Wednesday, January 8, 2014


Raising a child is not for the faint at heart, but you all know that.
Hanging out with an almost-four-year-old version of yourself,
well, that can be downright hell.

Ramona is my brightest light. 
She is the person I love doing everyday mundane things with.
She makes everything more fun. 
She always has everyone in the room laughing uncontrollably, 
and I just love hearing her insights and interpretations of everything.
She has the warmest, most loving heart, but beware: 
she is also, at times, a tiny clone of her mother.
Her control-freak, perfectionist, bull-headed mother.

And, as it turns out, I don't really like hanging out with myself all the time.

Let's take a step back and give this mama a little credit; 
I know how to have a mean living room dance party.
I have been known to have handstand competitions that last hours.
And I have a memory for the record books.
I am really a good time, let me tell you,
but I have a few idiosyncrasies that, until they emerged suddenly from my own child, I was largely unaware of.

As we were getting ready to leave the soaking pool today, 
and naturally we were trying to convince Ramona of that idea,
she actually said to me,

"So, I have a much better idea. Why don't we keep swimming, and then we can go see a movie, and maybe go get books from the library. Maybe we could just get a movie from the library, too. Sound good?"

The way she rattled off her pitch sounded eerily like me reading over one of my insane to-do lists,
or the way I completely take over in a group, or the way I always try to convince Cody that my idea is obviously better.
Then, I found myself immediately trying to re-pitch to her my idea that leaving now would be better, 
because... lunch...blah...things to do... mama's way is better.

In that relaxing tub, with the soft sound of bubbles lifting from the surface of the water, it hit me:
I was arguing with myself.
I have met my most well-matched opponent.
See, almost-four-year-olds have no reason to hold back.
She wins by throwing herself on the floor, screaming until I forget what I'm trying to explain to her and we move on.

It's quite hilarious, really, until it's not.
Cody told me today at the pool, 
"I mean this with so much love, but you are a control freak."
I knew that before I met you, dude (see what I did there?).

As a parent, I have always tried to explain why we do or do not do things as much as possible.
I've always spoken to Ramona as if she could understand, as if she were an adult,
and as a result she has the capacity to understand so much, make cause and effect connections, she remembers everything, and her vocabulary is astounding.

The constant explanation of everything has done two things:
It's shown her that she can explain her way into or out of everything, and she has grown to be really, really good at that.
The other thing that has happened is I have learned to explain things for all the wrong reasons: 
To simply be right. 
To get her to agree with me.
To get her to go along with my thing.


Motherhood has shoved a giant mirror in front of my face,
revealing all sorts of things I would rather not see.
It's also been the most piercingly convincing pitch to get me to change my stubborn ways.



  1. you've explained so well the way our kids are like us... in the end, it's with us that they've the main relations and it should be sad if it would be another way. but on the other hand a laughed a lot with your post!
    i'm lucky i have a very quiet character and so she does my daughter; i really have no problem with her but i read they become imps when they're 3 so this year could change her personality...

  2. I can't wait to see how well you'll handle those teenage years, haha. It will be interesting to watch. It will be here before you know it, enjoy every minute!