Mostly, I feel like I fly by the seat of my pants in this whole parenting debacle. Sure, I have some ideas of how I'd like to run the show, but mostly I just seem to have a vague notion of what kind of people I'd like my children to become, and hope that somehow we'll get them there. Like - maybe simply by virtue of being part of this family, they'll turn out alright?
I'm pretty sure this is totally naive on my part though. My sister called me the other day to remind me not to be the "bitch who lets her asshole 3 year old run wild through the grocery store screaming." Thanks for that reminder, sis. I'm really hopeful that I won't be that bitch, and mostly that people won't see my kid and think, "wow, there's a lesson in what NOT to do." But I wonder if I'm doing everything I should be doing to keep those results from happening. Eleanor's entering a trying stage, for sure, and we're a little clueless about how to handle her mood swings and tantrums. Mostly though, I don't want to feel defeated at the end of every day, thinking about how rough it was on all of us, and how she's probably glad to be turning the page on this day. I want her to be happy, but recognize that happiness almost certainly lies in (or at least partially with) having the security of having boundaries, routine and structure.
It's funny how parenting seems to be this nonstop game of catch-up, and when you finally wrap your head around what's happening and why, the kid goes and changes and it starts all over again. Maybe that's one reason I'm looking forward to this new baby - a chance to do things from square one, and perhaps apply a bit of what we've learned the first time. Maybe it doesn't always feel this way for everyone. Maybe if you read the parenting books and study up on child development you aren't so caught off guard and can try to avoid always playing defense. I kinda doubt it though.
Side note: I'm feeling reflective in this moment, but truthfully, we had a very good day. Unlike yesterday, she woke up happy and stayed pretty happy most of the day. So that's a win. With a minor scuffle at dinner over her insistence on more cheese (don't know where she gets that from!) vs our insistence that she eat her chicken and rice first, and then she'd get more cheese, it was a pretty great day. She's talking happily through the monitor about puppies as she falls asleep, and while the living room is a slight mess, no one cares.
Other side note, almost entirely so I don't forget: I had to wear a 24 hour heart monitor starting at 4pm yesterday until 4pm this evening. I've had random bursts of tachycardia (one more fun thing about this pregnancy - a surging heart rate randomly throughout the day) and the cardiologist wanted to make sure my heart rhythms were normal. So envision a portable EKG device, and me with 5 electrode/lead things stuck to my chest. Two above shirt line, and three right below my bra, all attached to wires leading to a little pager looking device. Anyway, I told Ellie that they were "mama's owies" and she did pretty well not touching them, but kept saying "hi mama owie!" and giving them kisses. When I removed them, she said, "bye bye mama owie!" and "owie all gone!" and it was just so dang sweet. Also, she thought the pager thing was awesome and kept asking to hold it and use it as a cell phone. Smart kiddo. :)
|Glimpse of our girl in a couple of years.|
|lunch is exciting!!|
|Doggie is forlorn he will NOT be sharing her lunch|