It was perfect practice for her big party this weekend.
Admittedly, it’s been a little quiet around here lately… I’ve been away at a blogging conference called Blissdom in Dallas since Thursday morning and today, as I struggled to return to a life in South Florida that didn’t include catered breakfasts, late night parties, and swag bags, we celebrated Hazeline’s 2nd birthday. More on Blissdom later this week, but on to the cuteness that is my 2 year old:
Originally, it was my intention to skip the post where I question how we even got to this point. How could she possibly be 2? But as I look at these pictures all I can think is – Seriously, how do 2 years pass so quickly?
On Saturday afternoon, the girls and I were playing in Greenleigh’s room. I had to run downstairs to get something, so I hesitantly left the girls upstairs for a minute while I ran downstairs. When I arrived back in Greenleigh’s room, Hazeline was sitting in the glider “reading” to herself. Which of course, prompted another quick run downstairs so I could get my camera to capture the cuteness.As she flipped through each of the pages she pointed, squealed, and clapped.
I hope she loves books forever.
Hazeline has a favorite teacher. Well, several favorites, but one in particular that she goes running to each morning, all the while saying the teachers name under her breath until she reaches her arms. They hug a big hug, and then the teacher carries her around to all the other class rooms. Don’t worry, she’s not spoiled or anything [insert eye roll here]. Hazeline is actually so attached to her that at the end of the day, she often doesn’t want to leave daycare. And who could blame her? She gets hugs and snuggles and carried around all day…if I were 23 months old be a pretty big fan of hers too. It’s even gotten to the point where the teacher has offered to help me out of school and get Hazeline buckled into her carseat.
Earlier this week Hazeline once again ran through the school door and immediately into the arms of her favorite teacher. Big hug and carrying ensued. There were smiles and giggles galore. The teacher then looked at Hazeline and said, “Don’t do that, your mom probably doesn’t like that very much,” insinuating that I would not be okay with them enjoying the teacher’s company so much.
But here’s the thing – It doesn’t bother me at all. Not even one little bit.
The teachers then told me a tale of another child, a little boy, in Hazeline’s class who is very attached to the other teacher (there are 2 teachers for Hazeline’s class). A few days before when the mother was dropping the little boy off and the teacher said, “There he is, there’s my prince!”, to which the mother immediately responded, “No. My prince.” Either the same day or a day later, the mother was crying tears over her son wanting to be with the teacher as opposed to her.
I don’t fault that mother (although I think tears might be a little extreme for the situation), but I don’t get it either. I mean, they’re 1 – it’s a fickle age.
Sure, I wish Hazeline wanted to come home at the end of the day, but in all reality, I’m actually really happy that we’ve found a place that my kids like. A place where they feel comforted and loved and safe when they aren’t in my care. And I’m glad that they have someone to spoil them, even if it can’t be me (truth is, they probably let her get away with a ton more than I let her get away with). Of course, she’s going to get attached to someone who she spends 40+ hours per week with. And I don’t think the teachers are crossing any lines that would be considered “inappropriate”.
Here’s the bottom line – For 9 months Hazeline lived and grew inside me. I’m the one that birthed her. I’m the one that she calls mom. I’m the one that she will always call mom, way past the daycare and preschool years. Her love for a teacher doesn’t change any of those things.
But as I drove to work that day, I couldn’t help but wonder…am I strange? Should my child’s love for her teacher make me feel worried or insecure? Is this something most parents worry about?
Would it bother you if your child developed a strong connection to a caregiver (to the point that they preferred the caregiver over you at times)?
On Thursday, I dropped Hazeline off at school with a naked Barbie doll. Buck naked. Let me be clear, this is not something that I wanted to do, but prying it from her hands caused shrieking and crying of epic proportions that was leading all those in earshot to think that I was beating her. In reality, she was just really attached to her naked doll, and quite frankly, it just wasn’t worth taking it from her. I was embarrassed, but I left them there on the playground – Hazie and her doll who was donning only toenail polish and a crown on her hand (the crown was glued on, or it certainly would have been removed as well).
Day after day, Hazeline strips her baby dolls down, and day after day, I put the clothes back on. It’s a methodical process from her. Almost as methodical as my putting the clothes back on – pants first, then shirt, then accessories (pacifiers, hats, etc.)….each time grumbling under my breath, “Why must you do this?”. Our home has gone from respectable, to a nudist colony for dolls, and I for one am not okay with it.
I just don’t understand – Why must they be naked?
I’ve tried telling her that the baby dolls are cold. I tried telling her that it isn’t nice to leave the naked. I’ve told her that we don’t want to lose their clothes. She just doesn’t care. Then again, she is only 23 months…it is possible she doesn’t understand.
Apparently, it’s an epidemic. That’s Greenleigh’s class too, which means that I have many more years of this doll “naked-ness” in front of me. And in case you think there’s a pile of clothes nearby so the kids can change the dolls into different outfits, you’d be wrong. Just naked dolls. No clothes. WHY?!
I’d probably just agree to do it her way and let her dolls go naked 24/7 – stripped of their clothes and their doll dignity – if it weren’t so damn disturbing to stumble over a completely naked doll, who’s face down on your living room floor when you’re traversing your dimly lit house for a glass of water at 3am. Frightening, I tell you.
But then I kind of worry that this is the kind of thing that tends to come out if your child, God forbid, makes the news for a bad reason. I mean, can’t you just picture it…
News Anchor #1: “Well it’s not as if there weren’t any warning signs, she was bringing naked baby dolls to school at a very young age.”
News Anchor #2: “Yes, very odd indeed. What mother would ignore that type of red flag?”
For the record, this mom sees the flag, she just doesn’t know what to do with it. Or rather, how to keep it clothed.