Ive been provoked by an onset of tantrums today to write this blog entry. You’ve heard the age old tale about “terrible two’s” and the extension into 3’s, 4’s and 5’s. After having a two year old, I had the realization that babies were the easiest part of motherhood.
Cruze is the most amazing kid. He makes me laugh and enjoy life so much more. He’s a little bit like his mom and a lot like his father. He loves cars, trucks, buses,yogurt, and of course Mickey Mouse. Everytime we jump in the car he asks to drive. He swims like a fish, dances like a monkey, curious about everything, but carefully navigates his way through life. He isn’t much of a talker but the way he says “cheese” and “please” melts my heart. He’s quite stubborn which is doubled since both his mother and father have given him that trait. I have realized over the past week that it’s maybe not him that is so “terrible”. For one, he can’t exactly tell me what he wants. Although I’m an excellent guesser, mother’s intuition, I still can’t decipher all of it. Its got to be hard when no one understands you. Its like being an emo 15 yr old in high school perhaps? He also can’t do most things himself and he’s not tall enough to see over the tops of the counters, although he HAS learned to climb them recently. He’s learning the world around him constantly. He doesn’t really understand consequences to the fullest extent or always understand why he has to hold hands in a parking lot. He’s only been on this planet for 2 years, and 1 of those he didn’t even know where his own nose was located!
I have to admit that I have been a completely slack parent lately. He pretty much can get away with murder. Im tired and hormonal due to pregnancy, and sometimes I find my patience is less than none, so its just better to give him what he wants so I can get things done. Its not like I let him play in a drawer of knives…but whats the harm in eating his yogurt on the coffee table? I mean its Ikea furniture, nothing a baby wipe can’t take care of. I soon learned that its not really about that, it’s about discipline and repetition. He’s not a good eater like when he was a baby. I started letting him eat at his table and chair which progressed to eating at the coffee table standing up. He seemed to eat more there. The messes were astronomical. We have a new high chair since I read in Parents Magazine that children eat better when they have a better chair with a foot rest. Something about balance and chewing. I bought into it… Ive also became lax in giving him proper naps and an appropriate bedtime. Last night was 12am I believe? Don’t judge… Daddy works late and we sleep til 10am. This has become about me as a parent. I shouldn’t let him take 4 hour naps, go to bed so late, watch too much Mickey, not clean up his toys, throw things, or eat at the coffee table. My laziness is bad, bad, bad. Too many times I get frustrated and let it happen. He’s so stubborn, the discipline takes so much out of me. I always say you have to choose your battles otherwise I would feel like Mrs. Trunchbowl with a stick everyday. ( anyone seen Matilda, that was her name right?) As I type he’s holding the bottom of his high chair crying and I have no idea why since he told me he was finished eating. I mean literally I want to go in another room and put my hands over my ears. See? Patience. Wooosaaaa…
I see now that my bit of patience can make a difference in the long run. I don’t want a chid who gets everything he wants, who runs the house, or is horrible in public. These little moments could really be the difference. Had I never let him eat at the coffee table, it wouldn’t be a constant battle three times a day. I guess its self discovery in Motherhood. The title of the blog is harsh, I wouldn’t say Im a terrible mother by any stretch, but he’s also not really a terrible toddler, stubborn yes but overall he only learns what I teach him. Ive got to get my ducks in a row before the 2nd one comes in two months or Im gonna really hate myself. Motherhood is the best thing, and I believe we are allowed mistakes. There is no handbook that shows rule by rule of how to raise a kid. Although I think I’m by no means one to give advice, I hope all who reads this learns a bit from my mistakes or triumphs. We aren’t bad parents if we have given into our children sometimes, but boundaries are in order. We shape and mold them to be the people they are going to be. I can’t thank my own parents enough for making me clean my room, make good grades, play outside instead of watch TV, and eat my veggies. Although not letting me shave my legs until 13 was a bit harsh..
So my new strategy, bedtime is at 8:30, yogurt only after dinner which takes place in a high chair, naps are no longer than 2 hours, no paci during the day, and extra kisses every minute. I love this kid so much, I want him to be the best he can be. He’s got some good parents, we often wonder if people think we hug and kiss him too much. I think that’s the least of our worries.