How is it possible to love someone so much, yet want nothing more than a few hours away from them?
(I know it's possible; I've felt that with some of my relationships in the past. "I love you! I want to smooch you! Then leave me alone!" This is one of the many, many reasons I'm single.)
I have a friend coming over Saturday to hang with Elle, and I've got two hours to myself. I'm not going to do anything particularly thrilling, but it will be nice to have some much-needed time away.
I need to get on finding a weekend sitter. No luck so far. It will be easier when Elle is slightly older-- I'll be fine with a high school kid-- but when she's this small and (relatively) non-verbal, I want a sitter with a bit more maturity.
With the exception of actually walking (she's sooo close), Elle is now a full-fledged actual toddler, moods and all. This is apparently the time where they're figuring out that they're a separate person from mom, and realizing they can exert their own will over things/situations. Elle being Elle, she figured that out a while ago-- long before she'll figure out how to walk. My girl has a very strong personality, and very definite ideas of her own.
I've had to stop making eating any kind of a battle, for instance. If dinner is a saltine and three bites of cheese, that's dinner-- and she doesn't seem to be waking up in the middle of the night hungry, so clearly she's getting what she needs.
Sunday night dinner was about eight blueberries, five or six yogurt puffs and around 14-16 ounces of milk. (No, I'm not exaggerating. Literally, close to three sippy cups full, and they're six ounces each.) I think she had some American cheese, as well. Apparently she's craving calcium? She didn't want water, she didn't want food. She wanted milk.
So, anyway. I send a wide variety of nutritious foods with her to day care, she eats well there, and I can't kill myself over it beyond that. She will rarely try new foods right now, and I remind myself that's normal. Toddlers will eat when they're hungry, and it's been proven that they get the nutritional variety they need. Eventually.
When she will deign to acknowledge some new food that's been placed on her tray, her new method for testing it out is to squish it with the tip of her finger. She did this to a lima bean this past weekend and laughed delightedly when the outside of the lima bean came off, like a snakeskin. She eventually tried the lima bean and ate maybe one more; I'll keep trying.
One suggestion on a mom website was a bit of garlic salt-- they like the salty flavor and it gets them to try something new. Unfortunately, another toddler suggestion is to let them dip their food-- i.e. dip their bread into hummus, or their fruit into yogurt. This gets them nutrition, as well as gives them control over how they're eating. Sadly, Elle doesn't like combining foods. She doesn't even much like butter on her bread. She's a purist at the moment.
She did dip a saltine into applesauce tonight. Hm. Baby steps? Weird baby steps, anyway.
Elle has never been the most snuggly or affectionate baby. She's always been so busy doing other things and/or keeping an eye on the world; cuddling is time away from what matters. This means that when she is loving, I treasure it all the more.
This weekend I was sitting on the floor, slouched over (bad habit), and she scooted up behind me and hugged my back, resting her cheek on me for just a moment. She did it again a few minutes later.
Those are the moments that make it all worth it.