Monday, November 23, 2009

Surprising Discoveries -- by Jamie

A few days ago, my daughter, Jayda, turned 2-1/2, and, just as she did from the start, my willful child continues to keep me on my toes, and surprise me.

On the morning of May 18, 2007, after experiencing a rather easy pregnancy, I found myself at my OB/GYN’s office, because I was a few days past my due date. At the end of the exam, my doctor instructed me to go to the hospital at 6 p.m. that night so he could induce me; he said it was unwise for me to wait any longer, and that it was time for Jayda to come into the world. But, at brunch with my parents just a few hours later, I started to feel cramps. The cramps persisted, and then worsened on the ride home, and later that afternoon, when I couldn’t stand it any longer, I agreed to go to the hospital early. There, I discovered I was, indeed, in labor—and there would be no need for an inducement.

After settling into the hospital, and receiving a much-needed epidural, I assumed I could relax for awhile. But shortly after I started to get comfortable, everything went awry. My fetal monitor went off, the attending nurse covered me with an oxygen mask, and before I knew it, my hospital room had turned into an episode of ”ER”—with doctors frantically rushing in and wheeling me out to an OR. I found out later—after Jayda was quickly brought into this world by an emergency C-section—that my monitor had indicated that my daughter had gone into distress, and my swift doctors had jumped into action and saved her. So, what started as a possible induction and continued as a “normal” labor, was resolved with a C-section; even at birth, Jayda was full of surprises.

The morning of Jayda’s 2-1/2 birthday began with my daughter and me cuddling in my bed. As usual, Jayda prodded me to “talk about our day,” and I gave her a preview of her upcoming school day, as well as our afterschool activities, which involved a play date. When I was finished, she gave me a hug and declared, “Mommy, you my best friend!” It was one of those unexpected gems that often comes out of Jayda’s mouth these days—a surprising reminder of what a sweet, articulate little person my daughter is becoming.

When we got out of bed that morning, Jayda insisted on wearing underpants under her leggings. We’d been potty training for awhile, but Jayda usually ran around the house in a pair of pull-ups, or completely nude from the waist down, most mornings before we left for daycare. I relented though, helped her put on her princess undies, and took her with me on a ride to Dunkin Donuts for coffee. Then, we came home for a few hours, and Jayda remained dry the entire time. She even asked to use the potty twice, successfully, before leaving for daycare. But as I went to change her into a pair of pull ups before we left the house, she threw a fit, and refused to take off her underpants. “I a big girl now,” she declared, and, as I looked at the calendar and noticed what day it was, I couldn’t help but agree. Thus, my willful child won this battle, and sported her princess undies at daycare for the very first time.

Later that day, Jayda surprised me again, when I picked her up from daycare and found her in unsoiled clothes, still wearing her treasured underpants. She even requested that she wear her underpants to school the next day, too. My little girl really is a “big girl” now. And while I’m not surprised that Jayda is growing up, I AM surprised by how quickly it’s happening, and how determined my daughter has already become to be “her own little person.” Fortunately, it’s a person who constantly amazes me with her humor, intelligence, and sensitivity—and a person whom I love more and more each day. And while I’m not so sure she’ll think of me as her best friend forever, maybe she’ll surprise me. I sure hope so.

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Blogger Cara Meyers said...

How adorable! My son is the Master of strong-willed children, and when it came to potty training, he just would not relent. When I backed off and decided that I would put pull-ups in his backback when he went off to Kindergarten, HE decided it was time for underware! He had ONE and only ONE accident the first day without pull-ups, and has been wearing indies ever since. I firmly believe that when a child makes up THEIR mind that they are ready for the next milestone, especially a strong-willed child, just let them be. You'll get much farther with them!

10:42 AM  
Blogger Kristen said...

My daughter potty trained early too - when she was ready. She also gave up the bottle on her own. I also believe that kids can usually handle these milestones easily, when they are ready, emotionally and developmentally. Very sweet story! My daughter and I are best friends too!

6:49 PM  

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