There are no words for how much I adore this little person. (Taken with Instagram)
|Me (while hugging E tightly):||What would I do without you?|
|Everleigh:||Go to work.|
The numbers on the clock changed, and just like that I was another year older. I don’t put a lot of weight on birthdays, but this one—this one—felt different.
Over the past four years, maybe longer, probably longer, I have been lost in a love I wanted so badly. Dizzy in the purchase of a home—the framework for building memories, a family. Then, we did build a family; and I became drunk on the birth and life of our child, our Everleigh Rose.
When fifteen glorious months spent breathing in sweet milky baby breath, holding tiny fingers, staring into those heartbreakingly beautiful brown eyes passed, I lost myself in my desperation to make up for time spent away from her, within the confines of corporate life. I was blind to anything—everything—else.
But I am awake now. The thing that’s been gnawing at me for some time has emerged, and it’s hungry. To become the best role model for my daughter, the one she needs me to be in this mixed up world, I can no longer stifle my own dreams. My passions large and small have been put aside, ignored and all but forgotten for far too long. Today is a new day.
Happy birthday to me. There are adventures around the corner.
1. My birthday mug, courtesy of the artist herself (with some help from my Dad)
2. E taking cupcake decorating to a new level (with a little help from her Oma)
3. The finished, and most delicious, products
4. My inspiration; enjoying a picnic lunch on a balmy March 18th day
Just a coupla gals makin’ deals happen on Bay Street. Nothing gets by us. It’s just a typical day in the life of very important, successful, extremely businesslike women like us, you guys. Deal with it.
Whew, man! I’m wiping tears and the big dumb grin from my face. My heart is exploding, imploding, at the very least, palpitating beneath my chest. Who knew somebody else’s bodily functions could make me feel so good. I mean, I feel so good. I feel good because she feels good.
So far (I’m a realist, after all), the key to our successful transition from diaper to toilet has been all about a drawer full of darling undergarments, no pressure, cue-reading, a healthy dose of asking/reminding, and a whole lot of E leading the way (more on baby-led everything later).
We’re not letting this transition park our plans either. It’s week two and we’re on the go thanks to this item I like to call freedom for under $5 bucks. Nothing is holding us back—not the car, not shopping, not lunch, not dates with fellow toddlers. Twice now (twice!) we have used a public washroom. Twice now (twice!) my little e-bee has asked to use a public washroom. She couldn’t be prouder, too.
That pride. That two-year-old pride. It’s too much. I’m beside myself. Did you get that from me yet?Addendum: Oh yeah, and we’re using the toilet seat now (as you can see).
This week, we bit the potty training bullet. And for the most part, we’re doing it cold turkey. That means diapers only while sleeping and when we’re out of the house—a decision fuelled by Ever’s caregiver who wants to potty train the three two-year-olds under her care in one fell swoop. Makes sense to me. She has 25+ years of experience getting little ones to do their thing in the toilet, so I’ll gladly be sheep and follow her lead.
The signs have been there: E tells us when she’s wet and/or dirty—she doesn’t like the feeling. There are long periods of dry between wet. But to be honest, I felt a little intimidated and a lot lost by the whole thing because I work a 40+ hour week and can’t be here to let her run around naked until she gets it. So, this forcing of my hand was exactly what I needed.
Everleigh’s had her Baby Bjorn potty since she was 18 months old, and it hasn’t seen so much as a drop, so we thought we’d try something different. The first thing was to let E pick out special big girl undies and a special big girl toilet seat. Well the threat of the potty seat on top of the big, scary ol’ toilet was enough to get her to use the Baby Bjorn. For obvious reasons I was hoping she’d take to the seat, but I’m just happy she’s taking to something!
Armed with books, treats and stickers (read: Pavlov’s dog), here’s how the week went: We have a lot of laundry. I mean, a lot. It stabs me in the heart a little to think of her wetting herself at daycare and how that might confuse and frustrate my little perfectionist. But (and this is a big but), we have had about an equal amount of success as we have accidents. She’s getting it, and I can’t tell you how proud that makes me just to see those little wheels turning.
The first time was at home on the potty in front of the T.V. (c’mon, people, it was the only way I could get her to sit still and I needed that first accident to highlight the cause and effect of it all). She beamed with pride, and she got her treat. She still hasn’t gone at daycare, but she goes at home (and not just pee, in case you’re wondering). Today is our first Saturday. She went in her diaper this morning (because she sleeps in one). But she stayed dry for Gymboree and brunch. When we got home, she sat on her potty and read book after book after book until that potty was perfectly filled. And there we sat like two idiots just grinning at each other.
I mean, this is a big deal, right?
Muriel Barbery, The Elegance of the Hedgehog
I’m all for teaching Ever that life is absurd. Because there’s no doubt it is. If we can laugh—possibly even enjoy—these absurdities, then the value of the journey becomes so much more important than the less significant end result (read: stars).
Everleigh says, “Let’s do this potty training thing, you guys!”
In her hands: a potty seat that she picked out, undies that she picked out and a Dora satchel that, yes, she picked out.
Follow us on this journey if you dare.
— Me, secretly wanting to wake my daughter from her slumber because I miss her