Wow! What an exhausting roller coaster ride of a day. In the blink of an eye, my dear baby girl has fully emerged into toddlerhood and while I'm excited to see her learning and growing so much, I myself feel the growing pains! I have to adapt to this new stage of development and I feel the squeeze!
This morning, after we took my nephew to school and played at the park for a while, we started our so called 5 minute walk home. Well, the girl didn't want to go in the stroller. Fine. I don't mind if she walks. But then, the girl wouldn't hold my hand when we crossed the street. Problem. How to solve aforementioned problem? Well, how would I know? I tried explaining it to her, I tried letting her sit in the dirt, I tried compromising with her. In the end, I had to carry her, literally kicking and screaming across the street. Then, she wanted to push the stroller, by herself, no help from me, thank you very much! After about 5 minutes of not getting very far, and my niece complaining, I needed to take the reigns. Screaming, crying, flailing, for all the neighborhood to see. Sigh...Finally, we were nearly home and she decided to test me by walking in the middle of the street. No, not gonna happen babe. More kicking and screaming and me cringing inside. There has to be a better way I think.
Before lunch, she had a time out for beating up her 5 year old cousin. The "time out" is relatively new for us. I guess we're still trying to figure it out. I've been putting her in her bed (a pack n' play), for a few minutes. I know that's not an ideal spot, but it contains her and gives me a few moments to collect myself and think of my next move. So, I went in and talked to her about why she was in time out as she stared at me with her tear-stained face. (Poor boo!!). I said, "no hitting, ok?" And she nodded with chastisement in her eyes. I took her over to my niece and asked her to say sorry, which she did and then gave her a hug. That was encouraging.
Oh sweet relief came at naptime! Woohoo! We all needed a rest. Then we had an awesome play date with friends in their shady, lovely yard. Grace climbed the ladder all be herself and slid down the slide proudly proclaiming, "I did it!" I applauded and shouted, 'Yay! You did it!" I was indeed, very proud of her. She inspired her little friend to also go down the slide unaided. I loved that. She also played nicely with the other little girl who is only a few months older than her. Sweet.
Now home, now tired, now hungry, dinner was upon us. I put Grace in her high chair for supper as usual but quickly saw her insatiable desire to be next to her cousins on the bench. I knew she wasn't going to eat and I think the highchair is soon to be a relic of the past. I allowed her to sit on the bench but it was hard for her to focus on eating. Soon, there was again, need for another time out. I think I tried to get her back in her chair and she had a massive freak out about it and I was lost as to how to get the girl to eat! After the time out, I asked her if she was now ready to eat and she nodded that she was. I picked her up and she cuddled into me (I love the way she cuddles) and I helped her finish her supper.
Bath time came after that and she asked to sit on the potty. We are not actively potty training but she has a potty to sit on as she likes to mimic me, but she's never actually gone. I gave her some toilet paper so she could 'wipe', because that's her favorite part, ha ha, and when she half stood, I saw liquid in the potty! What?! You peed? Did you pee? Oh my gosh! You peed! Oh my gosh! I am so proud of you, gush, gush, gush, hugs, kisses, smiles. She was all like, what is up with my mom?
I am still, just so thrilled!
So, PJ's, some painkillers for the teething, night nights and a book. Then some milk, a lullaby and tucked in...I walk away feeling content and then...screaming, crying, "mommy, mommy." She wants me to sit by her bedside until she falls asleep, but I have a resume to update and a job to find by the end of June. It's not that I don't want to sit by her side but she won't actually sleep off this way. We've tried. She just stays awake. I don't like leaving her to cry but I have tried everything and she has to sleep! I go in and comfort her 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 times! 2 hours later, I go in, give her some more milk, pat her back, sing her a lullaby and finally she drifts off.She used to go to sleep on her own just fine!
Now it's nearing midnight. I know this whole parenting deal, is molding and shaping me. Like I said, I feel the growing pains as much as Grace does. Because I don't know how to do this, and everyday brings new challenges, new problems to solve, but also, more cuddles, more love, more laughs and more Grace, the 21 month old kind and the God kind. Being Grace's mom is a transformative gift. And now, I need to sleep.