I had one of those parenting moments recently where I looked back in retrospect and thought, I probably could have handled that situation with you a little bit more maturely. It was a typical moment where I asked you to pick up a toy, your stuffed brown bear to be specific. You continued right past it in your defiant stomp up the stairs and yelled “no way!” I had quite the morning with you that day and it took everything I had not to pick you up and throw you out the door. Instead, I picked up the bear and nailed you in the back of the head with it. It was one of those slow motion moments where I’m watching it happen and I’m thinking this probably isn’t the most effective parenting method but let me tell you, it felt sooo goood. You turned around gripping your head with a complete look of shock in your eyes. You were judging me as I was judging myself as well. However, you should just be thankful it wasn’t a lead weight I was asking you to pick up. Of course you were fine. Your gargantuan head can withstand most things including hardwoord floors, corners of tables and car doors. All were your own doing except the car door. I may have opened it thinking you were standing further away than you were. Whoops.
I have spent months working with you on your numbers. 3 is your Everest. For some reason, you can’t remember 3. You recite 1, 2, 1, 2 over and over again. For the first time last week, you counted 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. Did you catch what’s missing? You finally said 3 but it came at a price – the number 2 has apparently fallen out of your head. Perhaps it’s the repeated blunt trauma you’re taking to your skull or your inability to remember everything we’re throwing at you. I’m no medical expert so I’m just going to conclude that it’s the latter. You are at a fascinating age because you’re a sponge. We tell you to repeat something and you say it. I often catch you trying to copy movements you see people make on television or I even catch a glimpse of you out of the corner of my eye playing shadow. Watching you try to perfect the movements of the Friends cast in the opening credits is quite hysterical. I must say you do an awesome Ross.
I never really knew how incredibly difficult it was to raise a toddler. I love you more than you will ever comprehend yet at the same time, I have never wanted to smother someone with a pillow more than you. I’m on a constant bipolar rollercoaster with you – one moment we’re laughing playing with a box and then you always have to take it one step too far and the next thing I know, I’m outside desecrating a box while you’re inside screaming throwing yourself at the couch. How we got from point A to point B, I’ll never be able to explain but it happens that quickly. My emotions are bouncing all around the room like a pinball. Come 8:00 at night, I feel like I spent the day at a birth, wedding, bah mitvah, graduation and a funeral. All though, every now and then I have an encounter with a nightmare child in public that makes me want to kiss the ground you walk on. Just yesterday while at Starbucks, a ginger toddler ran rampant in to the store demanding chocolate milk. This child could be no older than you and was running around with a pacifier screaming, throwing food, shaking his stroller and all the while, his mother was completely calm. I caught myself staring at this child with the most wretched expression on my face. I literally had to use my hand to close my mouth because I couldn’t believe the trainwreck that was taking place in front of my eyes. I have difficult moments with you but it’s because you’re sassy. This kid was just plain bratty. Sass I can handle. Bratty behavior sends you to daycare and not the good kind I might add.
Parenting you becomes a challenge with each day that passes. As parents, we constantly need to step up our game because you’re a crafty one. You learn fast and you know the things that let you off the hook. Case in point, you walking up to me and wrapping your arms around my leg in your sweet innocent voice, “I love you too Momma.” Typically I can expect this move on your part within minutes of you being reprimanded. It drives me nuts because I want to bask in my triumph of once again holding the power over a toddler. I want to be angry – I want to know that the discipline I enforced on you was with reason. Walking up to me in this passive demeanor just makes me feel plain guilty. You’re a wise one – you know the more guilt I feel, the more lenient I’ll be towards you. I am aware of this and it’s a constant struggle. I know where this path leads and I refuse to have a child who holds the power in this house. There will be no guilty pony purchases!
I took a picture of you the other day and it nearly had me clutching my camera in tears. You look so grown up – so mature for a 2 year old. Life has been on fast forward since I brought home Miles and I’m worried that one day I will wake up and you will be an eighteen year old woman moving out. Our days are extremely chaotic and I swear if I hear you shout out Momma just one more time I might rip off my own arm and throw it at you. You drive me absolutely batty now but I know a time will come that I will miss this.