Between being pregnant tired and being sick lately, I feel like I’ve barely been keeping my head afloat; I’m also well aware that I’m grumpier, and I’ve been trying harder to keep my calm with the girlies for quite a while now. (To be clear, I recognized just how grumpy I was getting weeks ago, and while I still snap, I’m trying harder to a) not to and b) come back down from snapping instead of escalating.) What I hadn’t realized until last week was just how short I’ve been with my poor boy. Some of that is due to the cessation of nap time–no midday break from an active two-year-old uses up anyone’s store of patience more quickly–but some of that is also me. I finally realized just how prone to being impatient with him I’d become, and so I’ve been making an effort to be more positive, even when I truly can’t do what he wants me to do.
I have certainly felt better for the effort, and I hope he’s happier as well; on the one hand, he seems to be, but on the other hand, he’s also slept later the last two days, which helps a LOT. (No nap + waking up before 7 = grouchy two-year-old, but he just stays awake later if I let him fall asleep in the car and STAY asleep for a significant amount of time.) Today my very patient hubby worked with him more at church, and I felt like we did better working together than I do on my own. (Our poor son LOVES to run and HATES being confined, especially inside; church is always a struggle.) After church we had lunch and a visit from our home teachers. (Our church’s home teaching and visiting teaching programs are a way for members to look out for each other, share inspirational messages once a month or so, and give help when needed. I visit teach four women, and it’s my responsibility to be first in line to help when someone has a baby, or has surgery, or needs something else I can give. One of my visiting teachers took my girlies to church when I had shingles and my hubby wasn’t feeling well. It’s really an amazing program.) After that my hubby and I did a trade-off; he kept an eye on the kiddos while I made my first-ever batch of grape freezer jam from grapes our neighbor gave us (apparently he and his wife had a bumper crop this year), AND while I exercised, and then he made biscuits with the girlies while I kept the boy from “helping.” (Based on the amount of flour on the floor when he and the girlies were done, he had quite enough help as it was. He wiped down the counter, but the laminate in the kitchen is what pushed his back over the edge in the first place. The floor and his back don’t get along.)
Anyway, to (finally) get to the point of this post, the boy really wanted to, um, help, and so I lured him outside with bubbles. I’d just gotten off the treadmill and was still pretty warm, and so I sat on the grass, in the shade, and blew bubbles for him to chase. He kept at it, saying “Bubbles!” delightedly whenever he found one to follow, and I kept blowing. I’m normally not so good at the just sitting with the kids; I like to read aloud, and I like to involve them with projects when they’re old enough to listen more or less reliably, but my hubby’s better at play. Tonight, however, I sat in the cool breeze, resting my sore feet, and watching my son run and grin and collapse on the grass at intervals, and I thought–this is it. This is one of those perfect moments of parenthood, the kind of moment to treasure. He is thrilled to be playing outside with me, and I am thrilled to be sitting outside with him, and this is what I want to keep in our relationship. THIS is why I need to stay calm and patient and loving, even when he’s throwing something ELSE for the 50th time in any given day. He is two, and I have to do my best to love him and let him BE two.
This, of course, is easier said than done. I know quite well that I won’t be able to maintain that level of perfection–which is what made it so special. But that moment in time made the trying worth every second of it; it also made me want to try that much harder in the future. In the meantime, I had an absolutely perfect 20 minutes with my son today. I wouldn’t trade that for anything.
(And, in typical child fashion, nothing about it was expensive. The Easter Bunny found those bubbles at Target’s dollar spot. Note to self: try and keep it simple for Christmas.)