Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Harper rages against the dying of the light.

Fairly often, Harper will find something hilarious.  The belly laughs, which are so uncontrolled and unexpected, often completely knock her off of her feet. A Budweiser Clydesdale throwing a snowball will reduce her to a lump of bumbly, stumbly, snorting adorable.

When this happens, as most parents can attest, I feel it, too. I smile and laugh along, but really? To see her so happy is like someone is hugging my heart (gross, but that's how it feels).

When it happens, I soak it in. . . because as often as she collapses in a fit of laughter, she collapses in a puddle of tears and screams.

..because I insist that she hold my hand and not roam freely through a busy Chicago Starbucks.

..because she doesn't want to get in the stroller.  She wants to walk, just like us.

..because she's tired, but can't fall asleep because she doesn't want to miss one.single.thing.

..because too many people are staring at her and talking to her and I'm holding her hand and she can't retreat from the intimidation.

She's been on the earth a short 21 months.

It's par for the course.

She can't control it.  She feels, just like adults, but she's too little to contain it. Or express it with words. Or blog about it.

I beg of you.  Harper & I beg of you.

Remember that she's a tiny person with big feelings.

Even I don't always remember that.

..especially when she lets fly with a blood curdling scream in Starbucks before I can quickly usher her out the door into the cold so as not to fluster the regulars.

Please try to understand.  Trust me.  I'm mortified.

I might sheepishly smile (because what else can I do) while I try to quickly fix the problem, but no one is hugging my heart. It's being ripped out.  By your disapproving stare.  By her unhappiness & frustration.

It's OK to feel upset that the bliss of your morning routine was interrupted.  Harper is upset, too. . . She envies your freedom & eye-levelness (as opposed to butt-levelness) & ability to sit in a chair untethered & your coffee instead of her milk.

But if my toddler gets the best of you, if your emotions get the best of you, and you can't help but glare angrily or furrow your brow or roll your eyes in exasperation, a wonderful alternative is to take your ass out of the public place that we want so desperately to leave, and have coffee at home.


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  2. Butt-levelness. Love it. D is so short she doesn't even get the butt-level (except for mine bc I'm short too.)

    What is most annoying about the stares, to me, is that they're looking as if your child is always (and purposefully) a terror.

  3. PS. Your posts about children/family always pull my heart strings because I can relate. It really DOES feel like someone is hugging your heart when your child laughs.

  4. new follower here. love your site. too cute.


  5. Can I get an Amen?!? I've been surpised at how many "looks" I've gotten at E's swim lessons, especially since most folks there are parents as well. Just cause you kid is no longer a toddler doesn't give you a right to stare! Course maybe it's just payback from their days? Let's make a pact not to do that when our little tots grow out of this!

  6. Let me try again...I had to remove my first attempt due to the number and quality of the "colorful rhetorics"(borrowed from you, re: Dad) I have used for the freakazoids who stare at children and their parents, disapprovgly.
    We must remember, they were never children...they were, "laid by the buzzards and hatched by the sun." (My mom's phrase)
    Hugging your heart is a wonderful feeling. "I love my life!" Remember?
    Keep up the good work on this blog. It is such a treat reading it. It's like getting a letter from you!
    Those SOB's who stare at Harper in a time of stress may be meeeting her on the business end of a hypodermic needle in the geriatric unit one of these days..."into the crack with you, old lady/man."
    I love you!

  7. I should have read this before I went out today. It might have helped my sanity.