May 21, 2012

A Southern Summer.

This picture of Tessa and me from Saturday: It sums up exactly where we are. I want to eat her, inhale her. And she? She's already thinking of what path she can scamper down next, of the green balloon just beyond her reach.

I am settling into the idea of this being her new phase. It's painful, as I wrote, when she says mean things to me, but I'm gathering from other moms that this is pretty par for the course, and I have to remember that she doesn't know what she's saying and maybe just maybe she's already rebelling against the idea of a new baby. I started digging into a good book, Parenting with Love and Logic, that's giving me some techniques for responding to her when she's mean or mad or just plain ridiculous. And when she's not being any of those things, it teaches me how to uplift her and build her confidence and give her choices so that she feels more in control of her life. 

I just never know what I'm going to get with her, and I have to savor the sweet moments. Exhibit A: On Friday night, we were all watching The Fantastic Mr. Fox, and she melted into the space between the couch cushions and me and laid her head on my chest. "Daddy?" she said, "I've got Mama. She makes me happy."

Swoooooooon times infinity. 

Saturday we took Tessa to a fundraiser called Springaroo for five people who have cancer in my small hometown, Kingston Springs—one of them a close family friend. There was bluegrass music, and hickory smoked everything, and, at the edge of the property, a shallow creek that flows into the Harpeth River, clear and cold as can be. Tessa ate it all up with a spoon. And it reminded me that, even though we live in an urban area, I need to find ways to get us all out in nature more often. I'm on the look-out for an amazing swimming hole to splash around in this summer. I think Tessa needs some more country in her life. (And not just in the form of the country radio I play in the car when Nekos isn't around to make fun of me.)

between Nekos and my mom
with friend Susan
hot dog time! 
My mom, friend Shelley, Tessa and me
We're getting over her fear of water, one little body of water at a time 


  1. You are both adorable/beautiful. You look sooo happy. I need to look into that book. Let us know if it helps you!

  2. My daughter just turned two in April, and she is just as spirited as Tessa. Sometimes I worry that our neighbors will call CPS because she throws so many tantrums. And the mean to mama phase is in full swing. I'm going to check out that book you recommended because I need help. Thanks for making me feel less alone.

  3. you look absolutely beautiful, Ellen!

  4. I watched my sister go through the exact same thing with her son. He loves her, he hates her, he can't be away from her, then he's mean to her. It's a rather bizarre thing to watch. He has moved out of that phase and right back into "I want my mama" all the time phase! It happened right around 2 as well. Like Tessa, he was only mean to his mother. It's not fair, but it will pass. Your daughter loves you no matter what she says.

    These pictures are great. Tessa is such a beautiful baby, even when she's throwing a tantrum. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

  5. First off, those curls are absolutely to die for! Both my kids are still rather bald and they are 1 and 3.

    Also, I know what you are going through. My daughter (she's 3) sometimes acts like she wants nothing to do with me-especially when my mom comes over. But then some days she just wants to sit with me. She's pretty fickle to say the least! So you're not alone at all!!

  6. ok good. on another note, your hair looks amazing and you look beautiful!!!

  7. I just love the way you write ♥

  8. She has such beautiful hair! My little one is inching towards two (20 months, now) and it's such a wonderful (and trying!) age isn't it? x

  9. You look BEAUTIFUL in these pics! XXOO

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