Monday night I went to my daughter's house for a week of my own personal reality show: Survivor Grandmas: A Week With Baby. My son-in-law taught little Kamal the Stink Eye, she was at times a formidable opponent. You see...
She was no match for me, I am capable raising a single eyebrow so high it makes Scarlett O'Hara look like an amateur. Yes, I practiced in front of the mirror, I don't like to yell at children, in fact, I dislike yelling. But you should see my left eyebrow go up, it's impressive. And impervious to pouting or a tiny moue.
Kamal and I have much in common, we both love the water, both look great in hats, both literally hop up and down when we're happy. I learned from her that it's possible to do all three at once!
One of her sentences when eating favorite foods is "want more, want more, want more." She elaborates with facial expressions as well as talking with her hands. She always says thank you without being reminded, we are still working on please and you're welcome. I appreciate her parents teaching her these words, it's easier to get your needs met cheerfully when you use courtesy.
She's already very social and likes the comfort of many friends when she sleeps. The number she put in with her grew since this was taken. Can you spot her in the picture? Look for tiny purple doggie against her cheek.
Having learned to trust her needs will be met, she is generous and will put a favorite toy in someone else's lap. She also provides comforting friends to her dogs when they nap.
Sasha doesn't mind that Kamal will keep piling them on her, she appreciates a chin rest. Friends understand each other even when it feels smothering.
I spent the week watching her and two crazy beagles, my mom came over every day to assist. Two year olds have a speed advantage and spend a lot of time plotting. I'm tired and ache in places I forgot I had, my knees are pissed about all the times I went over the baby gate into the kitchen. I thought I had a bruise on my left elbow but it turns out it's just hurting from lifting and putting down someone who squirms a lot, uppie, uppie, uppie and down, down down are two more things she knows how to express clearly.
Kamal is only 2, not much for intelligent conversation, she doesn't own anything, her toys are beat up from a lot of play, for the most part her hair was a mess, her clothes got sticky, and there was more than one toxic diaper. She made us feel wonderful anyway. Her main concerns were food, stuffed friends in her crib, playing, singing, dancing, laughing, making us laugh, and not being scared and alone. Without any of the attributes people think are so important, she made me feel loved and it was easy to love her. I came home Friday night physically exhausted, sleep deprived from worry, and filled with the energy of joy and love.
Kamal loves the feeling of flying, secure in the knowledge that those who love her will catch her.
I am remiss in not mentioning my wonderful son-in-law for being an incredible father who helps with his child because he wants to, and loves his wife and daughter so much. And I sleep at night without worrying about either of them. I have this new wonderful man in my life, what a surprise it is to find he is my son-in-law. What a gift he is to his daughter. What a gift to his wife and to me.
Thank you to Shady Lane Studios in Boise for the last photo. Lala isn't just a great photographer, she is a magician at working with children, and parents too. If you live in the Boise area and want a family photographer, she is top notch. If you need a heart smile in 30 seconds, click on the link below.
I hope those who read my posts are not bored with hearing about Kamal, if so you can pass by and I won't take it personally. Grandma blah-blah can be boring after a while and nothing really exciting happens with a 2 year old. This is the good thing in my life that I can write about, I feel incredibly fortunate that I have something happy to share.
Also, I feel incredibly fortunate to have a quiet home to come back to. I missed leisure time and being able to read on OS. I sure am glad my kids are grown!