Newsletter, Olivia

Month 32

Dear Olivia,

I have a strong suspicion you may be a drama major in school.  You can look interested in a conversation and belt out a boisterous laugh on cue like a polished salesman and you can flip on a dime and give your best damsel in distress impression.  Your emotions are an extreme – either the world is ending because you received corn on your dinner plate instead of mac and cheese or you’re the happiest girl in the world because you put your shoes on the right feet.  Either way, living with Sybil is exhausting.

You’re still enamoured with your brother but you have picked up a lovely little habit of yelling “IT’S NOT FAIR” when ever you’re be reprimanded for taking a toy or pushing him.  Yes, we have witnessed you starting to take a firm hand to your brother in a mischievous bratty way.  There is nothing like listening to a toddler declare her frustration over rules when you clearly don’t understand what the phrase means.  You then force me and your Father to get all old school parental on you and say phrases we thought we would never say like, “let me tell you what’s not fair” and “don’t make me show you what’s fair.”  Then I’m forced to have an out of body experience where I judge myself for saying cliche parenting nonsense.

You definitely have plenty to say but your vocabulary is still not very strong so I can catch maybe every other word.  Lately, you have been compelled to tell every stranger you meet a story and the only words I can interpret are “in dark places all day.”  Now you can imagine what a stranger is probably thinking when you’re telling them something about being in dark places all day long.  The stranger then looks at me with a half confused half concerned expression and I laugh and shrug and say the typical thing most parents with toddlers say, “those kids say the darndest things, don’t they?”  I’m not going to lie and say the thought of putting you in a closet all day hasn’t crossed my mind but I would appreciate that you respect the fact that I restrain myself from doing so.

You are a passionate speaker – when you have something to say, it is typically stated with a hand on the hip and an eyeroll.  When Miles starts crying, you run in to the room and very matter-of-factly ask me, with an eyeroll no less, “what happened to Miles?”  This doesn’t come out as a concerned sibling but more of an interrogation.  I get the impression you’re drilling me to find out, “well, what did you do now to upset Miles?”  If I explain something to you that is not in your favor, you respond back with “what you talking about?”  I sense I am judged quite a bit by strangers when they hear you screaming at the top of your lungs how unfair something is followed by, what you talking about?

In swimming, you have graduated to the next class which means I know longer have to be in the water with you.  The parents sit in another room and watch through glass as to not distract the children.  I typically watch at the edge of my seat biting my nails as I watch you wander away from the class or decide at a random time that you want to climb out to jump in.  When I’m not screaming in my hand to sit still, I get to listen to a woman read to her angelic toddler for 30 minutes.  This toddler is so well behaved, it blows my mind!  He sits with his hands in his lap and allows his mother to read to him for a solid 30 minutes without hardly interrupting her!  Nothing makes a parent feel more inadequate than being reminded on a daily basis that there are other people out there with far better behaved children.  I sit there glaring at this toddler out of the corner of my eye while Miles is screaming, dangling from my arms and I hear the distant declaration from you through double pane glass, “I’M SO EXCITED – I LOVE SWIMMING!!!”

I used to think that life would be so much easier once you were able to vocalize your needs and wants.  Apparently, I was a little wrong.  It turns out you have a lot of needs and wants and you need to vocalize them every waking second.  I know I’m destined for doom because there is video footage of me doing the exact same thing when I was younger.  I know I was ridiculously hyper and I knew there was a chance of this being passed down to my offspring.  Unfortunately, I was so hyper that I used a lifetime of energy all in the first eight years of my life so now I got nothing.  Keeping up with you is impossible so I resort to caffeine, alcohol and trampoline parks.  I’ll let you sort out which goes to me.

I should be proud that I have such a confident brut for a daughter and I’m sure I will look back and be happy but for now, I will continue to scream in to my pillow and do jumping jacks to exert my frustration.  Hopefully this go get em’, won’t take no for an answer attitude you are harnessing will propel you in to a successful business career or in to an Erin Brokovich type character.  Minus the cleavage.

Love,

Momma

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