Wednesday, February 17, 2010


It's happened. My perfect, lovely little boy has hit the toddler stage. He is in the phase of he wants to do it so he's going to. Whether that's taking pictures frames down, unsetting the dinner table right after I've set it or climbing on the end table from the couch as he's doing as I type this...{pause}...okay I'm back. As his mom and dad we have to decide which battles are worth fighting. The picture frames are no big deal, neither is fighting him to keep a hat on when we leave the house, he's the one that will have a cold head, not me. Climbing on the table is a definite no-no though as is running away from the dinner table while wielding two knives.

Every stand-off ends the same. Mommy is frustrated and Matthew is crying. He's not quite there yet to get "no" or "stop" it's our job as parents to show consistency and start the understanding process of those powerful words. It's not fun, this tantrum thing. And when he's upset and crying and reaching for me it takes all I have to not scoop him up and love on him. I have to remind myself that it's okay if he's upset if he's learning a lesson from it. Navigating his world is hard and he's just trying to figure out his place in our family and in the world in general. He's got all kinds of things going on in his brain and he can't communicate them properly. It's my job as mom to help him learn to express what he's feeling without getting too frustrated with him.

Last night when I went in to do my daily "is he still breathing" check before bed he was half awake. And when he saw me he grabbed his Stinky Puppy and his Buddy Bear and lifted his arms. I sat with him in the chair and rocked him. He fits perfectly in the crook of my arm but something strange seems to have happened. His legs now fall almost all the way across my legs and I was struck by how quick this time is going. He's not throwing a tantrum because he's out to get me, although it does feel like that sometimes. He's just working out how to exist. How to deal with it when something doesn't go your way. And trust me things don't go the way a toddler would like about a billion times a day. I stared into his sleeping little face with tears stinging my eyes and resolved to do better today. That's the beautiful thing about waking up each morning, it's a new chance, a clean slate. And hopefully today it brings more understanding from both of us.

I love this boy, and his yogurt covered face.

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