Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Snuggles for All the Nights

"Mom, what does 'penetrate' mean?"

I was folding laundry in our living room as McKenna watched "Austrailia's Deadly Dozen" on Netflix when this question arose. I looked up, confused. 

Not confused about what you may be at this point, because yes, our child often watches documentaries, instead of 'Dora The Explorer' like most normal kids. 
(I'm kind of wishing Dora was picked to watch more often because her songs are much more catchy than NatGeo's.) 
(But McKenna has grown attached to this particular episode and isn't afraid to point out my sub-par intelligence level because she knows the differences between a Box Jellyfish and your average everyday jellyfish.)
(I'm assuming any jellyfish is a jellyfish to be avoided. Am I right or am I right?)

"Huh?" I looked at her, to the TV, and back to her again, wondering if I heard the question correctly.

"What does 'penetrate' mean? You knoooow, like the Stonefish penetrates its fin through a person's shoe when they walk and poisons them..." This came complete with an exasperated eye roll and annoyed palm-to-the-ceiling motion of her hand. 

This confused me even more. When did my four ("and a half," she'd be sure to correct me) year old child turn into a thirteen year old? She clearly has the teenage eye roll and parental exasperation thing down. But I didn't realize my daughter could pronounce a word like 'penetrate'. 

Because isn't she still supposed to be learning how to say "Ma-Ma" and "Da-Da?" Wasn't just yesterday she singing "Geezus wuvs me?" 

Maybe it was I just didn't realize she was truly absorbing what the show was teaching... Sure, I thought she listened and remembered it, but for the most part, I figured she liked watching the show because it was filled with exciting, exotic animals on it. Either that or she has a serious desire to visit Austrailia and wants to be enlightened on the whereabouts of the deadly cone snail.

(Because her mother probably wouldn't survive a swim in the ocean with her minimal jellyfish knowledge.)

Okay, yes, yes - I know. Children learn quickly... They're like sponges... And what do I mean I "didn't realize" she was learning and speaking words such as 'penetrate?'

What I mean is... Where the hell is my baby girl and where have the last couple years of her life gone?? 

I have to be at least two to three years behind in the McKenna Growing Up race. At this rate, she'll be twenty years old when I am just about ready for her to turn ten. 

I'm only four (and a half) years into this whole parenting deal, but my mind was blown today when I realize how big my "baby" is getting to be. Then I looked at little Meda and realized she is already eight months old. I know that doesn't sound like a lot, but y'all...

I just gave birth. Seriously. She is supposed to still be a blob of immobile, feces-creating flesh... Not the smiling, laughing, crawling, and soon-to-be walking and talking child she actually is. 

After I resisted the urge to make a sarcastic joke about the word 'penetrate' answered her question, I made McKenna promise me something. I made her promise when she's fifteen, she would still snuggle with me. And then when she's eighteen and then twenty five and every year after. In response, I received a snuggle and an "okay, mama." 
(Be still, my heart.)

After promising this, McKenna leaned over, grabbed my head, pulling it close to her, and whispered in my ear, "Will you promise me something, Mom?" 

I nodded.

"That'll you'll snuggle me all night all the nights when you're older?"

Y'all. The tears sprang up before my first full nod was completed. 

I plan to hold her to her promise. And I expect her to hold me to mine too. My heart is aching right now because I love both my girls so much. So much I want time to stop.

They say it goes by fast and the days are long, but the years are short. I'm not sure I've heard of more true words when it comes to parenting. 

I looked at MK and tried to capture that moment and tuck it away in my (pretty empty) brain rolodex. I want to remember every detail of this time in her and Meda's life. How McKenna winks at you with both her eyes when you give her a thumbs up. How Meda kicks both legs, swings one arm and sharply sucks in air from excitement after first seeing you following a nap. How McKenna won't speak to me until she's greeted her baby sister first thing in the morning. 

Because apparently I've been too busy looking forward to their futures to store in my memory bank any of the past. 

Though, I am looking forward to the promise to give and get all the snuggles, all the nights, when I get older. :-)


Delta Daisies said...

First of all, your girls are beautiful. Second of all, you're going to have a SMART,SMART girl on your hands! She is so full of personality!

Tracy L said...

So cute and eat it up. They grow up way too fast! My baby girl who I thought I'd never stop snuggling with turned 20 today! But the good news is, she is still amazing me with how she is still growing and changing. #parentingneverends