Living with an almost three year old is rough, especially days where said child refuses naps. Today was an especially hard day. A major battle of wills between myself and my toddler. By the end of the day, we were both exhausted, screaming, and overall in foul moods.
I try to be a calm and loving mother, but some days it doesn’t work that way. Today there was a lot of yelling, all provoked, but not all quite necessary. I don’t enjoy telling at my child, sometimes in my frustration I just don’t have any other way to communicate.
I knew the day was hard on both of us and thought that everything would get better after bedtime. It did, momentarily. My almost three year old had a nightmare. He woke up crying after just over an hour saying ‘mommy yelled at me’. I’ve never felt so broken and awful as I did hearing him cry because I was the monster in his dream. I crawled into his bed and just held him and cried with him till he went back to sleep.
I try to practice peaceful parenting. I try to be loving and understanding and not void his own emotions, but today, I truly was the monster to him. I never want that to happen again. I never want to be the reason he is scared. I want to be his hope, his trust, and his sanctuary. I have a lot left to learn in parenting, but I have learned this: even when your child fears you, they still have an unimaginable love for you. Show them the love, not the hate.
I was told many things in those 9 months leading up to the birth of my first child. “It’ll be a girl” “Labor isn’t that bad” “he’ll look like you” “life will never be the same” “You’ll have a love like never before” “babies, natures greatest revenge.” But no one ever told me how vulnerable having a child will leave me.
It’s not something I can easily explain. I was always a tough girl growing up. Sure, I cried and had my share of drama, but I was able to endure without it effecting me.
All of a sudden, every news story, every tradgity hits me so hard. I can’t help but cry when I hear of child abuse cases, or a family who lost a parent. I can’t help but think,”What if this was my family. What if this was me?” Any time I hear a baby cry, it’s brings me this odd joy. This sense of wonderment and an unsaid bond, knowing this woman caring for this infant is now just as vulnerable as me. How I now question every person I encounter, wondering if they want to hurt my family, or if their family was hurt.
It’s a vulnerability that leave you an open wound. It’s an exceedingly painful feeling, yet a feeling I wouldn’t forgive up for the world.
Almost every night, my prayers are for those who have and who are from broken families. Those who have lost children, or have had children taken. Those who have lost a parent. My prayers are for their strength and recovery from such tragedies. My prays are also that I may never have to know that pain, because I have already felt a small portion of it, just hearing of such horrors.
Today, I took the kids to the gym. I go to Golds Gym, where there is child care. It’s really fantastic. Anyways, I get about 20 minutes into my workout before I’m asked to collect my children. Apparently, RJ took off his pants at the top of the slide, slid down as happy as can be, and then peed on two kids.
Only my child, guys. Only mine.
Late last week, I went grocery shopping with my two year old, RJ. The first section we always hit is the fresh fruits and veggies. My two year old is a health nut, folks. He always grabs the bananas, apples, tomatoes, cucumber, carrots, hummus, etc. for me.
This week, he found the radishes. I do not like radishes, so I don’t buy them. RJ would NOT have any of that. This child had a complete meltdown because I didn’t want to put those nasty crunchy things in my cart. I let him win that battle. A two year old tantrum in the middle of the commissary can really change your mind sometimes.
Well today I decided that he needed to have some of these ‘must have, life or death’ vegetable. I sat him down with his afternoon snack of my hummus and his broccoli and I put down a radish in front of him. He happily picked it up and chomped on it.
Now, you know that face kids make when they don’t like something? That face of genuine disgust. That priceless emotion that only children can truly capture? Next time, I know to have my camera on me. He chewed for a few seconds while his mouth went crocked and his eyes started to squint. His nose crinkled and his cheeks turned red. My wonderful toddler then projectile spot these radishes ALL over me and proceeded to have a giggle fit when he saw what he had done.
Oh, life with a toddler. Even at the most frustrating points, his true emotion makes it worth it all.
When I was fresh out of high school, I wanted to be an EMT. I had looked into college classes for it, different programs, even how it would work financially. That dream was short lived. When I was a freshman in my first semester, I worked at a clubhouse in Destin. While I was working alone one night, a dearly loved older gentleman had a heart attack in the bathroom and passed away. I did my duty and called 911 when he was found, did CPR till EMTS arrived, everything I was supposed to do. ONce the chaos died down, I broke down. It was then I realized being an EMT wasn’t for me. I didn’t have the strength to see death daily. It broke me.
I realized even without going into a profession where death is a daily enemy, I face death everyday, only I face spiritual death. Everywhere I look, there is spiritual death lingering around every corner. It is truly heart wrenching. Even though who have been saved are prone to revisit the lands of spiritual death again. I know Ive visited a few times and every time Ive come running back to life, Thankful that I no longer need to wonder around searching.
I spend a lot of my prayer time praying that everyone be saved from spiritual death. That everyone can b alive physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Its a battle but With God leading the troops, I think its a battle well worth it.
Today, when I was talking to one of my friends, the subject of “prosperous relationships” came up. I had to stop and ask her what she saw as a prosperous relationship. She went on to say a relationship that still works after many years is prosperous. I had to stop her and give her my opinion on the subject and that is what I will be sharing with you all tonight.
To me, a prosperous relationship is not only a lasting relationship, but one that betters each person involved. Sure, some relationships last a long time, but that doesnt mean that they are bettering the people involved. A relationship has to do more than just “work”, it needs to be a light to others around you.
When I think of prosperous relationships, I immediately think of my Grandpa and Granny Low. Those are my mothers parents. THAT is a relationship that I would strive daily to have. The way that these two people love each other is truly a testament to their faith not only in each other but in the Lord. What really gets me is how proud they are of each others acheivements. The way my Granny talks about my Grandpas work and hobbies. The way my Grandpa shares pictures of my Grannies flowers. That is love. Not many men I know will sit and stare at pictures of flowers for hours just because the woman they love grew them.
The pride they have in each other is astounding to me. The love is overabundant in that house. It flows to anyone who is near. Now THAT is what I call a prosperous relationship.
My child loves music. He has shown an interest in it as soon as a few months old. He’d stop everything he was doing, every noise he was making to listen to it. At about 11 months, he would sing along. No words, but if the music went, he’d make sure he made sing-song noises with it!
Right now, he is just 13 months old. Too young to sit through movies, too young to understand lyrics and melodies and harmonizing, but if I choose just the right musical, he will sit down and watch the entire thing. Tonight, we watched Annie together. He didn’t understand most of what was being said. He didn’t understand that this was a somewhat scary and sad movie for young kids. All he understood was that people were making that magnificent sound come out of their mouths and he watched with a smile on his face during every song.
He’d make noise right along with them, all sing-song and innocent.
He may not understand too much yet, but that boy sure does understand that music is a gift from God that is NOT to be taken lightly.