Remy turned three a couple weeks ago and I can see this next year might be filled with tantrums, tears (from both of us), and trials....Wait, wait, wait... let's be optimistic... EXCITEMENT! YEAH! Three. Oh three... I can see Remy's determination and strong opinions coming out in full force, and then colliding with my requests for her to do basic things we need to do for sake of oh, I don't know...being clothed, fed...Her frustrations and emotions have always been to the nth degree, but now there is an added level of awareness of cause and effect and this sprinkles in some tricky momma maneuvering as she is clearly acting in ways to taunt me and provoke me. It's like being handed a new baby all over again. I liked the newborn one a lot better, the baby that slept most of the time and I could pacify with a breast or a diaper change. Toddlerhood is crazy, and I am not the most patient person. I know moms who say they have found patience, "they never knew they had." I haven't had the time to dig around deep enough to find any or maybe I saw a glimpse of it it, confused it with a stale Cheerio and tossed it out of the way as I chased my barefoot toddler through a Payless Shoe store.
Patience? I don't feel like patience is one of those things you can "work on," or "get with time." I truly believe it is either in your temperament or its not. Is that being too much of a realist? Is that a lady not trying hard enough or working at it? Is that a tired mom giving up? Probably.
I am trying. I am trying!!! I even sent myself that Huffington Post thing that was floating around about 26 Phrases To Calm an Angry Toddler (thanks Shannon!)... I even used several of their NEW phrases this weekend...I said them, I knelt down and looked into her tired, confused eyes, and I said this one, "I can see yore frustrated right now," I forgot the rest of my line as she kicked me repeatedly in the elbow. I calmly stood up and walked away. I cam back to her, I tried again, same. I left. I came back, tried the hugging tightly one, it looked like a kidnapping scene. I casually walked away. She followed. Still crying. Still screaming. Passerbys laughing, staring, snickering, bewildered, concerned... I wanted to DIE. I kept walking. All the way to the car. I had a poopy diaper to change on the other babe. So while I popped my trunk and changed a S**TTY diaper, and she continued to cry and tried to kick Arlo in the head, (she wasn't strapped into a car seat are you kidding me?!) I finally threw the PHRASES in with the dirty diaper I balled up as cars waited for my spot in a busy mall parking lot on a Saturday afternoon, and I swatted her bum and said in a stern voice, "ENOUGH! We don't kick! We want everyone to be safe!" Another go-to phrase... SAFE. SAFE?! Was it SAFE I drove home a shaking, embarrassed, out of control mess?!
How does such a tiny, gorgeous little being have the power to shake me to the absolute core and make me question why I have any kids at all?! Yes, it crossed my mind. She cried all the way home. Literally. Finally calming down just before a nap.
When I rewound the day in my head later that afternoon, the whole tantrum was most probably, definitely my fault. The busy day she had before, the busy week she had before, that should have been my guide as to what activity might have been better suited for her, something for her to run free. Had we been at a park, I don't think that tantrum might have happened. Or would it have? Now my husband and I tell each other, "we don't have THOSE type of kids." Those type of kids being ones that sit down at restaurants for an entire meal from ordering the food to paying the check. Those kids that can sit in a stroller as mom shops in a store. Those kids who are... well behaved? We teach good behavior. We teach good manners. We teach what is acceptable and what is not. We have opportunities everyday for these sorts of lessons. We go OUT a LOT, and still, my children run like wild animals let loose from a cage.
I proceed to run around behind them finding their shoes strewn about, grabbing magazines, stuffed animals, whatever they have grabbed off shelves and tossed on the ground. What is happening?! I think it is time to step back, step inside, and spend more time working on these things at home. I am scared to go out! haha! Or is it? Why should I have to SHUT MYSELF IN?! This is where I feel like breaking. When we see our lives are in the complete control of someone shorter than a yard stick. It gets frustrating.
I am not excited about the challenges ahead, the headaches. I am trying to savor these days because I know she'll soon grow. So when she is calm and quiet before bed and we are snuggled up reading, I stroke her tiny feet and kiss her little cheeks and I snuggle her up, up, UP. I get my moments in.
These photos are just that, soaking up the sweet moments. We went to I-Hop the morning of her third birthday and afterwards we went to a park and blew bubbles and they ran barefoot in grass filled with yellow dandelions. She was in her element. Her space. It was her day. So if parks and playgrounds could magically sell shoes and groceries, and towels, and pump gas...we'd be set right? Is that an idea or what?! Playgrounds INSIDE supermarkets!!!