|Who will discover the lambs with me next spring? :o(|
Parenting is so very very hard and so many folks make it look so easy, and it's so frustrating when it's NOT easy and everyone else seems to just have it all together somehow.
I have good girls. They are. They're kind and generous and big-hearted and patient (depending on the situation), and children others don't seem to mind being around. They can converse with children and adults and are well-mannered out in public. I really have nothing to complain about, I know.
But, when it feels like your relationship with your child is suffering, and you worry they're only going to remember you as that awful nagging, yelling parent who was always disappointed with you, (and I'm not always yelling and nagging, and not often that disappointed), you know you need to change something.
|I was Co-Op parent helper this morning and we planted spring greens!|
Bean's first three and half years or so were incredibly trying and difficult for me. She didn't need much sleep. She had a tiny tummy and couldn't eat too much at once and therefore had to be nursed every two hours. She began moving at four months (as ridiculous as it sounds, it's documented here on the blog in the archives) and hasn't stopped moving since.
She's a giant ball of explosive energy and impulsivity and I can clearly recall visiting Liss one Spring Break when El was about two or so and finally getting her down to bed (she NEVER slept when we traveled--EVER) and going down to see Mom. She looked at me in sheer exhaustion and recognized the same in me and let out a gusty woosh of relief. "What would you have done if she were your first?"
"She'd have been my only." And, at the time, I seriously meant it.
I adored her with every fiber of my being, but holy hell, she was Destructor, the destroyer of all that was good and beautiful and peaceful.
|I LOVE this cutie patootie watering can they have.|
But then, something miraculous happened. It was a slow, gradual process. So slow, in fact, I didn't even realize what was happening until it had passed.
My little Destructor, the child who refused to sleep or nap or sleep through the night, suddenly wasn't. She was no longer so stubborn or willful. She started sleeping for a solid ten/eleven hours a night. She didn't destroy things.
Instead of being her jailer and parole officer, constantly monitoring all she did because lord knew if it were there to be gotten into she'd get into it, she was my little buddy.
|I finished planting what the kiddos didn't. We'll see what happens. ;o)|
Everyone says, "Oh wow! You're going to have so much time on your hands! What are you going to do with yourself?"
Honestly, I have no clue. They say it as if it's a good thing. And, yes, in the rational and logical part of my brain, I know it is. Alas, this mama's heart is not as logical nor as rational.
|She asked to "do cards" so I pulled out Lil's old flashcards. This is the stack of words she knew. I had NO clue...|
"Ellie, who's going to keep me company at lunch next year?"
"I don't know. I'm going to be at school. All day!!!"
I'm often greeted with, "I wish I could go to school on the bus and stay there all day, every day, like Lily."
|She can order from least to greatest and the reverse.|
I didn't have this problem with Han or Lil. I always had a baby at home or on the way. I was working with Han, and with Lil, I had Bean bean the destructive machine to deal with.
|Here she matched the number words with the corresponding numeral.|
Then, I panicked, thinking about how little and young she is, wondering how in the world she's going to manage to eat her lunch in a timely fashion.
|I love that my girls love their boxes so much.|
I NEVER thought of Han or Lil as being too young (and Han was only FOUR when she started school!!) or worried about them. When you have a baby and a big kid in the house, you realize how big that kiddo really is. When you are left with just a big kid, even if they're doing more chores and more to help around the house than either of their siblings ever did at that age, they are still and always will be "the baby". We all still call her that.
And, she will always be "the baby".
She's a very eager people pleaser. (I may be repeating myself and in fact, wonder if I didn't already write this in my last post, bear with me if I did, but I feel it's important to put out there just in case...)
She will burst into tears and cry if I (or anyone) speaks sharply to her because she knows she's displeased us. While this makes life easier for now, I worry for her on down the road. Peer pressure is a terrible thing. :o(
Lil? I have no worries about her. But Bean...oh dear...
In spite of this, she's tough. So tough. She's not afraid to work her body hard and if she falls down she jumps right back up again. Because I'm teaching swimming, she has TWO HOURS of swimming lessons twice a week. It channels that energy and gives her focus and wears her out.
She's not afraid to try new things and is the ultimate problem solver. She mostly seems to figure things out on her own and I think she might be pretty smart...
I feel some guilt because we are getting along so well and Lil and I struggle so much. Okay, I feel a LOT of guilt. :o( I worry there will be perceptions I love one girl more than the other. I worry about that quite a bit.
I'm grateful for this time in our lives, that we've had it, that we can go on our jaunts to CW and trips to TJ's and that she'll always have these memories. But, what good memories does Lil have? :sigh:
I'm grateful to be struggling with only one child at a time, though. I'm sure the tides will turn and before too long I'll be getting along gang-busters with my Bitty B and at loggerheads with Bean. It's bound to happen, and if I've learned nothing from my grief, enjoy the good days while they're here, don't worry about that other shoe dropping.
The journey to this point was long and arduous. So, I'm going to enjoy this time in our lives together and let tomorrow take care of itself.
1. Last Friday I was supposed to work on our quilt with Grandma.
4. Helping with Co-Op today. I love spending time in the classroom!
5. A good chiropractor. I haven't seen Sam in ten years (since the week before Lil was born, as a matter of fact), but I'll be seeing him Monday. I borked my back. Details to come soon. In the meantime, if you're the praying sort, prayers for healing for my back would be much appreciated...
6. Sunshine! I may not be able to get out and work in my yard and gardens the way I would like (see note about borked back above), but I can enjoy all that delicious Vitamin D I'm soaking up and in. :o)