Friday, May 3, 2013

Stop and Smell the Roses....errr....Dandelions

Life with an almost two year old is a little.....hectic. Emotional. Bipolar, really. Add to it pregnancy hormones, and those around me, specifically my husband, probably deserve a medal of honor.

Although.....Tuesday marked the end of my first trimester (and I loved that it fell on my bestie's birthday....there was just a whole lot to celebrate that day), the weather has FINALLY turned beautiful, and I do actually think that the second trimester brought with it a batch of feel good hormones. I've found myself more patient, happier, and just generally lighter, the last few days.

But that doesn't change that I still live with a small monster, that wants to test me every minute of the day. This week has been a whirlwind of great moments for Landon, and really, really awful moments. I could just write about the good ones, but that would portray us as this perfect, always happy, always together little family....which we are NOT.

Wednesday night, Jeremy decided to take Landon to a soccer game. In all fairness, I feel like his expectations for Landon's behavior may have been a little too high. He should have known the wiggle worm would never sit in the stands without argument and watch high school girls kick a ball around. However, I still know that he witnessed the utter mess that Landon can know....the mess that I'm always telling him about, but he never seems to be around to see. Yes, well. They came home about an hour later, and I could hear Landon's screams before he even opened the car door. Jeremy looked like he had just run a marathon, and he was just beside himself. I listened as he told me all about how he threw himself on the ground, walked over a woman's north face jacket, screamed when Jeremy tried to pick him up. I know he wanted a lot of sympathy, but really, I couldn't help but laugh. Especially when he told me, "No, you don't understand. He was awful". Oh, I don't understand? No, but I do. This meltdown is equivalent to the ones that I have sat and cried over at the dinner table. The ones that happen in the middle of Target, or in a restaurant. The ones that my dear, sweet husband always tells me, "He's two. He doesn't know any better. It's ok. He'll get better." So I said those same words to him. Funny enough, they weren't much comfort.

He was embarrassed. And I get it, totally. The funk hung around him for the rest of the night and into the next morning, despite our sweet, loving Landon having returned. My hope is that the lesson behind this is that the next time I'm mortified and frustrated, he gets it. I'm probably asking for a lot, but my fingers are crossed.

That day was followed by yesterday, when that ugly creature didn't rear his head at all. I had a perfect toddler all day. We played outside, we went for walks, we watered our seeds, we read books, we took a three hour nap, we ate all three meals PERFECTLY, and we ended our day with a wagon ride with Daddy. He went right to sleep, never got out of bed during the night. All in all....he really did have a "perfect" day. He has those days.....where he really does seem like he might bypass the terrible twos.

But those days are always followed by days where we are reminded that no, he will not skip over them. He will land right in them, really sink into them, and who knows how long they'll last.

Today in between. There was a lot of whining about nothing this morning. But he was phenomenal in Kohl's and Michaels during our errands. He wasn't happy when I told him we had to come in to eat lunch, and he threw himself on the ground and kicked and hit. But, he ate his whole lunch, and then fell asleep on our walk afterwards. He took a short nap, but woke up with a smile on his face and a hug for me and a kiss for baby.

So we went to the park. And I made a decision. Just him and I were going to the park. Not my phone. I wasn't going to wait for the perfect moment to snap a picture that would be great on Instagram. I didn't want to follow him around waiting for a cute face to share on Facebook. No. I wanted it to just be about him and me. So we swung on the swings. We went down the slides. We climbed the huge sled hill (and ran down) three excruciating times. He stopped to smell every single dandelion in a field of dandelions. He ran the bases on the baseball field. He was thrilled. And he was....again....perfect. He listened wonderfully, he laughed, he reached up and grabbed my hand while we were walking the trail. He kissed me, he said "Mommy!" with such glee. My heart exploded at that park. And I was so grateful that I made it just about us. In 6 months, it won't be "just us 2" anymore. There'll be another little bug hanging around, so I need to savor every moment of "just us" that I can. And today I did. Until it was time to strap him in his carseat.

He walked to the car perfectly. I told him we would go home and have a popsicle, and he kept chanting "opseeecle, opseeeecle". Picked up and put him in his seat, and that happy child disappeared, and out came that monster. There was kicking, there was screaming, I was even slapped across the face. I assured him that he would not be coming back to the park if that's how he acted, and he proceeded to kick his DVD player off the seat, to what I was sure was its demise (I'm happy to report, that the monster got INCREDIBLY lucky, and didn't break it). There were crocodile tears all the way home. And I felt myself starting to get angry, but those feel good pregnancy hormones must be little heroes, because they stopped me. Instead, I was thankful for the hour we just spent together. For the laughter and the happy. And I reminded myself that these tantrums are going to come, but they are far outweighed by the good. And I somehow managed to calmly (me, not him) get him in the house and let him finish his fit, which included some books being thrown. Sure enough, once he got it all out of his system, in an instant, that happy boy was back. Crawling onto my lap, giving me hugs and saying "orry Mama".

The thing is, he knows when he's being bad. And he knows how to behave better. But, just like his mother, in the heat of the moment, it doesn't matter. He's upset, and he has to just get it out. I know how that feels.....needing to just "get it out". So I let him do it. Because it never fails, that once he's done, he appreciates having had the chance to scream and be sad, and I get the reward for it. The hugs, the kisses, the "orry"'s, and the "love ya"'s. And those are so much more important than stressing out over the screaming.

Does that mean I will gladly let him throw a fit in the middle of Target if he doesn't get his way? Hell to the no. But it means I will let him feel upset. Feel anger, and sadness. I won't just give in and give him his way to make him always be happy. It's a part of life, and he is learning that he isn't always going to get exactly what he wants. I'm praying (hard), that with time, he finds better ways to express those emotions, but in the meantime....he's two. And this is what he does. And we aren't going to change him, I wouldn't want to. So we're going to roll with it. And we're going to learn from it. And we're all going to be ok. 

By the way...the other peanut, the small one inside, is doing phenomenal. But it's already taking a hint from its older brother, and is very stubborn. It hid from the poor ultrasound tech for forever on Wednesday, and it likes to hide from me every time I try to find it with my doppler. But when we do find it, it's adorable, with a perfect heartbeat. And really.....that's what counts. 

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