“A person’s a person, no matter how small.” – Dr. Seuss
“It’s all right to be itty bitty.” – Alan Jackson
I’m here to inform you that Evie Langston is, in fact, a little person. I know! She has likes and dislikes. She gets sad, mad, confused and bored. She’s hot-natured. She alternates between feeling shy to showing off her new dance moves. She’s a cat person. She’s a person.
What’s that I hear? A chorus of “Duh!”‘s? Huh. Y’all just know it all, don’t ya?
I know I’m not the only parent out there who forgets this once in a while. Right? Right? After all, there was a time when all Evie did was eat, sleep and poop. And I helped to facilitate all three of those functions from the time she burst forth into the world. She was fed 8-10 times a day, rocked and bounced to sleep and relieved of her poopy diapers every couple of hours. Eventually, her daddy and I got it down to a science.
And that’s what it became at times. Science. Especially when those times involved very little sleep. Baby’s hungry? Feed her. Baby’s crying? She needs a nap. Smell that? Get the wipes. And with all of this came the assumption that the baby was relying on us, and we would determine what to do for her. And since she didn’t express much emotion, we also assumed that if she was fed, well-rested and clean, she must be happy. And we were mostly right about that.
Things have, um, changed. Evie has a say in her life now. Boy, does she. And, being that she’s just entering the toddler years, that “say” will get louder. Or so I’ve heard. Or will hear, I should say. And that’s okay, actually. Although Evie’s protestations (screaming) can be frustrating, I love that she lets the world know when she’s unhappy. Homegirl is not afraid to ask for what she wants. At all. I hope it stays that way.
But I keep coming to the stunningly evident realization my daughter is not an Evie-doll. Case in point: I was told Evie likes broccoli. Great! So, I bought some broccoli and gave it to her to eat. She put in her mouth, made a horrific and hilarious face, and yanked it right back out again. Somebody lied to me. My Evie-doll hates broccoli!
Well, no. Maybe she had broccoli earlier that day and didn’t want it again. Maybe she likes it with more or less salt. Maybe she just likes the florets. Or the stems. Hell, maybe she just didn’t feel like eating broccoli for dinner. Sometimes I don’t feel like eating broccoli, either. ( Unless The Barefoot Contessa makes it with lots of cream and butter and cheese in a cute little casserole dish. Then I always feel like eating it. I luuurve her. Don’t you?)
Another example: We took our Evie-doll to her first cocktail party a couple of weeks ago. We thought, you know, we’d show her off, pass her around, offer her some little weiners on toothpicks to eat and then she’d sack out on someone’s chest.
Well, no. There were a lot of people at this party. A lot of people Evie didn’t know. And it was loud. And everybody’s breath smelled like Chardonnay and peanuts. And her mommy kept disappearing. Finally, Evie had had enough. And she let us know it.
(Who brings a baby to a cocktail party anyway? That baby’s parents must be clueless!)
I hope I don’t look back at this time five or so years from now and judge myself too harshly. Honestly, I feel embarrassed now to admit that I sometimes forget my baby is a little person.
Good thing Evie will never find out about this, huh?