October 23, 2013

the daily battle and the perfect mom

Did I mention that my 70% sweet, wonderful, love-of-my-life son is a toddler? Okay, make that 90% depending on the day. We are now full-throttle into the game of the daily battles. What does he disagree about?

  • Eating
  • Drinking
  • Sitting in the chair
  • Changing diapers
  • Getting shoes on
  • Getting out the door
  • Getting in the car seat
  • Getting to the front door from the car seat
  • Brushing teeth (I'm talking WW3, people)
  • Getting off our bed, into his room, and eventually after 2-3 stories into the crib


From what I read, this is about him asserting his independence. Okay, that's understandable. So, being the diplomatic professional I was before I got laid off, I change tactics. I offer alternatives. I let him have his way for a few minutes before I carry him off slung over my shoulder. In short, I do whatever it takes to get from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. before crawling into the shower and pouring a 72 oz. glass of wine. (slight exaggeration)

One thing I'm trying is something called Toddler-ease, from the book The Happiest Toddler on the Block. It's a primitive way of talking to the boy in the heat of a tantrum -- to get his attention and let him know that I know how he feels. I've tried this several times over the last few days, and... I dunno. I'm not seeing much progress yet but I'm not giving up either.

The rest is a mystery. I know, I know, this will pass. New challenges will come and today's struggles will morph into memories of beauty and strength.

Today in my MOPS group (which is fast becoming a beacon of shared sanity in my ocean of mystery), a woman came to talk to us. I was an hour late, what with furiously cleaning the condo for a showing, but what I remembered from her wasn't in her talk. It was at our table later, where she wisely reminded us:

"There is no perfect mom. There is a perfect God working through you."

Amen to that. And what a huge relief to know that it actually doesn't all depend on me. I can point to Him as the ultimate authority and say that He has given me authority as a parent. That's a far more comfortable place to be.