Friday, February 16, 2007

Complicated


It might seem from my blog that I don't write much about Papoosie Girl, and in fact I think it is kind of true. It is easy to write about Rosebud, she is much more simple to document and capture in words. At three her personality is only so deep and our relationship is still very much in a honeymoon phase. She doesn't wake me up at night every two hours and doesn't argue with me about every little detail all day either. Rosebud and I live in a kind of harmony etched out by our day to day outings and activities, where it is just the two of us. She has been known to say, "It's nice when it is just the two us." Indeed it is.

That is not to say I don't adore Papoosie Girl, because I do. She is a complicated creature straining against my Mommyness some days and it can be so tiring. Most days pass by fairly uneventfully and for the most part she is a good girl. She follows our family rules, adores her sister and plays with her, and generally doesn't give us a hassle. There have been glimpses though of what is to come, and it is not pretty. She is extremely stubborn, and I think she may have come by that naturally, which has already led to some locked horns situations. You can reason with her most of the time, but these exchanges are exhausting. We are both spent by the end and often words have been exchanged that you want to swallow back up. Somehow I thought I would have more time before this started. More time before it became complicated, if you know what I mean.

I look at her reading on the couch and wonder where did this girl come from? Where did this little girl reading "chapter" books come from? I can't be old enough for a child who can read! After a quick browse through Chapters you quickly realize that this mother-daughter relationship is a topic many people have tried to explain. The fierce pride, complete exasperation, and undying love I feel can never truly be explained though. In my heart of hearts I really wanted a girl and secretly was sure Papoosie Girl was a girl. I have mentioned this before and while a healthy baby was the ultimate wish I was always nervous of having a boy. As an only child and no cousins I saw regularly, I had no exposure or experience with little boys until I started babysitting; and let's just say that impression was not favourable. I have come to love and appreciate little boys through my godson, from the delivery room to his four year old exuberance I am beginning to understand. Boys are different and that is alright, I get it now. I am not nearly as scared.

I so want for Papoosie Girl and Rosebud to think of me as someone who they can rely on and most importantly understand. I think the most tragic thing would be to hear my children say they just never understood me or worse I didn't understand them. I wonder sometimes how it can seem so complicated now, she is six! I feel like we are already approaching the brink of moving from total dependence to total indifference. That scares me, a lot.

Today at the doctors to check her sore ear again she is my little girl. She wants Mommy beside her holding her hand as the doctor pokes around. For the moment we are Mommy and daughter again, no hassles, no sighing, no drama; just the two of us together. Naturally, I start to think of my relationship with my own Mom and how the cycle is continuing. I adore my Mom and she is the one person on this earth who truly knows me best. Hubby knows me well of course too, but this relationship, from birth, through childhood, adolescence and finally to me as a mother is long-standing. My Mom is my inspiration and while it was not always a perfect relationship I have never felt cut off from my mother in any way. I always knew she loved me even if she wasn't liking me very much sometimes.

I am sure I will have lots more to say about this: one girl + one girl + one mother = years of fun...
I never thought I would feel the angst so early in our relationship. I thought it never would be complicated at such an early age and maybe it is just my own worrying bringing me down a bit. I do that sometimes, worry, that is.

Love you Papoosie Girl. You are a bright shining light in my life. You never back down and I so love your strong will, never lose it sweetie. My sweet little Tinkerbell, I hope we have many more years of fairy dust upon us.

11 comments:

NotSoSage said...

Wow, Papoosie Girl is truly stunning. I haven't had a chance to troll through your archives yet, so this is the first photo I've seen of her close up.

Really, does it really start this soon? What? I couldn't hear you, I have fingers in both ears and I'm singing "nananananana" at the top of my voice!

Sandra said...

Such a beautiful girl and a beautiful post.

I totally get how as they get older its no longer the honeymoon phase of your relationship. It is more complicated.

BlogWhore said...

such a sweet post....

Oh, The Joys said...

