Welcome to my Weblog!
Welcome to 1 Mother 2 Another! To read my most recent weblog entries, scroll down. To read entries from one category, click the links at right. To read my journey from the beginning, click here. To find out more about me, click here.
Top 5s
Short on time? Click here to go to my Top 5s Page - links to my top five recommendations in every category from Breastfeeding Sites to Urban Living Solutions.

Girl Gets Friendly

 Madeleine’s hit this great stage where, despite her almost crippling
stranger anxiety, she’s incredibly interested in other kids and babies.
Anything under four feet tall qualifies, and you don’t even have to be
there in the flesh.

Walking down the baby aisle at the grocery
store is a meet-n-greet for my verbal kiddo; she waves and chats happily
with all the babies on the diaper boxes. She points excitedly at each one
of them – “Duh dah!” – and leans urgently towards the container, straining
to touch the baby. She grins back at me, making sure I saw the entrancing
stranger and am waving in a friendly way to the new baby. Do I go along
with it? You betcha. It’s just easier.

At the post office recently we ran into a mother with her three daughters,
aged maybe 4 to 9. Maddie couldn’t figure out which one to stare at first,
until she saw the four-year-old had a baby doll strapped to her chest.
Madeleine began gesturing excitedly, trying to get the doll’s attention.
The little girl shyly came over, blushing at the attention, and never
really got why Maddie was excited, but it made her day.

public gathering we hit these days is a bonanza of opportunities for my
daughter to literally press the flesh. As little children shyly approach
the stroller, they have no idea Maddie’s dying to reach a chubby finger
out and press on their forearm, cheek, whatever she can get her hand on.
At a party the other day with several other girl toddlers, Madeleine stuck
to her usual M.O. of crying fearfully every time an adult tried to come
into physical contact with her. But put her on the floor at eye level with
the other girls, and she was running towards them, dragging whoever was
holding her hands impatiently. She’d stop mere inches away from the other
face and stare, mesmerized, for a few seconds before striking up a

And she’s not too interested in forming relationships
right now; it’s more as if she sees these other babies and children as
exhibits in a museum. She wants to prod them and discuss their attributes
with me, but not interact with them too much. I don’t think she’s realized
she can, yet.

With older toddlers she’s seen several times, she’s
more outgoing and relational. In our church nursery she’s beginning to
greet her friends Elisabeth and Ellie, knowing them by sight. She even
waves across the room when she first sees some of the children.

I said earlier, she still has a strong case of stranger anxiety; she’ll
view them comfortably from my arms as if she’s watching television but let
them try to take her or come too close and sheer panic washes over her

At the same time, a crowded, noisy room full of strangers
doesn’t stress her out at all. Once she realizes none of the adults are
trying to pick her up she relaxes and gets a sort of tunnel vision: she
begins seeing only “friendly” adults and interesting children, and acts as
if we’re alone in the room with just those few. This uninhibitedness can
become a bit embarrassing at times.

Sunday’s church service is a
prime example. My girlfriend Bev was sitting in front of us with her
two-year-old Danny. Maddie was so excited she waved at him for half the
service, with the cooler and older Danny only occasionally deigning to
notice the “baby”. Madeleine enjoyed standing on the floor and poking
Bev’s hiney through the chair slats, too. And behind us sat Timothy, a
much older man of about 10 whom Maddie has a slight crush on right now.
She simply stared at him with a goofy grin, offering up a pointer finger
to him every now and then.

The takes-the-cake relationship of
Sunday, though, was Gamma (of course). My mom was serving up front, on the
other side of the church. During a scripture reading, Madeleine caught
sight of my mother and realized for the first time she was up there.
Undaunted by the 50 feet and absolute quiet between them, Maddie began
waving frantically to get her Gamma’s attention. When that didn’t work,
she began speaking.

Urgently and loudly.

“Gamma! Over here!
It’s me! Look! Gamma! GAMMA!!!” My mother tried hard to stare straight
ahead, but Maddie wouldn’t give up. Finally, Mom gave her a discreet wave
of acknowledgement.

Grinning happily and kicking her feet, Maddie
turned to me as if to say, “See? I knew it was her.”

get me wrong – I’m happy to see signs that Maddie’s already forming
relationships and getting interested in people her own age.

I just
wish she wouldn’t do it so loudly.


Post a Comment

House Rules

Here are the rules for posting comments on 1mother2another.com. Posting a comment that violates these rules will result in the comment’s deletion, and you’ll probably be banned from commenting in the future.

1) Register first. If you would like to post a comment, you must create an account with us. Check out the home page to do so.

2) Constructive comments only. If you cannot maintain a respectful tone in your posting, even in disagreement, your comment will be deleted. We’re all trying to find our way in this thing and are struggling to be the best moms we can. If you disagree with something I say, feel free to politely email me. If you disagree with another reader’s posting, you’re welcome to kindly post in reply. Vitriolic diatribes will be deleted. This site is about encouraging and supporting, not tearing down and chastising.

3) Questions welcomed. If an entry raises a question, you’re welcome to email me directly or post it. Keep in mind that postings will result in public replies by strangers and not just me.

4) Don’t steal. All original writings contained within this website are under copyright protection. If you link to us, please credit us as your source and provide a link back to our website. If you're interested in using an excerpt in published material, please contact us.

5) Share your photos! We'd love to have photos from our registered readers to show on our home page under "Maddie's friends". Email us a jpeg of your little one's best photo to photos@1mother2another.com. Please, no photos from professional photographers which fall under copyright protection.