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by Saruskabeth, of http://www.threeinthree.com
At midnight, on a cold february day in 2007, I held in my hands a tiny, wrinkled, screaming infant. And I fell in love. Every day, all day long, I would kiss his little fingers and belly and toes and nose and tell him “I love you.” When he gazed up at me in awe, I told him, “I love you.” When he cooed and smiled and (finally!) laughed, I told him, “I love you!” When he cried and screamed, I told him, “I love you!” He learned to roll over, crawl, walk, talk…and everyday he heard, “I love you! I love you!”
I love my children with everything I am. They are my world, my priority above all else. But as they get older, as the “novelty” wears off, so to speak, there are moments, sometimes days, when I don’t express my love as easily as I once did. When Dewy spills his juice for the fourth time, or when Paby looks me in the face and screams, “YOU’RE NOT MY FRIEND ANYMORE!” When Mazzen throws a fit because I won’t leave my boobie hanging out all day, and when the boys destroy their room moments after I finish putting everything away.
And to be completely honest, in those moments I don’t feel very loving. I feel angry. Taken advantage of. Disrespected. At the very least frustrated. And, rather than speak out of love, I sometimes speak out of anger. I say, “you’re driving me crazy!” And “why are you trying to make me mad?” In those moments, I put the boys in time out and say, “you’re being very naughty,” and “I don’t want to hear it.”
One particularly rough day I became more agitated than I can ever remember being at a child. I was so angry I couldn’t speak. I clenched my fists at my sides, felt my jaw grow stiff, when to my surprise, I heard a voice in my head say “I love you.” I looked at my child’s tearful face and realized that he was fully aware of how angry I was; he didn’t need to hear me say it. What he did need was reassurance. So I knelt down, took him by the hands and said, “I love you.” And oh, the relief that flooded my body and my son’s face! To know that, despite his misbehavior and disobedience, he was still loved!!!
It struck me then how important it is to express your love; not just when the warmth of it overwhelms your senses to the point you can’t help but say it, but when you are so angry you don’t want to. Kids are strong, yet fragile. They aren’t fully in control of their actions, and can become frustrated at themselves when they feel they have disappointed a parent. Just to know that, despite their outburst, their behavioral faux pas, they are still loved…it can change everything.
Now, when one of my children does something that makes me angry, I remind myself of a few things.
1.) I’m not going to actually go insane because the kids are acting up.
2.) No, they really don’t try to infuriate me.
3.) This is the child I carried in my womb for nine months, in my arms for many more, and will carry in my heart for eternity.
Paby, Dewy, Mazzen, Baby#4: I love you. I always will.
As a child, I never went trick or treating for the ‘holiday.’ My siblings and I would hand-craft costumes (that is, we would grab pillow cases, make paper masks, etc) and take turns passing out candy to trick-or-treaters. On a few occasions, our church would throw a welcome-fall party around Halloween, and everyone would dress up in costumes and go bobbing for apples and other fall-themed games and fun. Read the rest of this entry »
Madison has a tooth! Finally! Those buggers have been pushing at her gums since she was two months old! Now, after 12 agonizing weeks (for all of us,) that pearly white made it through! Its still hard to see, but gosh can you feel it. She is exclusively breastfed, as were her brothers, and I’m tellin’ ya…ouch. Just….ouch. She’s also begun to wave, crawl, eat semi-mashed solids, and stand unsupported. Wait…who told her she was allowed to grow up?
More so now than ever before, I feel this incredible mix of joy, pride, and desperation when one of my babies develop a new skill. I feel like the last three and a half years have disappeared into oblivion, and I want them back! Not that I don’t feel blessed to have such amazing kids, but I feel like I’m missing out on something in a way. Is it due to the closeness of their ages? Have I taken in too much information over the last few years to retain it all?
I remember their births like it was yesterday; the joy, the pain, the beauty. And I recognize their personalities as people. But its the inbetween I can’t seem to recall. When the heck did Payten start talking? Dylan is turning how old!? Madison did WHAT??? I mean, I know the facts. Payten got his first tooth at four months. Dylan at 6. Both boys were walking well at 10 months. Madison started crawling at 5 months. But its the memory itself I can’t seem to recall. The stories; the beginning, middle, and end. Was I really so busy with pregnancies and other children that the memory didn’t engrave itself in my mind?
I sometimes worry that I’ve been somehow negligent in my duties as a mother. Is the small age gap going to affect my boys later on? Have I not bonded well enough with my kids? Do children “deserve” to be an only child for three or four years? Thats what all my baby books say. “The best time to get pregnant is two years after your last birth. Its best for your body, safest for the baby, and healthiest for the older child.” Payten was 8 1/2 months when Dylan was conceived, and Dylan was 9 1/2 when Madison was. Is that why they started walking early? Is it the reason Payten talks like a child three times his age?
I don’t know, and probably never will. What I do know is this: I love my children with every fiber of my being. I can’t (and wouldn’t) change the past, but I can do everything in my power to keep their futures bright. Knowing every tiny detail of their babyhoods won’t keep them babies, nor will it make me a better mother.
So I chose to cast off my doubts, quiet my insecurities, and simply, purely love. That, and maybe buy a video camera.
^_^ saruskabeth ^_^
I feel like its been a month since my last post. In fact, it feels like its been a month since I woke up this morning. I gotta tell you, parenthood may be rewarding in the end, but it s so darn tiring on the way there!
1.)confronted countless tantrums by one very determined almost two year old (one of which lasted 45 minutes before I determined the cause was his desire to wear a different pair of shorts than the pair I picked out. And they totally did not match his shirt, let me tell you!)
2.) once again faced the challange of new-baby jealousy induced regression of a potty trained three year old (every day for a month, now! Augh!)
3.) listened to a wailing 5 month old who has decided that she absolutely must be standing, eating, and be actively entertained at all times, (If she could do those things without assistance, I’d be much less annoyed.)
4.) realized that this pile of laundry is never going to wash itself, so I might as well, you know, burn it or something, and
5.) discovered a colony of ants have made themselves at home in her diaper pail!
Oh, did I mention the gang of 12 year olds I found drawing phalic images and interestingly spelled obscenities in my driveway with my sons’ own sidewalk chalk? Ah, yes. It was a good day. At least I can go to bed now that all my kids are asleep and the husband is finally home from work. Well, as soon as I wash the dishes. And start a load of ant-infested diapers. And I should really make out the grocery list. I never get it done with the kids awake. Oh, and I never did get around to vacuuming the mess from that glitter fiasco. Gah, I’m going to need an energy shot. And a therapist.
So what IS this post about? Poop. Today, Dylan proved that he is capable of making the connection between having to “go” and actually doing it. Unprompted, he felt the urge, removed his diaper, and go, go, go he did. Yay, right?! Yeah, I guess. My joy was tempered by the little detail that we were, in fact, in my backyard. And that it was a poop to be reckoned with. There’s no way I could pretend a stray dog took a dump in the yard. I couldn’t even blame that one on a horse, I don’t think. That’s what I get, I guess, from bragging about his size… But hey, its still progress, right? And I had planned on taking the boys to the park, but the rain kept us away, thank heavens. I know there’s a fine for not cleaning up doggie doo, is there a law against Dylan doo?
Anyway, Payten once tried to eat corn in his poo, Dylan does the deed outside…you know what? I’m not potty-training Madison. Not doing it! I don’t want to THINK about what she’s going to do with poo…