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.

Redemption In My Daughter's Arms

Last night Maddie and I had a run-in, and
it wasn’t pretty. The episode occurred at the very end of the
night; it started with her usual prayer time and ended with sobbing
and crying.

The details of the stuff in the middle aren’t important;
suffice it to say that she’s had a hard time recently with me
telling her “no” – as in, I’ll tell her
“no” and she’ll try to argue or bargain down to a
lesser sentence – and I’ve warned her that if it
continues the consequences would be more severe. And last night, it
continued, and ended with me having to put several of her favorite
stuffed animals in her closet for the night.

Now, you should know that Maddie has a
very personal attachment to most of her stuffed animals, assigning
personalities and taking her role as their “parent”
very seriously; and you should also know that she’s had a
couple bad dreams recently about not taking good care of her
kitten, and getting it lost or stolen from her. The remorse and
guilt from these dreams is carried around with her all day long and
talked about regularly.

So you can imagine the burden Maddie must have felt as she lay
there thinking about her precious charges – her stuffed
animals – lonely and scared in the closet. I get that, I do.
And as I sat back and helplessly watched her work through it all, I
began to see the future. Not the future when life is easier and
she’s a grown-up and we go shoe-shopping together, but the
future when she starts to associate all her bad feelings with me
and begins to, well, hate me.

I longed to run and fling open the closet and liberate all the
stupid stuffed animals. But I couldn’t, and I knew I was
doing the right thing. But that didn’t make it any easier. At

After we’d snuggled a bit and I’d told every funny
story I could think of in an effort to distract her, I got up to
leave for the night. Maddie rolled on her side, away from me, and I
leaned in, yearning to pour my heart, my love, into her. I wanted
so much to tell her how hard this was for me, but that’s not
a burden she needs to bear – it’s mine to carry. So I
simply said, “I love you so much, baby girl.”

Maddie snuggled deeper into her blankets, stayed with her back to
me, and said, “Me, too.”

Now, it’s very possible she was half asleep from exhaustion
by that point. But of course my Mommy Guilt chose to interpret it
as Maddie’s first-ever expression of unhappiness towards me
– her first time to distance herself from me, either in
unhappiness with me or, worse yet, as a way to punish me. I played
it cool, slunk out of the room, and headed straight for a glass of

Fifteen minutes later Maddie came stumbling down the stairs.
“Mommy, I got out of bed to put my book away and I stubbed my
toe on the stool.” And then she stood there and stared at me.

I looked hard at her. “Did you come all the way downstairs to
tell me that because you wanted me to know you stubbed your toe, or
did you need a little bit more snuggle?”

“I wanted you to know I stubbed my toe,” she said as
her eyes shifted away.

I stood up. “Ok, but since you’re still awake, can I
come back upstairs for one more snuggle?”

Maddie’s shoulders relaxed as she nodded, and we went back
upstairs for some unfinished snuggling.

Maddie rolled away from me again, but grabbed my hand and pulled me
towards her, snuggling my arm under her chin. As we spooned I said
silent prayers of thanksgiving that my daughter still liked me and
felt myself on the verge of tears, so much did I love her. I sighed
with happiness.

“Mommy,” Maddie said, patting my hand, already half
asleep, “God is my favorite person in the whole universe, but
you are my favorite person in the whole world.”

And then I did start crying. And I burrowed into her neck and said,
“Oh, baby girl, I love you so much my heart hurts from
working so hard.”

And she wriggled like a happy puppy, settled bonelessly into me,
and went to sleep.

The day of my daughter’s dislike, her disdain, her distaste
for me is on the horizon.

But it’s not yet. And for the moment, that is enough.


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.