Three Lives of Me

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My Saturday Self-Session 08.8

My toddler turns 18 months today. He is growing SO fast. As a mom to three girls, I always wanted a boy. Now that he’s walking running around, I’m secretly regretting this decision. My mom said boys were easy. LIES! He does not stop moving. Even in his sleep. I’m exhausted trying to keep up. Is this normal? And why did no one warn me?

He is a lot of fun, though. I am loving all the rough housing, drinking from water hoses and even the dirt eating. Yes, I’ve caught him face down on an ant hill. It fills me with joy to see him exploring the world. Trying to figure everything out.

And what I’m trying to figure out is communicating with him. Talking with a toddler is like being a hostage negotiator. I find myself trying to diffuse every situation very carefully. Which never happens. He ends up getting frustrated and screams that cute little curly head of his right off until I find some way to calm him down. Usually it involves food. So I’m pretty much making him eat his feelings. Yep.

Communicating is hard enough with adults. Now I have to not only speak toddler, but teach him how to accept “no,” “don’t do that,” and “that hurts mommy, please stop.” Is there a book on this, cause I need it. Today.

And this leads me to what I’ve learned this week (and also may include some things from last week – just being honest).

 for the small blessings. I’ve been getting a little down about some things. Ok, a whole lot of things. And being somewhat obsessive, those things play over and over in my mind to where I can’t think of anything else but that. So, I’ve been retraining myself to look for the small blessings. Example. Where at that time of the year where things are a little tight. Thanks, school clothes shopping. The doing random things isn’t a priority unfortunately. Not a huge deal, but for us personally, we don’t like it. We attended a church outing where had a corn hole tournament. Long story short – my daughter and I (both of us have never played) were asked to sign up and we won the whole thing. Our prize was two certificates to Cold Stone. Instant family date night. And the bonus: my daughter and I loved that time together.

Say less. It does more. Recently, I had to attend a hearing. It’s been an on-going thing for about a year and half and it’s draining. I won’t go into too much detail right now. At some point, I will. But the lesson was this – say what needs to be said and leave the rest alone. And that’s exactly what I did. I didn’t need to bring up old history, I just needed to focus on the issue at hand. Everything worked out far better than I had hoped.

Daily time with your spouse is important. 4 kids, 1 full-time job, 1 part-time job and everything in between has left zero time for my husband and me. Somehow we fell away from our date nights. Well, not somehow, more like when there’s money we can do it, but then babysitter. It’s just one of those things that we seem to push to the back burner. For the past couple of weeks, he and I have been making the effort to spend time together in the evening. Not watching TV, not on our phones and after the kids have gone to bed. It has been amazing. We feel more connected and reenergized. There has been a couple of times, that we’ve been to sleepy. But for the most part it’s been very successful. It’s necessary. So if you aren’t doing that, you should.

Texting is acceptable. My tween is almost a teenager. In like two months she’ll be 13. 13. Like 1. And 3. She talks fast and often. I think it’s that middle child thing. She loves to be heard. For an introvert like myself, I feel overwhelmed at times and to her that comes off as I’m not interested. Of course I am. Why wouldn’t I be? To rectify this situation, I decided it’s time I start texting her more. That’s how she communicates with her friends, why not me, too? It’s not going to be our main form of talking by any means, but it helps us get even more connected. And that’s a good thing.

Listen to what is not being said. My mom called me the other day. She told me she fell the previous day. This has not been the first time. I called my brother and told him it’s time that we get her a device that calls for assistance. He agreed and we told our mom to order one and we’d take care of the rest. Next day, I call her and she tells me she’s going to return the device when it arrives. I knew what she was thinking. She didn’t want to admit she was at that age where she needs help. She didn’t say it. She didn’t have to. I knew though. Even though I don’t understand. I will someday. After my brother and I talked with her, she didn’t return it. Thank goodness.

I’m looking forward to when The Boy can start saying words to help me out with what he’s saying. I feel like I’ll be relieved from the confusion and stress of not being able to understand one another.

I’m envisioning smiles and happiness and singing birds that day.

Then the next day, I’ll be wishing he was silent. Cause, kids and never-ending talking. Yep.