, breaking the skin and leaving me a pretty significant black and blue. Nia was playing in the closet right behind me. She heard me curse yell our in pain. She was immediately tuned in. Immediately concerned about me. As I bent over rubbing my leg and trying not to curse, she asked, “Are you okay mama?” The empathy, the concern, the love in her eyes rendered me speechless. I assured her that I was okay but I was still hurting. I went to the bathroom to wash off my leg and she was right behind me. She was rubbing me when she could and letting me know that, “You’ll be okay Mama.” I put a warm rag on my leg and it felt good. I went to sit down on my bed. A few minutes later there she was, with her Dora washcloth. “Can I help Mama? Let me make it better.” Her character shone through. Someone she loves was in pain and she wanted to help. *swoon*

Later we played the memory game. I wasn’t sure if she was ready. The age range on the box was 3 and up. I didn’t know if she was ready. We started with 8 cards. I explained the rules and we familiarized ourselves with the four images we would be searching for. She went first. She found the first two matches right away. Her face lit up. “I did it Mama!!!” “Yes you did baby. Now  you go again.” Do you know this child ran a Boston on me. LOL She won all four matches in one turn. That will teach me to underestimate her. By our second go round she was saying, “I’m good at matching because I’m a good rememberer.” “Yes you are baby.”

The next day was Sunday. She asked me to read her favorite book (this week) The Gruffalo. I read it three times and then I was done. She took off with her book under her arm to, “ask Daddy.” A few minutes later I hear her voice telling the story. Her Dad called me to, “come see our daughter.” I stand in the doorway of my bedroom watching her “read”.  She remembered read me the whole book. She did voices and inflections. She read with all of the emphasis that only book lovers understand. Her eyes were lit up and she was fully engaged. I was amazed. This little itty bitty person was fully engaged in a book.

Later we headed to Queens to get together with my Dad’s family for our post Christmas celebration. There were four other kids there (two boys, and two girls) with the youngest being about 5 and the oldest being about 11. She was the baby. Her cousin Rachel took her off to play. As I ear hustled and peeked in on her from time to time I watched her hold court. The youngest child there but she didn’t hesitate to share her opinion or muscle a toy out of an uncooperative friend’s hand. She was fire. She was sweetness. As they jostled for the mic for the karaoke machine, I started to intervene, only to see my child come away with the mic and belt out her rendition of jingle bells while the big kids laughed with her.

My kid has to be the BEST kid in the history of kids!!!!

I’m enjoying every moment! I burst with pride and love and absolute joy in her presence. The thought of her brings a smile to my face and warmth to my spirit. I’m so glad that I waited for her. I’m so grateful for her. I’m so proud to be her Mommy.

I’m not sticking any labels on her. I’m not making my expectations a mountain that she has to climb but I do have to pause to acknowledge her awesomeness. My constant companion, Doubt had to depart this weekend. Clearly, we are getting something right. 😉

Feel free to share some reasons why YOUR kid is awesome. Remember to let them know that you see their awesomeness. Celebrate their awesome!  Celebrate the things that you are getting right in your home. This parenting thing is hard. The choices we have to make seem endless. The mistakes we all make seem all encompassing. If you remember to live in the moment your kids will remind you…they get their awesome from you.



Published December 17, 2013 by hrhdana

She sat in silence. Her thoughts cacophony enough. He watched her from across the room. She was so beautiful, so peaceful. He wanted to sit next to her, hold her  hand. He wanted to reach out and touch her soft, curls. He closed his eyes and imagined the scent and feel of those soft, black curls. He pretended to watch the basketball game but if you asked him the score he couldn’t even tell you who was playing. He could watch her all day. Beautiful wasn’t a big enough word for her. It didn’t encompass her strength. It didn’t include her sense of humor. She was physically perfect.

He watched as she twirled a piece of hair around her finger and pretended to read. He knew she wasn’t reading. She hadn’t turned a page in over 10 minutes. He wondered what was bothering her. He wondered, for the millionth time, if she would like the ring he planned to give to her at dinner tonight. His fingers swept against the warm band in his pocket. Later, he would put it back in it’s box before presenting it to her and asking her to spend the rest of her life with him. A purple, princess cut diamond just seemed perfect for her. He wondered if he should have gone with a more traditional diamond. He wondered if she would recognize the rarity and beauty of the diamond that he chose.

Her silence worried him. Something was wrong.  He had no doubt that whatever it was they would get through it together, he just hoped it would keep until after their dinner. He hoped that tonight would be perfect and that worry could wait until the morning.

She sat in silence. She was unaware of his scrutiny. Her thoughts were shouting, crying, screaming inside. She did the math again. There was no way. There was absolutely no way that this baby was his.

I have no idea where this came from. LOL I’m dying to know what happens next. LMAO

Lessons from my two year old

Published December 13, 2013 by hrhdana

Lately parenting is stretching me.

People have been cautioning me about the, “terrible twos,” since Nia started walking at ten months. “Oh just wait until she turns two. Those twos are terrible.” I listened. I know toddlers. I worked with toddlers for YEARS. I know how to manage a room of two year olds without threats or violence. I didn’t think the twos were so terrible. I refused to language that for my daughter. It wouldn’t be easy but we would make it through. I was even excited as I watched more and more of her stubbornness independence emerge.

“I doan WANT to Mama.”


“I doan like that.”

