Wednesday, August 1, 2007

And my heart's all aflutter

I had the most wonderful afternoon I've had in, well, months. I fell in love all over again and was reminded just how wonderful she is.

Today was Alena's early three-year check-up, combined with a physical required for her to start preschool in September. I had expected the worst. The mere mention of the word doctor sends her into a frenzy ... even if it's someone else's doctor visit. I put off telling her today was the day to save her the days ... hours ... minutes of worry, fretting and all-out fit throwing. But once this morning came, I knew I had to spill the beans.

As I got her out of bed, I reminded her of our mom and Alena afternoon that we had talked about yesterday. "Just you and me," I said. "We'll spend the afternoon together."

We had already made plans to stop by Aunt Angie's beauty salon for a quick hair cut. Scheduled ever so slyly AFTER the doctor's appointment for leverage. "But," I explained to her, "before we go to the beauty salon, there's something we need to do. We're going to the doctor's office today," I told her. "You need to have a check-up."

And we were off. The tears started, the defiance set in and her reaction was just as I expected.

Trying to interrupt her fit, I explained that if she went and was good I would take her to the mall to ride the Nemo carousel afterward (she enjoys the heck out of this little three-person merry-go-round for whatever reason). She couldn't even hear my attempted bribe over the bellyaching and declarations that she wasn't going, she wasn't going to talk to the doctor and that the doctor wasn't going to touch her.

Fine ... I let her have her drama. Downstairs we went to start the day.

After a bit of calmness, I again made my Nemo peace offering. Go to the doctor, behave like a good girl and ride Nemo to your heart's content. Again the whining erupted and the tears resurfaced.

"We're going," I said nonchalantly. "Whether you want to or not, we're going. You can either go and cooperate so you can ride Nemo afterwards, or you can go and yell and carry on and we'll come home without a Nemo ride."

And it was over. Not another tear was shed the rest of the day. I expected a tantrum when it was time to leave for the appointment. Nope, total cooperation getting into her carseat.

"Okay, she's teasing me ... I'm going to get it when we actually get there," I thought to myself. Again, total disbelief when I put the car in park and opened my door in the parking lot.

The final test came when the nurse opened the door leading back to the examination rooms.

"Scott," she called.

"Here we go," I thought as I reached for Alena's hand. I could have fallen over as we marched back to the scale and she stepped right up on it.

I couldn't have asked for a better behaved, more cooperative little girl. She obliged the doctor's every request. She answered the doctor's questions (Do you eat chicken? Do you ride a bike or a bigwheel? Do you wear a helmet when you ride? Do you sit in your carseat in the car?). She even offered up information about her new scooter she learned to ride this week.

She checked out perfectly. Exactly where she should be developmentally (a vocabulary of around 1,000 words), socially (testing limits constantly) and physically (able to undress herself and redress with limited assistance).

Following our appointment, we drove through Old McDonald's for a small orange drink. It was hot and we were thirsty. We then headed to the mall to ride Nemo. She was all smiles going around and around. After two dollar's worth of riding she climbed off so she could check out the "Claire's" accessory store visible from the carousel. We left the store with a Hello Kitty cell phone and bracelet.

Next up, the beauty salon. After a quick trim of her bangs and ends, she got her first French braids compliments of her favorite stylist. Not getting the whole hold-one-mirror-to-look-back-into-the-other-mirror concept, I took a picture of the back of her head so she could preview it on the digital camera to check out her fancy do.

On our way home, she fell asleep in her carseat (something that hasn't happened in I couldn't tell you how long), confirming that we still aren't ready to surrender our afternoon nap. Can't fault her there ... hey, I'd take one too if given the chance.

I think she enjoyed our time together, and I know I did even more. In the craziness of day-to-day life, it's easy to forget just how wonderful these little people are. In the monotony of getting up, getting dressed and getting on with the day, it's easy to overlook the specialness each moment possesses. In the madness of laundry, making sure every one's fed and the abyss of toys thrown about, it's easy to lose sight of why you're really doing it all. I was reminded of the essence of motherhood ... her.

She's one of the most amusing, insightful, entertaining, polite people I know. She's amazing, and I've had something to do with it. More importantly, I get to spend every day with her.

I'm now plotting how we can institute mom/Alena and mom/Alivia afternoons on a regular basis. Yep, I fell in love again, and this time don't want to wait so long to do it all over again.


Gina said...

Ahh, so sweet. I enjoy your posts so much.

And it's adorable how she fell asleep holding a bottle of nail polish. That child is full-time fabulous.

Yvette said...

She's full-time fabulous, alright. She's too fabulous for her own damn good! Jason told her the other day he thinks she's going to cost him a fortune. Needless to say, toenails were painted "back to the beach peach" before sundown.