Saturday, July 13, 2013

the throes of toddlerhood

I would venture to say that the first eighteen months of Landon’s life have been pretty easy. Dare I say that word? Sure we had our sleepless nights, never ending growth spurts, and other various struggles here and there. But overall, I look back and think that we had it pretty good. From early on, Landon slept decent stretches of the night, has never been an early riser, and is always a pretty content, happy child. Luckily 2 of those 3 things are still true. However, I am realizing that when we said goodbye to the pacifier, we said goodbye to peace and quiet. They don’t call it a pacifier for nothing. Now all I have is one tired, teething, cranky toddler. And two tired, non-teething, cranky parents.

Most days, I pick up Landon after work and pretty much spend the rest of the evening dealing with one big ol’ fusspot. He is strong willed, stubborn, and independent. And while those can be three amazing qualities, they are so very frustrating. Gone are the peaceful outings with a giggly smiling baby. Now going out with Landon consist of trying to keep him from nose diving out of the shopping cart, crying and fighting me because he can’t run around whatever store or restaurant we are in at the time, and then one incredible meltdown when he realizes what a mean mommy I am that I make him hold my hand when in the parking lot back to the car. Such a mean mommy for not wanting my child to get hit by a car, right? Those moments make me short of breath, and they are something I feel completely inept to handle. Where is my handbook or how-to? What do I do when I have four hundred people staring at me as I wrangle my child and he screams at the top of his lungs? All, I can do is politely smile at them, say I’m sorry, hurry to finish whatever I’m doing at the time, and get the heck out of dodge.

These moments are pretty frequent now, so I guess I should get used to them. Yesterday it was a total meltdown in Target, tonight it was a constant fuss-fest at dinner. It is a constant battle of trying to teach my son patience, how to behave in public, how to mind, etc. Some days, life is one big meltdown after another. And sometimes I feel like melting down right along side with him.

But, once in a while right there in the midst of his toddler-ness, he does something that completely turns me into one big pile of mush. Like the open mouth kisses he plants on my face, or the way he pats my shoulder and says “hey!” I have to remember, that parenthood is not just raising my child to be the absolute best he can be, but raising myself to be my absolute best for him . Those situations when I am trying to teach him, and mold him…they are teaching and molding me. I have learned more about patience, selflessness, and how to take a deep breath over the past few weeks than I have in my entire life.

And as much as I pray for bedtime to just hurry up and get here, just as soon as he’s a sleep, I forget all about the tiny terror he was that evening.


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3 comments:

  1. Hi Katie! I found your blog through the link up yesterday. My little guy is 2 years old, and I can relate to this so much! If you find out what you are supposed to do when people are staring at you while you're trying to figure out the appropriate level of discipline in public, please let me know! :)

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  2. Wow. Did you write what I was thinking? I have an evening fusspot too. It's so hard to not lose patience and be graceful when your kid is freaking out at Target... do I EVER understand.

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  3. Great post Katie! Our guy is definitely a handful at times too! But like you said, it is all so worth it. Sweet, sweet pic of that sleeping adorable boy!

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