Patience

All posts tagged Patience

Mommying be hard

Published March 19, 2015 by hrhdana

I’m a pretty cerebral person. Anyone who knows me can tell you that I over think things. I often get paralyzed in my own head when given too many options. I can research a topic for months and still come out unsure if I know enough to make a decision. I love information. I adore facts. I crave them. I want to know everything. And even though I know this is impossible, I try.

Enter parenting. LOL Parenting is something that defies research. Parenting happens in the moment and reveals your truest self to a person who barely reaches your waist. I have learned a lot about myself while parenting a toddler and a lot of it ain’t pretty. *hangs head* I have also learned that toddlers care not for logic or research. LOL They are 45% emotion, 45% stubbornness and 10% germs.  True story.

I have found myself attempting to explain myself to a 3 year old on many occasions. I can HEAR you laughing. But it just seems logical that if I can explain WHY I don’t want her to put dirty things in her mouth she won’t. I mean who wants to get germs, get sick and end up in the hospital? Not me. So I explain. Two seconds after the explanation and her declaration that she will, “not do that again Mommy. Only food goes in my mouth Mommy,” I find her licking a yoyo that was in the bottom of her toybox.  “Didn’t we just talk about this?” I ask. “Yes Mommy,” she answers while getting one more lick in. My brain literally wants to weep. How do I reach you little human? I’m literally stuck.

My child is stubborn. She has a will of steel. Lately she has been asserting this will at the strangest and most illogical times. 10 minutes in to our walk to school she declares, “I hate  this hat! I won’t wear it!” But it’s already on her head. It’s the hat she begged me to buy, with tears in her eyes. It’s the hat that is on her head under the hood of her coat. The hat, that she is now frantically trying to rip from her head, confused and enraged that it won’t come off. I watch her…fascinated. What the hell just happened? What am I supposed to do now? Who let ME be in charge?

“Nia, if you take your hat off you are going to be cold.”

Success. She has removed the offensive hat and flung it to the ground. I’m amused by her passion but confused at the same time. I pick up the hat and put it in my bag. I’m not fighting about this one. But she isn’t done.

“Why did you buy me that hat? I want to wear my princess one.”

“The princess one is at home. YOU wanted this hat”

I realize I am traveling down a dead end street with this conversation but it’s like the brakes are gone on my car.

“I want the princess hat NOW!”

“That isn’t happening. We are almost at school.”

She dissolves in to hysterical tears. Snot is running from her nose. Sobs are racking her little body.

I hold her hand and continue walking in silence.

I’m wondering what I should be doing? Should I empathize with her about the hat? Should I tell her to tighten up? Should I ignore her? Should I reprimand her? Force her to put the hat back on? Lost in thought I realize she’s stopped crying and is talking to me again.

“…and I love you Mommy.”

I grab a tissue from my pocket, look down at her small little tear stained face and whisper back, “I love you too little bit.”

No books prepared me for this. I want my money back.

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Lessons from my two year old

Published December 13, 2013 by hrhdana

Lately parenting is stretching me.

People have been cautioning me about the, “terrible twos,” since Nia started walking at ten months. “Oh just wait until she turns two. Those twos are terrible.” I listened. I know toddlers. I worked with toddlers for YEARS. I know how to manage a room of two year olds without threats or violence. I didn’t think the twos were so terrible. I refused to language that for my daughter. It wouldn’t be easy but we would make it through. I was even excited as I watched more and more of her stubbornness independence emerge.

“I doan WANT to Mama.”

“No!”

“I doan like that.”

Lord have mercy, my child is willful. She knows what she wants. She knows what she likes. She operates under her own timeline and Lord knows she doesn’t inform me. LOL I tell her ahead of time what my behavioral expectations are. I give her warnings when a transition is coming. She says, “Yes Mama,” in the sweetest little two year old voice. Then she FREAKS out when it’s time to DO what I am asking her to. LOL

Parenting is humbling.

This week we had quite a few behaviorally challenging days in a row. I’d arrive at my parents’ house after work, tired and ready to hug my baby and one look from my Mom would tell me that today was a tough day. “How was your day Nia?” “I didn’t listen Mama. I made bad choices. I said No to Mema. I ran away from Mema. I hit Destiny.” I’d take a deep breath and ask about each choice. “Why did you…” do blah blah blah. Sometimes she had an answer, sometimes she didn’t. I’d talk to her. Her Dad would talk to her. We would revoke privileges, take away toys, no TV.  We were trying it all. She’d cry and apologize. “I’m so sorry Mama. I’m so sorry.” She wailed. She seemed so contrite. Then she would walk in to our house and do ten things that she KNEW she was not supposed to do.

Mornings were brutal. She’d refuse to put her coat on. She’d refuse to leave the house. She’d cry like I beat her when I tried to put her hat on. Most mornings I was flustered as I carried a crying child to the train station. At the end of the day it was rinse and repeat. It felt like everything was a power struggle.

As I racked my brain trying to uncover the reasons why my sweet baby was turning in to the Tasmanian devil I felt myself getting angry. “Why won’t she just listen?” I went to parenting blogs, websites, Facebook groups, relatives, friends…anyone who might have some advice. What was wrong with HER????

Finally I had a conversation with another Mom and in the process of empathizing and sharing some stories about her kids and their toddler years she said, “I wish I hadn’t come down so hard on them sometimes. When I think back, most of the time I overreacted because of something in me and not really whatever thing they were refusing to do.”

DAMN!

I had to really think about that. She’s two. She’s learning that she CAN assert her will. She’s learning that she is not an extension of me but her very own person. She’s testing her boundaries. She’s testing me and all of the other adults in her life. What does our no mean? She’s testing cause and effect. She’s learning. She’s not trying to make me choke discipline her. If I come to pick her up tired and frustrated by MY day I’m already losing. If I engage in power struggles I am already losing.

I am the adult. I am smarter, stronger, wiser and more patient than she is. I’m designed to be that way. She is the child. She is learning, emotional, sensory and lives in the moment. She’s designed to be that way, I am determined not to kill her will. I’m determined not to put out her fire. She’s going to need her fire. This life is long and knowing your own mind and heart is a priceless gift that I am determined to give my child. I didn’t birth a robot. I birthed a human child. Her behavior…good AND bad is her way of learning. How I react to her misbehavior is TEACHING her.

I changed tactics. In the morning when I was rushing to get us out of the house and she said she didn’t want to put her coat on I sat down in a chair and held her. I murmured that I loved her and whispered that in a few minutes we would be putting her coat on and going bye bye. I couldn’t rush her. She needed to connect. She needed time. And yes…it took time to stop and hold her but it also took time to fight her in to compliance. But more importantly I felt better about the lessons I was teaching her.

When life hands you a roadblock you don’t lose it. You take a deep breath and you hug it.

Lately parenting is stretching me.