May to August of this year was hard.
It was also joyful, scary, beautiful, fun, frustrating, full of laughter and tears, and a huge learning curve.
I shared a lot of the good stuff here.
Not so much the not-so-good times.
I was tired, angry, frustrated, and at times, at my wit’s end.
There was yelling. There was screaming. There were tears. There were tantrums. There were timeouts.
Yeah, the toddler had a couple of those too.
The fatigue made me feel foggy most days.
It also made me impatient.
Which meant every little thing made me angry.
The toddler trying to hit his brother on the head. The toddler pulling on the baby’s legs while he was nursing. The toddler jumping up and down and talking loudly while the baby was trying to sleep. The toddler pulling me along to do things when my hands were full. The toddler not cooperating when I needed him to nap-oh-god-please-nap.
I reacted by snapping. By threatening timeouts. By not smiling. By not being fun.
I wasn’t nice to be around.
Which is no wonder that my son, my heart, was having a challenging time.
I had forgotten that his life had been turned upside down. At the tender age of 2.
I took things he did, personally. I was, “Why are you doing this to me? Why are you being belligerent? Why won’t you listen? Why don’t you understand??”
We were having a hard time. A very hard time.
He retreated to his grandparents home, where he’d been going almost every day since he was a baby.
It was probably a relief for him to be there.
There he stayed for a couple of weeks, while I regrouped.
I had time to think, room to breathe.
And I realized this ….
My son, it’s not you, it’s me.
You didn’t do this to me. You didn’t choose to have all that you know, changed. You had no idea, just as I didn’t, how different life would be.
I’m 36, and it was hard for me. You’re just 2 and something. So little.
I could have chosen to act differently.
I could have chosen patience, smiles, said yes, gave you more time, more of me.
I could have given more hugs and I love yous.
I could have seen that you did not mean to anger me, you just wanted (and needed) attention.
I could have ignored the messes and the minor inconveniences.
I can’t turn back time though. I can’t take away those three months.
I can however, learn from it. And I am (although yes, a work-in-progress still).
The past few weeks have seen such a turnaround in the both of us. Calmer, happier, smilier.
I’ve also learned that you’re forgiving, adaptable and resilient, my not-so-baby-boy.
I’m so glad we’ve kissed and made up.
What has your child taught you lately?
Linking with Shell of Things I Can’t Say for Pour Your Heart Out.