Today started out like most days.
Lex woke up talking to himself in his crib. After getting him out, he ran into the kitchen and demanded some milk and food because he was starving! After opening the fridge door, I heard a loud "NOOOOO!" because he wanted his pumpkin granola cereal for breakfast instead (never mind I was getting milk out for his sippy cup). After feeding the child what he wanted for breakfast, he gets down from the table and runs to find a book. I hear from the other room "MAMMMMMMAAA! BOOOOOOK!" to which I have to turn around because recently this is followed by the book being thrown at me. After going through 4 "redos" on how to hand mama a book and asking to be read to instead of demanding it, he finally asks nicely and we read the book 3.5 times. Then when I start to undress him so we can change his diaper, he goes full-on meltdown because diapers are the worst thing ever and even though his current diaper is so full that there are drops of liquid running down his leg, that is better than laying down to get a new diaper on. After a lot of yelling, tears, kicking and shoving, the diaper finally makes it on the child. But now comes the dressing and picking out shoes he wants to wear. He is the most opinionated 21 month old when it comes to picking out clothes and shoes. Especially the shoes!
These were the first 45 minutes of my day.
(Time to reheat my coffee again)
I am the mom of a toddler and half of the time I feel like I am run over by a semi by 9am. And I only have one of them this age thus far!
Today we went to the library. Driving into the parking garage I see a toddler running down the middle of the entrance with a mom frantically chasing her child. Walking in, there is a mom behind us with 2 children, one trying to sleep and the other screaming because they don't want to be in the stroller because, you know, strollers are the worst thing ever! When we enter the story time room, there is another child arguing over which carpet square she wants (and not letting others get one) while her mom is trying to convince her to just choose one and sit down. As story time begins, another mom keeps apologizing because her daughter keeps hitting my leg. A friend of mine keeps trying to talk her daughter into finding a place to sit since she keeps moving around. I see a dad leaving with their child 5 minutes after arriving because they want to hold the book the librarian is reading and can't. Towards the end, my son gets mad because I taped the stick onto his mask instead of letting him. He continues to rip the stick out and throw it across the room. As we leave and check out the 9 books he picked out, he realizes that the book he returned that he has grown to love more than life itself is not going home with us. I stop him as he runs toward the box that took his book and he flings his body to the ground, screaming, crying, and such because life as he knows it has ended.
Throughout this morning, I heard numerous parents apologizing for how their children were acting - as if it is our fault as parents that our children are misbehaving. Or trying to come up with excuses because there HAS to be a reason right? Truth is, we are all in this together. We all feel the pain of this tiny person that we love so much acting like they are hoodlums in a split second. Please don't be embarrassed by their behavior. Don't think you shouldn't take them to places like the library, Target, and even your front yard because of it. We understand each other and this trying time of raising children that can be sweet and gentle and act demon possessed in the blink of an eye.
We are not judging you and hope the feeling is mutual.
As we drove out of the parking lot, I saw a dad carrying the handful of books he checked out for his son in his arms (because he too, like me, forgot to bring his reusable bag to place them in, but unlike me does not have a purse to shove them inside as an alternative option) and is trying to convince his son to walk holding his hand. Instead, his son is sprawled out on the sidewalk, kicking and screaming because he wants his daddy to carry him, not caring that he might hurt himself on the concrete.
Bless that daddy. You are brave. You care. It shows.
And I hope you got home okay with all books (and child's body parts) intact!
When I see your child screaming in the grocery store or throwing a tantrum as you try and get them in the car or throwing an object at you because they are not getting what they want - please know I am sending a look of "I feel your pain, know what you're going through, and hope tomorrow is better" your way.
Parenting is hard!
There is no room or time in our day to apologize for everything our children do
NOR is there a place to judge each other.
NOR is there a place to judge each other.
So fellow parents out there, bless you for not giving up. For keeping at it, each and every day to try and mold that character even when it seems unmoldable. For not throwing in the towel when you have tried every book's, friend's, doctor's, and Pinterest's advice without finding success. I have been told that one day you will look back at some of these moments and laugh, and even miss them sometimes.
And as a mom of a tweenager (my name for a teenager - early twenties) as well, I can tell you they don't want to spend every single moment with you anymore. You have to beg for that time, and even when they agree on giving you a smidgen of it, you still have to send text reminders! Or even bribe them sometimes!
Moral(s) of the story:
You are a good parent.
Tomorrow is another day.
You will survive and so will they.
Take joy in the small successes. They make parenting worth it!
And when you've had all you can take, send them to a friend or grandparent's house, take a nice looooong hot shower, and go out for a night of peace and quiet. We all need our sanity restored every once in a while!