My sweet, content, happy-go-lucky baby has an inner turmoil that plagues her daily.
We’re pretty open with her boundaries, allowing E.V. to explore within safe limits. She has more toys than she needs. We spend almost every waking minute by her side, entertaining and teaching our little baby. Her every want and whim is met almost immediately. Why, oh, why then is this one particular no-no sooo hard to follow?
I must say, “E.V., don’t touch the dogs’ food!” about a million times a day. She clearly knows what it means, and at this point I’m fairly certain she can predict when I’m about to say it. She KNOWS that she is not allowed to put her chubby little hands in their bowls, but, yet, here we are. In fact, today I had a moment where I actually paused and thought to myself that surely someone was playing a joke on me: As I told her not to bother the dogs’ bowls for the hundredth time, she looked at me with obedient yet disappointed eyes and then turned around to crawl away, blurting out “Okay!” as she left. What?!? Did I hear that right? I SWEAR I’m not crazy, and although logically I know she didn’t know what in the world she was actually saying, hearing her parrot the proper (albeit sassy) response left me bewildered. Seriously, this happened today. No joke.
And then, about an hour later, that little minx snuck past my watchful eye and won the battle, sticking her little paws in the water bowl. Bah.
How long will it take until she isn’t tempted by those dang bowls? How many times will I have to verbally instruct her or physically pull her away? How old will she be when she finally realizes that there are much, much more interesting store bought toys waiting for her only a few feet away? Will the inherent don’t-touch-ness of the dogs’ bowls always draw her to them? Will she be 18, on her way out the door to her first day of college, and reach down for one last quick splash in their water bowl? Oh, a mom’s imagination–second only to that of a child’s, imagining things like a dog’s water bowl to be great and wonderous and TEMPTING.
*I’m sure the philosophical side of me should be drawing connections about boundaries and original sin, about Eve and E.V., about God as our heavenly Father and my role as a parent, but my Mom Exhaustion (yes, it’s a thing) merits a much more shallow look at Emma Vance’s struggles.*