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My son Payten, who is three going on thirteen, has lately been having a hard time when he doesn’t get his way. Being a kind big brother, obedient son, and helpful member of the household is tough when you’re only “this many.” He has become incredibly controlling, having a meltdown if I don’t cover him “right” at bedtime, or if Madison or Dylan don’t cooperate with a game he’s invented. His newest and favorite response to instruction is, “You can’t tell me that!” or some variation of the same idea.
My impulse is to discipline him for his cheek, but I realize, too, that he’s learning to assert his opinion and take a stance. He needs to learn how to do that appropriately, but I want him to understand that he’s very important, and his feelings are too! Its a fine line, disciplining him for his attitude and not his feelings on a subject. At three, a child is just starting to understand that they have control over their emotional reactions to things, and I feel that punishing him would only hurt his self image and possibly even make matters worse, as he could become agitated and want to make his feelings known even more. 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.