I still have moments where I can't believe I'm a parent. I would think this would have sunk in by now, but 2.67 years into this gig, and I still get blown away by the mere suggestion that someone would allow me to care for another human being, especially one that is so cool. OK, not cool in the conventional sense, but cool in the "wow, how did she come up with that, she must be a genius, I call MY GENES!" kind of way.
(Yes, Andrew and I both territorially claim any hint of smarts/lucky guess on her side from ourselves. Very mature adults, obviously. See my earlier point about not believing we're allowed to care for another human being.)
Today we had a parent-teacher conference to go over the things Lilly will be studying/working on in her new class. This is our second go-round with the teacher-time, so we are Pros at this now, I tell ya. I brought my pen and pad to take notes, per usual. I appreciate (to a fault) any sort of insight or advice into rearing children (again, see my previous point). More often than not, I have moments with her teacher where I say (sometimes internally, sometimes the words incoherently tumble from my gaping mouth), "WOW, you mean kids this age can DO that?!?"
Last August when I was doing the teacher-time for the first time, I was blown away at the idea of our kid being fully potty-trained and being able to dress herself. That just seemed insane. Having lost all sense of perspective, I was at that point expecting to be following her around with wipes, trying to pull a shirt over her head while she tried to escape streaker-style well into her forties.
Today, there was talk about subjects. Like real school subjects: math, science, language, handwriting, geography, music, dance, practical life skills (OK that one not so much real school - but by golly that should be the name of a class in high school where they teach you how to balance a checking account, fill out a W-4 correctly, set up a retirement fund and understand medical insurance. Am I right or right?). The kids are learning the globe and the seven continents in this class. ARE YOU KIDDING. I would embarrassingly enough have to scratch my head to get the old hamster running fast enough to recall that kind of information on the quick. She is capable of for-real chores in the house, and wouldn't you know it, she really does enjoy helping in the house (count the seconds that is still possible, I know) - she helped me unload the washing machine and put the dishes away tonight. Me = beaming/plotting ways to extend this streak of pure insanity.
With the amazing also comes the... challenging. She's learning how to "lie" - as in "Daddy said I could do this" when the very opposite is true but she's trying to pit us against one another. Thankfully she hasn't quite figured out the concept that I HEARD HIM TELL YOU NO yet. Bed time is a struggle. She knows we don't go to sleep right away and wants in on the action too. After several lame attempts at stalling, after already having been read fifty books and back-patted into kingdom come, she opens her door and yells "MA-MA, MA-MA, MA-MA" ad nauseum. The other night Andrew yelled back, "GO TO SLEEP LILLY!" in a warning/frustrated voice. And Little Miss yelled back in an equal tone, "NO, YOU GO TO SLEEP, I'LL WATCH YOU!"
Excuse me? I think you just got told by a toddler, Andrew. I find myself musing this genius book at times like that. How can you not laugh?! But that's what she wants, she knows that if I crack and laugh, she's got me in the palm of her hand. You can see the look of satisfaction on her face.
I'm pretty sure this backs up my point and emphasizes my inexperience when it comes to disciplining but I can't help but give her extra hugs while I giggle over faux-stern eyes. It's going so fast.