Lord have mercy, my child is willful. She knows what she wants. She knows what she likes. She operates under her own timeline and Lord knows she doesn’t inform me. LOL I tell her ahead of time what my behavioral expectations are. I give her warnings when a transition is coming. She says, “Yes Mama,” in the sweetest little two year old voice. Then she FREAKS out when it’s time to DO what I am asking her to. LOL

Parenting is humbling.

This week we had quite a few behaviorally challenging days in a row. I’d arrive at my parents’ house after work, tired and ready to hug my baby and one look from my Mom would tell me that today was a tough day. “How was your day Nia?” “I didn’t listen Mama. I made bad choices. I said No to Mema. I ran away from Mema. I hit Destiny.” I’d take a deep breath and ask about each choice. “Why did you…” do blah blah blah. Sometimes she had an answer, sometimes she didn’t. I’d talk to her. Her Dad would talk to her. We would revoke privileges, take away toys, no TV.  We were trying it all. She’d cry and apologize. “I’m so sorry Mama. I’m so sorry.” She wailed. She seemed so contrite. Then she would walk in to our house and do ten things that she KNEW she was not supposed to do.

Mornings were brutal. She’d refuse to put her coat on. She’d refuse to leave the house. She’d cry like I beat her when I tried to put her hat on. Most mornings I was flustered as I carried a crying child to the train station. At the end of the day it was rinse and repeat. It felt like everything was a power struggle.

As I racked my brain trying to uncover the reasons why my sweet baby was turning in to the Tasmanian devil I felt myself getting angry. “Why won’t she just listen?” I went to parenting blogs, websites, Facebook groups, relatives, friends…anyone who might have some advice. What was wrong with HER????

Finally I had a conversation with another Mom and in the process of empathizing and sharing some stories about her kids and their toddler years she said, “I wish I hadn’t come down so hard on them sometimes. When I think back, most of the time I overreacted because of something in me and not really whatever thing they were refusing to do.”


I had to really think about that. She’s two. She’s learning that she CAN assert her will. She’s learning that she is not an extension of me but her very own person. She’s testing her boundaries. She’s testing me and all of the other adults in her life. What does our no mean? She’s testing cause and effect. She’s learning. She’s not trying to make me choke discipline her. If I come to pick her up tired and frustrated by MY day I’m already losing. If I engage in power struggles I am already losing.

I am the adult. I am smarter, stronger, wiser and more patient than she is. I’m designed to be that way. She is the child. She is learning, emotional, sensory and lives in the moment. She’s designed to be that way, I am determined not to kill her will. I’m determined not to put out her fire. She’s going to need her fire. This life is long and knowing your own mind and heart is a priceless gift that I am determined to give my child. I didn’t birth a robot. I birthed a human child. Her behavior…good AND bad is her way of learning. How I react to her misbehavior is TEACHING her.

I changed tactics. In the morning when I was rushing to get us out of the house and she said she didn’t want to put her coat on I sat down in a chair and held her. I murmured that I loved her and whispered that in a few minutes we would be putting her coat on and going bye bye. I couldn’t rush her. She needed to connect. She needed time. And yes…it took time to stop and hold her but it also took time to fight her in to compliance. But more importantly I felt better about the lessons I was teaching her.

When life hands you a roadblock you don’t lose it. You take a deep breath and you hug it.

Lately parenting is stretching me.

Weekly Writing Challenge: Snapshots

Published December 4, 2013 by hrhdana

The Challenge is, “Using words only, take a snapshot of the experience.”

The morning hand off

Every morning my Mom meets me at the bus stop by her house. I carry my two year old off of the bus and my Mom is waiting there with the stroller. I remove my daughter’s back pack, deposit her in the stroller and bring Mommy up to speed on what her evening and morning were like. Today I dropped off all seven dwarves and some extras that they forget to include in the classic fable. During our commute my daughter was alternately Happy, Dopey, Grumpy, Bashful, Sleepy, Bashful, Doc, Hungry, Thirsty, Angry and Sad.

As soon as we stepped off of the bus my Mom grabbed her and immediately she became another dwarf…Peaceful. It’s amazing the effect that my Mom has on my often willful two year old. I swear it’s Mema magic and I wish that I could purchase it. As she was putting the baby in her stroller she was pointing out the many birds flying overhead and roosting on the edge of the building. We walked across the street so I could get back on the bus and head to work and my kid asked my Mom, “if I scream will the birds fly away?” My Mom said, “Let’s watch them for a while and then you can test your theory.” They left me at the bus stop, Mommy wheeled the carriage closer to the building and began pointing out the different birds in the group. My little dwarf was enthralled.

I stood at the bus stop watching them. I could still hear some of their conversation. I could hear my little repeating the names of the birds as my Mom listed them. Then she asked if she could scream now. Mommy said yes. I watched her scream once and all of the birds took off flying. The joy on my Mom’s face and the absolute glee in my daughter’s face almost brought me to tears. She grabbed my Mom’s hand and kissed it repeatedly. “I yuv you Mema. I yuv you sooo much.”

I watched them together, my Mom who is slowing down and my daughter who is nothing but movement. I noticed my Mom’s wrinkles and my daughter’s baby soft skin. I noticed my Mom’s steady and calm manner and my daughter’s toddler exuberance. I felt the love. I floated in gratitude.

I DID snap a picture. I won’t lie for the sake of the challenge. In the picture you can barely see my Mom or my kid, they are partially hidden by a hedge. The picture doesn’t tell the story. I’m glad this challenge gave me the opportunity to.