A few weeks ago, I was at a playgroup and all the moms started talking about the Easter baskets they'd already put together for their toddlers. They were so excited and giddy as they discussed and compared notes.
I? Hadn't even thought to make one for Baby Girl.
When it comes to teaching kindness and empathy? I'm a rockstar. Sign language and language development? I own that. And as for my love? Well, nothing is greater.
But birthday parties, scrapbooks, art projects? Not so much.
Which isn't to say I don't try.
In the past two weeks, I've bought finger paint. I made window painting bags. I made homemade playdough. I made a freaking sensory bin, even though I still don't really get the point.
And every time, her response was the same. "Mmm, no thanks." Or at least that's what I imagine she's saying as she wanders off to scrub my windows with a baby wipe.
I really want these projects to work, for a lot of reasons. The day at home is really long, and I need ways to fill the time. I love the idea of teaching her to be artistic, of helping her develop multiple intelligences. But most of all? It's because they look fun.
You know, in theory.
In reality? I just don't get it. I hate doing it. I resent it. And then when she doesn't even like it, I get angry. I'm just not the right kind of mom for those things.
And that's okay.
But it doesn't always feel okay. Sometimes I feel like I must be missing a gene. Other stay at home moms do such great things with their kids, and I just can't. And it's not so much an issue of my baby missing out. She's fine. Happy as a clam.
It's me. I want to get excited about things the way the Pinterest mamas do. I want to enjoy being with my daughter. And when I don't, it makes me sad.
But I know in my heart that more projects I hate aren't the answer. I know that all I can do is be the mom I am, no matter how much I wish I could be that kind of mom. Does that mean I won't ever look again? No, I'm not that fast a learner.
This morning in her high chair, my Baby Girl signed "bunny."
"Where's the bunny?"
She pointed at the window, so I walked over and looked out. And she started laughing hysterically.
I turned around slowly, with one hand on my hip. With a twinkle in her eye, my tiny comedienne patted her leg, said "Do(g)!" and pointed at the window again, busting a gut as I turned to look again.
This game? I could play all day.