Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Not So Terrible Two's

We have all seen it and felt both sorry and embarrassed for the mom with her hands full of shopping bags trying to drag a screaming toddler to their feet in the middle of a crowded store. My sympathies to you if you have been this poor woman because, on top of it all, you often have several people gawking at you as they would a car wreck or a street fight.

Dahlia pulled a more toned down version of this once, at J.C. Penney. She wanted to run free through the store and, having no concept of "stranger danger" or the likelihood of running face-first into a clothing rack, who wouldn't? To her, it must have seemed needlessly unjust to be restrained to hold hands and walk at a grown-ups pace. Still, when she let her knees buckle and quietly refused to stand, I found myself in that awful situation: hands full, uncooperative child and a dozen or so prying eyes watching the sweat start to trickle down my face. In the end, I lied and told her that there was ice cream waiting for her in the car (wrong, I know, but it worked just long enough for me to pay for my stuff and high tail it out of there!). Needless to say, that was the last time I braved the mall without a stroller!

Aside from this nearly isolated incident, the terrible two's have treated us quite well (so far). In fact, this stage is one of my favorites. Dahlia learns things so quickly, now. She can identify basic colors and shapes, count to seven and sing the alphabet song! She is an absolute chatterbox and very polite for a toddler, habitually saying "please", "thank you" and even "excuse me"! Best of all, she gets so much more out of her experiences. Cute example: ever since we visited the Atlanta Aquarium (which is a must-see for anyone in the area), she has been obsessed with sharks! She'll ask to see pictures of them anytime one of us is on the computer and pretends to be one when she takes a bath. She'll say "Arrrr! I'm a scary shark!" (We've tried to tell her that sharks don't roar but in her mind they still do).

I can easily go on forever but the point is that, everyday, Dahlia reveals more about what kind of person she'll grow up to be -her thoughts, what she dreams and imagines, what she enjoys and what she fears. I am now getting to know her in an entirely different way and, while I am eager to see what she will be like at 3 and at 5, I can wait because the terrible two's are amazing and not terrible at all!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Random Complaints

1. There are these "pro-life" billboards by the side of the road that I take to work everyday. They read "Pregnant? Your baby's heart is already beating." and depict a blond woman with way too much make-up on holding up a positive pregnancy test with a scared look on her face. Why the lies? Using deception to promote an agenda is counterproductive. When people realize that you justify your position with misinformation, they will assume that that was the only way it could be justified, which leaves you and your claims with no credibility at all. This is along the lines of the ads that show a 16-week, fully formed, fetus and read "My heart is beating 18 days after conception". While the latter ad is much more accurate, why not show what it really looks like 18 days after conception? Well here you go...

I know it's strange but, personally, I can't help but remember being pregnant with Dahlia and feel a bit warm and fuzzy when I look at this. Still, it wouldn't do much in the way of guilting a woman into to keeping an unwanted pregnancy. Even so, it is truth. And the decision to abort or carry a pregnancy to term should be based on nothing less.

2. Why doesn't my 2 year old take me seriously when I tell her not to do something? Yet, all my husband has to do is raise his voice and she cries like the world is coming to an end! I am always consistent. When I threaten to punish her, I always follow through. I never negotiate with her. My husband rarely disciplines her at all! I think kids are naturally more intimidated by men than women- but that doesn't make it any easier!

3. Why is this religious zealot pastor from the sticks world famous now? For threatening to burn the Koran?! Come on, REALLY? If this was a bible or an American flag he was threatening to burn, you wouldn't hear a second word about it. Everyone is so afraid to offend the Muslims for fear that extremist will retaliate, that you have political and religious leaders from all around the world pleading with this nobody not to exercise his freedom of expression! Terrorists are like Freddy Krueger or the Boogeyman in that they thrive off of people's fear. It makes them stronger. Take that fear away, show some courage, and you strip them of their power. Anyway, lesson learned. If you want to be famous overnight, just threaten to burn the Koran!