When Josie was two years old, she slept in a white iron crib.
When I heard her stir, I’d come into the room and sing, “Good morning, my beautiful child!” I’d make up my own lyrics and melody, and she stood there, hands on the rails, lips pouting, curly hair flip flopped about her head. Then she’d lisp, “No thinging! No thinging!” I’d stop singing and carry her out of the crib. She had the Terrible Twos something bad. She threw temper tantrums daily and her jealousy of her newborn sister was immense. Finally, after a week of this, I decided I couldn’t be bossed around by my own toddler. I sang my song and she demanded I stop. This time, I answered, “Josie, it’s morning. I love you and I’m the mommy and you’re the baby and I’m going to sing if I want to and you’re not going to tell me no.” So I resumed singing. She stared at me incredulously. “NO! NO THINGING! NO THINGING!” She started to jump up and down, hands still on the rails. As she came down, her chin hit the rail and she bit her tongue. She cried her little lungs out. “Uh, I will come back later.” I told her. I felt the Mom Guilt all the time. Poor Josie was left to her own devices while I changed Ava’s diaper, fed Ava, took naps. I’d have to hand Josie off to her father a lot.
To this day, we rarely spend one on one time together. But today, I offered to go shoe shopping with the girls and Ava wanted to stay home while Josie wanted to go with me. So off we went. She found a red pair of Keds with wide ribbons. We joked around a lot. We laughed and ate chocolate. We bought a gift for friends who are expecting a baby, a baby carrier that can be worn in the front or as a backpack. I held my babies that same way frequently, enjoying their little bodies laying against mine, while I dusted furniture.
Josie wanted to hold my hand as we walked through the mall, this twelve year old who is now a half inch taller than me. I reveled in it, for I wondered, “At what age will she find it embarrassing to hold my hand?” She wanted nothing more than to just be with me. I’m a lucky mom.