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Wednesday
Jan052011

Another Way Of Looking At It

Life is not a Choose Your Own Adventure book. Life is a Choose Your Own Interpretation book.

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As she moves closer and closer to Five, she finds new ways to get under my skin.

The fidgeting and the jumping and the running have driven me to the brink of desperation, so I seek out ways for her to burn off some energy.

I decide to let her wander around the city.

At first she is hesistant to give up her post as human leech, but then she spots opportunities to get into trouble.

With a grin, she belts out, "I LOVE PITTSBURGH!" just before she runs off to see what she can destroy.

Is it genetic? Or is she just a case of spontaneous mischief? Why can't she just listen when I tell her to quit causing trouble?

She doesn't care. All she knows is that there is an ice rink RIGHT THERE and she wants to skate.

We have arrived at the rink unprepared, so I promise her that we will return another day to skate. For now, we'll just have to explore what's around the ice.

She whines before getting distracted by the plethora of Winter Classic marketing materials that have thrown up all over the city.

She couldn't sit quiet and still if her life depended on it, so she starts running around like a wild animal.

She begins to dance, an awkward, stupid dance that shows all the money we've spent on dance classes has been wasted.

People stop what they are doing to watch her, probably wondering why I can't control my child.

She pays them no mind, instead pausing to fuss at a button on her sweater. She should be wearing a coat. It is, after all, January, but I grew tired of fighting with her.

In a blink, the moment of calm is gone and she is off running, seeking more ways to irritate me.

She finds a bench and declares it her stage, recklessly climbing aboard so she can dance like a drunken college student.

She wiggles and shakes, clearly enjoying the little spotlight she has cast on herself. She grins at strangers who have stopped to watch her show, even posing as one photographs her. She is an attention whore.

"I'm Four," she tells the woman with the blue coat.

"You'll be lucky to make it to Five," I think.

She finishes her performance with a flourish, a giant leap and a "TA-DAAAH!" off the bench. It's a wonder she doesn't break anything.

And she's done. She starts to whine and cry that she's hungry. It's not a surprise since she was too busy talking to eat her lunch earlier in the day.

"Can I take one more picture?" I ask. I'm hoping she'll stand nicely for once, given that every photograph so far has captured her behaving wildly.

She obliges, but then ruins the photo with her wild arms.

Off we go, hand-in-hand so she doesn't run in traffic. She still doesn't stop talking long enough for my headache to go away.

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Life is not a Choose Your Adventure book. Life is a Choose Your Own Interpretation book. I choose this version to be my life.

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Reader Comments (22)

I'd choose that version, too.
LOVE this post. I'm quickly learning that this is what parenting is all about.

January 5, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermamaphan

People stopped to watch her because of her absolute joi de vivre. This kid loves life and it shows. She may be a wiggle bug but she's also a delight especially for those of us who kinda miss the days our kids were 4 years old. Thanks for sharing her with us!

January 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCrazed Nitwit

And now I love you both all the more xoxo

January 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJill

It is all in the perspective, isn't it? At times when I am impatient, I try to look at the girls as an outside observer and realize how stinking cute they are and how even when they are "bad" they are amazing.

January 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle Smiles

This is such a wonderful post. Love the last picture wild arms and all! Her little outfit is so cute.

January 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

I love your contrasting posts of the same events. I am such a believer that how we perceive our children is how they will see themselves. Thanks for writing the follow up to yesterday's post.

January 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMirth

I believe the term most suited for your soon to be 5 year old is "spirited". I'm quite often amazed when my just turned 4 year old says in one breath, I'm ready for bed then pops off the couch and starts doing sprints from the living room to family room.

January 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDenise

Isn't this the truth!

January 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

Great post...awesome photography. Your blog brings a smile to my face every time I read it. Keep on keeping on!

January 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShelley

LOL. Yeah. This is the reality version. But putting a rosy spin on it was a nice try ;)

January 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJen

I have learned rather quickly that it IS all about interpretation. I had a couple outings with Jack where I felt that he was being difficult. I was very pregnant and my I'm sure my patience was razor thin. In both instances, I had multiple people tell me how well behaved Jack had been. I realized then that it really was about my perspective.

January 6, 2011 | Unregistered Commentertehamy

And that choice is exactly why so many people choose to be encouraged/inspired/entertained by your blog instead of the less positive options available.

January 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCrisanna

I love how Alexis felt so free to just be herself! All silly dancing and irritating mommy aside, I really hope she continues to feel that way as she gets older. Great post! I love reading about your adventures with her!

January 6, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterelysianfantasy

And THAT is why you win at Mommying! For serious.

January 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKatie in MA

these two posts should be required reading. love, love, love your outlook. and that of your incredible daughter.

January 6, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterhello haha narf

Hello! i was just googling pittsburgh mom bloggers just to see who was around me..and i came across your blog! glad to know there are people out there who take just as many photos of their litle girl as i do haha. so cute! nice to meet you. :) i'm a follower now!

January 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNatalie

Love, Love, Love!

January 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

This, along with your previous post - MY FAVORITE of yours.
So true! My dad used to preach to teenage me all the time, "Attitude... Attitude... Attitude".
I finally get it. I'm not saying I always practice it, but I certainly try harder than I used to.

January 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJen

This had me laughing the whole way through!

Life is really what you make of it ... I hope I can keep these two posts in mind as I chase my own child around one day. I have a feeling he's going to be a handful.

January 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEmily

I think I am going to start referring to you as The Wise (And Beautiful) Burgh Baby's Mom, because you just nailed it! It IS all about perception and what we choose to see. That series of pictures if priceless and I can just imagine the joy that Alexis brought to those who stopped to watch her.

January 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNicole

She is such a littler showman or show woman. Not sure the right term. Either way great pictures.

January 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterOtter

I adore this series of photos. She is looking so grownup! :::tear tear:::

January 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMolly
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