Laughing, Weeping, Living

Life happens. You laugh about it or cry about it, sometimes both.

My Child is Actually Very Sweet

on March 12, 2013

It’s true. I am the first person to admit that my little boy Stephen is a good-natured, easy-going, happy, helpful, agreeable little munchkin. He can entertain himself for goodly stretches of time, he allows me to cuddle him in certain circumstances, he doesn’t get sick very often, he always sleeps through the night, he takes a nap about 60 percent of the times I try to get him to nap. I really love my little boy. I know I am lucky to have such an “easy” baby for my first child.

Of course he has his moments: he’s a kid. I realize that, and I know full well that toddlers are far from rational and prone to meltdowns at the slightest provocation. Perhaps it is because Stephen is so generally even-tempered that I find his moments of hysteria that much harder to endure.

Today–somewhere between the millionth snot missile launched at my face  and the moment I turned around to find Stephen very carefully dropping handfuls of violently yellow curry rice in his lap–I lost it.

I don’t know why it was suddenly a tragedy to find myself picking grains of rice out of the carpet; I’ve picked sticky food particles out of the carpet before. I don’t know why one more sneeze was cause for mommy tears; Stephen has a cold so it’s not like he can help it. I don’t know why I felt the frustration boiling over when he stepped on my (bare) feet with his (shod) feet again and again because it’s apparently a super fun baby game to make mommy go “ouch!” and scowl and get misty tears in her eyes.

I think it was a cumulative effect that started this morning with Stephen climbing over my legs repeatedly at mass, continued when he cried like the dickens when I tried to test some new shoes on his feet at Target, and ended at home with him hacking and wheezing so much he missed his nap. Maybe I can blame my inability to deal on crazy pregnancy hormones. Maybe I can blame it on not getting quality sleep at night.

Or maybe I just suck at dealing.

Like I said, I know I’m lucky to have such a sweet little boy. I worry what it will be like when I have two kids, the younger one possibly being a special needs child. Will I be able to deal with that?

I know God never gives us more than we can handle, and trials only make us stronger, blah blah blah. But I do worry. If I can’t handle parenting an “easy” child, how will I ever be able to parent a child who is not “easy?” If anyone has any encouragement or advise, feel free to share it.

I do want to end on a positive note, so I will tell you that Stephen now has speech! His official first word is “kitty.” It sounds like “ki-ki” when he says it. Isn’t that cute? He’s been making sounds for months like lip buzzing (to indicate cars, trucks, coffee grinders, drills, etc) and “woof woof” (to indicate dogs, and actually any other animal, including birds). And we’re also pretty sure he understands every single thing we say, because he can follow directions and respond to things like, “where’s your platypus?” “Let’s throw that in the garbage,” “Go find the kitty,” “Pick out a toy to take with you,” “Time to put on your shoes,” “Go get your coat,” “Take that to daddy,” and lots of others. I have a feeling when he starts to talk for real he’ll be speaking full sentences with complex grammar. It’s been known to happen.

4 responses to “My Child is Actually Very Sweet

  1. Kathy Schwager says:

    I don’t know that I can offer any useful advice, but I can offer encouragement. When I was a young mom with two good (but active) little boys, I had many moments of feeling what you described. It doesn’t mean that you are not a good mom or a good person, it just means that you are human. The good times far outweigh the trying ones. When I look back on my days with my boys, I remember the joy far more than the frustration. That may not help you much now, but I can see that you are looking on the bright side, and that’s good. Hang in there!

  2. Amen to Kathy’s note…and ditto. My grad school mentor said to me, “Parenthood is a purification process”…and over twenty years with eight little ones, I can only say, I am so grateful to God for the person that God helped me become, doing the hard work of raising my little ones. It is so humbling, and so hard. We had special kids, too, several autism diagnoses, and seemed like we were in the ER or the doc office more often than other moms. (I remember one mom of nine who called me in a panic because her youngest had to have surgery for ear tubes and she had NEVER had a child under anesthesia in 25 years.)

    Whoa. I don’t want to count off the procedures and therapies and all. but I told her, what I tell you…God will support you in ways you cannot imagine. And it is ok to cry, just as it is ok to laugh and to even be very cranky on hard days, because He will walk with you, and you will be amazed at the person you are becoming…all because he trusted you with these beautiful children. Receive it all. And then, when you are where I am, and the daily work is not as hard as it once was…you’ll have plenty of wisdom to pass along. And it will be so needed.

    I am very sure you are doing a wonderful job– and it is so lovely to see your son’s happy face and know that the hard work that helps to create a world that he can smile at has not been unnoticed. Keep up the good work!

  3. judy says:

    Thank you both for your words of encouragement! I can see already how much I have grown as a person and a parent since Stephen was born and I’m sure I will continue to evolve through the end of my pregnancy and going into the two-child parenting adventure. I do try to focus on the bright side and I try to remember that God and Mary and all the saints and angels are supporting me every minute.

  4. […] to write a little post about how strange my child is. A couple days ago I wrote about how he is a very sweet little boy, but you should also know that he is also very odd. Today I witnessed an event that truly […]

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