Monday, February 28, 2011

Happy Birthday, Baby Boy

(yes, this post is late. is anyone really surprised?)

Ian, you turned 2. How is it that you have been in my life, out of my womb, for that long already?

You grow and change so much each day. You still love biscuits and beans and blueberries and now we can add bacon to that list. Your favorite songs are Baby Bumblebee and Baa-Baa Black Sheep.* You love to take baths but hate to have your hair washed. Just recently you have become such a fan of trucks and trains.

When you were first born you were a carbon copy of your father, and now you are starting to look a little bit like me. Some facial expressions that you make remind me of photos taken when I was about 3 years old.

You never fail to say unexpected things that make me laugh. For your birthday you received a Leap Frog compuer. This, along with the Elmo camera, are your two constant companions right now. The computer says "Hi, Ian" when you turn it on. For a few days you just said "hi" in response. The other day, just after your bath you turned it on. "Hi, Ian" it said to you. "Hi. Mommy just cleaned my booty" you told the computer.

You play more independently now and will often sing or read your books to yourself. Going to bed is easier some nights and you tell us when you are ready to "rock a baby." You want to climb into the car yourself and often flop in like a fish and wiggle until you get where you need to go. Climbing is a favorite activity and you have no fear. I almost forgot --you love slides. We go to the park and you can wear us out.

Though you can severely frustrate me with your terrible twos, I love that I have you. I love wrestling in the floor with you and catching you reading to yourself. I love tickling your belly and making you giggle. I love the earnest expressions you have and that you finally want to walk and hold my hand.

Right now I am still one of your favorite people. I know that as you grow up (so quickly) that will begin to change. I'm going to hold on to your tiny, warm baby self as long as I can.

You will always be my baby boy.

*As I re-read this prior to posting I realized the alliteration going on in your life. I wonder what that means.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

I Am A Dry Creekbed

I did not hit my son. I did not. But part of me wanted to.

Instead, I yelled. That deep down from the belly guttral emission that is meant to get everyone's attention. And it did. Even Daddy came running.

I don't make a habit of yelling or even grunting at my child. But he is currently making a habit of hitting me. And often. Out of frustration, out of anger, out of confusion, out of the terrible twos. That night I was tired. So tired and I just wanted him to go to bed. To lay down and go to sleep so that I could have a little bit of time to unwind and then go to bed myself. He had other ideas.

Poor baby jumped in my arms as I emitted this strange and primitive sound and then he cried harder. I realize I did myself no favors. I know better. Usually I can remain calm, take a deep breath, walk away even. That night I didn't hit just the wall, I barreled into it full steam, throttle wide open.

I have no excuse.

Would it have really hurt me to go back out to the couch and read with him for 10 minutes? No. Would it have hurt him to go to bed 10 or 15 minutes later? Nope. Worse was that his cry changed. It wasn't the I-don't-want-to-go-to-sleep cry, it became different. I knew it and yet I still hesitated to go into the room because I was angry at him. Daddy went in and found out his foot was stuck between the mattress and the railing. And didn't that make me feel like the bestest bitchy mom of the year?

So many things are a battle right now: getting dressed, having a bath, brushing teeth, getting in the car seat, getting out of the carseat, changing his diaper, sitting in the high chair at a restaurant, not having the exact food he wants, going to bed. I know he is growing and exploring and I try to let him make his own decisions and have a say in what he is doing (as much as an almost 2 year old can) and some days it just wears me out.

Sometimes I don't want to wait for him to be ready to get dressed; I need to get to work.
I want to eat a meal in a resaurant without him on my lap.
I don't want to read the Elmo book 12 times in a row.
I want to cook dinner without worrying I will spill something hot on him because he is under my feet.

Parenting is hard. I know that. I thought that yell would have deflated the balloon that was my frustrating rage. It didn't. My boiling well of ire continued into the next morning and flared when he would not get dressed. This time I walked away. But I'm still sitting here dreading the upcoming battle(s).

One of the best parts of my day is picking him up from daycare and having him come running at me full-tilt, arms open for a hug. I love that part of my day.

Today I am tired. Today I feel like I don't have anything else to give. My river of patience and understanding and committment to alternative parenting is dry. I feel like a dry creekbed, rocks gray and bare to the beating sun. And I have no idea what to do to get the water flowing again.