Friday, 10 May 2013

little terror

I want to admit that being the mother of a toddler is harder than I ever thought it would be. I still love my little man to bits, and I still think he's the cutest small person to have been put upon planet earth, but this is the age where original sin starts to rear it's ugly head.

What a roller-coaster ride it can be. Of course, being pregnant doesn't help with roller-coasters of any description. Yesterday I found myself thinking, "What a little terror!" as he tried to bite his cousin's legs as she came down the stairs. Yes, we've got a biter on our hands. How did this happen?

Then a little while later thinking, "What a little monkey!" as he danced wildly around the living room with more energy in five minutes than I seem to have all day.

Then, of course, thinking, "What a little angel," when I felt his little body relax and finally fall asleep in my arms for his nap.

Now I know that there is a whole range of normal toddler behavior, from mild to wild, and Isaac is no extreme case of wildness, though he definitely leans in that direction. The thing that is easy for me to understand in my head but that doesn't always get through emotionally is that everything that he does is normal, it's to be expected. The toddlers and who seem to have a natural respect for rules, and whose parents don't need to childproof, they are the exception. My Isaac, who runs away when he's called, and doesn't like staying in the cart at the store, and who opens the fridge and pours milk all over the floor, is normal. Did I ever really expect to have one of those mild, well-behaved toddlers? Yes, I suppose I did. After all, Sean and I are both law abiding citizens. Is it so far fetched to imagine we might have a docile child? Maybe not. But, as it turns out, Isaac is not that child, and it's much better to work on loving the child you have than to waste your time thinking about the child you don't have.

Something else that I know in theory but that is sometimes hard to remember: it's not personal with toddlers.

It's not personal.

Toddlers are never malicious. They may be testing their boundaries, trying to get attention, or, with a young toddler like Isaac, just experimenting (what happens when I pinch Mommy? Oh, I wonder if she'll make that same squeak if I do it again), but they are not out to hurt anyone. It's original sin, ungoverned by self-control or reason, making it's presence felt. Of course I know this; it only makes sense.

However, when that little person whom you love with every fiber of your being, looks you right in the eye, shouts, "No!" and then tries to bite your hand so that you'll let go of his arm, it can be hard not to take it personally. You think, "I'm his Mommy, doesn't he love me? Why won't he just LISTEN to me for heaven's sake?"

It's not personal. I think I should write that down and tape it up somewhere where I'll see it often. Do you think I could write it on the inside of my eyelids?

Caught in the act!

"Who me?"

Fleeing the scene of the crime.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Another one about spring....sort of

It's been difficult to write about spring and Easter and new life without mentioning the new little life growing inside me. I'm relieved that the news is officially out now.

When I was pregnant with Isaac we waited a long time to make it public. I had just had a miscarriage and I was terrified that it would happen again. We were so excited for our first pregnancy that we told people very soon, but that also meant that we had to "un-tell" them when I had the miscarriage. However, not telling people meant dealing with the fear and discomfort of the first trimester in silence and with fewer people praying for us.

I find myself thinking about those days a lot right now. It's still difficult but I'm much more at peace about this pregnancy. I get anxious sometimes but the old terror is no longer there. I'm not sure why. It must be grace.

We already love this child and are so happy that our family is growing. We're so happy to give Isaac a sibling  and to have another little bundle to cuddle come November. However, it still doesn't seem quite real yet. It's hard to believe that by next Christmas I will have two little munchkins.

Maybe I'm not as afraid of a miscarriage this time because now my experience has given me other things to worry about. I know now how difficult pregnancy is. I'm looking forward to feeling those first kicks but I'm also struggling with nausea and heartburn and dreading the constant backache and hunger that will probably come later. I also know how difficult Isaac's birth was. I'm hopeful that this time will be easier but I know it's possible that this baby will be even bigger and more difficult. I also really hope that the transition from center-of-the-universe to big brother won't be too hard on Isaac.

Anyway, I'm trying to take things as they come and not look too far ahead. Right now every day is different and dealing with each one is enough. Some days I feel pretty well and some days I'm exhausted and/or sick. I feel like a wimp because I know so many women who get morning sickness so much worse than I do, but it's still not easy. I guess the real point of this rambling post is to ask for prayers. Please pray for the safety of this little one and that I can make it through each day (more or less) gracefully, and for everything that lies ahead.