They say to nap when the baby naps. But I see her naps as my only opportunity to get the laundry done and eat with TWO hands. I am getting rather babydexterous in that department, but it’s just more fun to eat without holding a baby. Today, I was folding the baby laundry when it was done, and I just love how little everything is. Little baby socks! Little baby leg warmers!** Little t-shirt! I die. I love all things little. People are always telling me to enjoy my baby because they grow up so fast. No problem! Do you see that little face? I’m soaking it up all the time. It is true that they grow so fast though. I was initially bummed out when she grew out of her bassinet, but then I got to put her in her crib and voila! she looked super little again. Yes!
My friends know about my love of little. When I moved to Cali with one of my best friends, she was in charge of stopping me from buying little things for the apartment, like mini-spatulas and itty bitty useless cookware. Whenever I showed her such things in the store, she would make me answer the question, “Are you buying that because you need it or because it is little?” Most times, it was because it was little. And little is cute. I would say, “Gah! Fooled by the little again!” and put it back.
This is why it is surprising that for most of my career as a school psychologist, I have worked with middle and high school students. They are decidedly not little, and let’s be honest, not so cute. One would think I’d be a preschool assessor with my preference for little. But there is something awesome about working with the adolescents, even if they can be rude or standoffish.*
I wrote a series on middle school students when I first started my blog. As a sidebar, I think my writing has evolved from then. I used to be super researchy and informative. Now I’m trying desperately to connect baby leg warmers** to school psychology. Anyhoo, my point (I have one, I’m just sleep deprived and it takes me a while now) is that I think people are much less forgiving of adolescents’ developmental mistakes than younger students’ mistakes, because younger students are still cute and little. It is kind of cute when a Kindergartener uses faulty logic to explain their actions, and not so cute when a 13 year old does it.
I find that as a school psychologist, while teens are not little and cute on the outside, when I am working with them one-on-one, I find the cute on the inside. So many times, adolescents have presented as hardened and aloof, and then when I get to know them, they surprise me with saying funny things or sharing a the softer side of Sears (e.g. A 10th grader dressed like a thug sharing he loves poetry, or an 8th grade girl who initially acted snotty to me admitting she wants to be a vet because she loves fuzzy animals). You have to look for the cute in teens, it’s not in your face.
Please remind me of this when Baby B is an adolescent and makes mistakes that are not cute. I have a feeling though that even when she is 16, I will still secretly think of her as my cute little girl, even though she will have long grown out the baby leg warmers.**
*One of my friends teaches 7th grade, and she told me once, “I can’t help it. I love teaching the little bastards. I don’t know why.” I wouldn’t have put it in those terms, but I agree that I too love adolescents’ sauciness.
**Baby leg warmers. I die.