Her clothes are getting dirty!!
I’ve learned over the years that kids (especially little boys) get dirty and I’m mostly OK with it and don’t get bothered. This is different; my little baby girl in her girly girl pink clothes is crawling on the floor and she’s getting dirty. It’s very noticeable on light pink clothes. Finally having a baby girl after 16 years since my first girl and 9 boys later, I vowed that this little girl will only know pink. I’ll be honest; I didn’t ask her opinion on it, this is purely to satisfy my needs which is to buy a lot of pink. And I admit to going a little overboard. But in my excitement I hadn’t anticipated this issue; for 6 months her clothes were pristine and clean and gorgeous. And now she started crawling. On her stomach. It’s pretty cute. But she’s getting dirty. Filthy!
I take a deep breath and weigh out my options.
She can have dirty pink clothes. Ughh. That’s going to drive me crazy. And it’s so not cute.
And then I have another great idea; I could just not put her on the floor. I can hold her or have her sit in her exersaucer. I may be stunting her growth and delaying her milestones, but her clothes will be clean. So simple!
Even as I think it, I know it’s a ridiculous thought. But I still think it.
And it’s becoming more and more obvious to me that it’s not my baby that has to change, it’s actually me.
Maybe I need to change my only-pink policy. Or start liking the look of dirty pink clothing.
But I want pink! Pink makes me happy. I don’t want dark colors. Ugh they make me feel so blah.
One of us has to compromise and I’m knowing it has to be me … and I’m not liking it.
It dawns on me that this is what being a mother is in a nutshell. From the moment they’re born these little humans try to let us know that they’re their own person and not just an extension of their parents. And for some reason, sometimes it takes years till we get the memo.
It’s so much more empowering to think that as the mother of these little people, I get to choose how they will be and what they will like and how they will behave in school. What their interests will be, what talents they’ll have. Which musical instrument they’ll play, what school subjects they’ll enjoy and if they like to read. Who their friends will be and how they want to spend their time. What foods they’ll like to eat and how they will do homework.
Really, it’s the same two options all through the years as they grow up; come up with a solution that satisfies my needs and stunts their growth or work on myself and change my expectations and create the atmosphere for each one of my kids to thrive on their terms, with their strengths, in their unique G-d given way. And Hashem chose me to be the mother of these kids because somewhere in me I have this ability. Each of my children needs guidance, encouragement and support to be their best. And the hard mommy-work is to look and see beneath the behaviors and understand who they really are and what they really need. Beneath it all is a soul with a one-of-a-kind beauty and strength.
I might be blinded by the used-to-be soft pink colors of clothing that now look dingy, but if I just peek a little deeper I can appreciate that this little doll of mine has strong muscles and is using them well. It definitely is easier to do this with a baby; with my toddler, middle kids, tweens and teens it sure takes a lot more work and patience and alot of other things, but it’s still the same process.
Dear little pink princess, I’m thrilled you are crawling at six months. I’m supposed to be the grown up here so I will compromise. I will let you crawl and I will come up with another solution. Apparently we’re never too old for reminders.
(Originally written for Bodies & Souls Magazine – http://www.bodiessouls.com)