Sweet girlies! Sorry about the sore ear - we just learned Rooster, like The Mayor, may have to get the tubes.

Alpha DogMa said...

I get earaches quite often too. And even though I'm 33, I too want my mommy with me at the doctor.

What a pretty girl! She's so sweet.

Six? Chapter books at 6? Yikes. That seems so soon.

Doesn't it seem like we're already seeing the early signs of adolscence? And even worse: adolscent angst?

Jen, when do we get to see you? And no the photo in the restaurant as a child doesn't count. And yes your wedding photo was lovely, but we didn't get to see YOU. Please! You show your face, I'll show mine. But not till Sunday when we (hopefully) get a scanner.

Great post.

Melanie said...

What a beautiful love letter to your little girl. What I'm learning as a "new" mom (my oldest is 3) is that it is difficult to let go and realize we really are rearing little people. Little individuals. The ultimate goal is that they will become their own people and leave us, but it's hard when you get the glimpses. I've got a very strong-willed little girl too. And while I am so glad she's not afraid to bum me out with her own opinions (I'm a people pleaser to a fault and do not want that for my kids), it's still a tough pill to swallow. Thanks for sharing your very real, very human feelings. Well said!

bubandpie said...

I sense that conflict sometimes with the Pie, even those she's only 18 months! And then I tell myself that it's not her personality that is tangling with mine, it's simply the fact that she's a toddler. I don't want to create a problem by anticipating it. But it does seem as if Bub and I have, in some ways, complementary personalities - we seem to fit together naturally, whereas the Pie and I clash in our similarities.

Jenifer G. said...

AD - I did post of photo with me in it! Saturday January 27, "Things heard around here" post. That is me with the girls, really it is!

You are not off the hook though. As I recall you did post a photo of yourself, maybe it was about your new haircut?! I forgot exactly the reference but, I remember the photo. You can post more though...

Joy - Papoosie Girl had tubes put in at two and for years we were off the hook with no infections, even after they fell out around 3 1/2. It seems in the last 6 months or so they have come back. She will wake up in the middle of the night sobbing with pain. NOT FUN.

B&P - I think Papoosie Girl and I have the same problem, being alike is causing a clash. We both need to work on the stubborn factor.

Mimi said...

You've written about this so beautifully ... your understanding of the situation just makes it more bittersweet though, doesn't it?

I see my and my mom in how you've described what's going on here: I am very stubborn, verbal, and opinionated, and a big reader of chapter books ;-) I often locked horns with my mom, but you should know this if it helps you with Papoosie Girl: The whole time I loved my mom to bits. Absolutely adored her. Didn't stop me from being pigheaded, but it was like I couldn't help it.

And, as it turns out, we are more alike than she and my sister, the more tractable child. We're all still coming to terms with that.

Ooops. Now this is about me. But I really see that echo of my own experience (as a daughter) in this post.

What a beautiful post. I'm sure you'll work it out. Even if it takes another 20 or so years. Hold her when you can ...

Melanie said...

Okay - about the pacifier. Just a thought...I'll tell you what I did with my little Brenna. Granted, she was only 20 months old, so maybe more gullible. We asked her if she'd like to go to the toy store. We then let her wander the store. When she'd picked out her little people dollhouse, we let her get it. But she paid for it. With her two pacifiers. She was only using them at night too and she gave them over to the checkout guy (as I slipped him my debit card) and was happy to do it, for the dollhouse. One or two semi-rough nights later, the binkies were a faded memory. I don't know if it would be tougher with a 3-year old, but it's worth a try. Then we didn't have to throw them away and could remind her of what she had to show for giving up her beloved pacifiers. And she really thought she bought the dollhouse. You'll have to tell us what finally works! Best of luck.

Haley-O said...

That is so beautiful, Jen! And, she's gorgeous! Having a daughter, no matter how complicated it gets, is such a gift. I didn't know this until I had mine. I didn't fully understand my mother, either, until I had my daughter.... :)