Parker is 3 years old, and Connor is 1. They are two very special, very beautiful boys. Some cringe when they hear their ages and say “I remember that age”. Others smile and say “oh what a fun age!”. I very much believe in both of those sentiments and have found that some of this parenting stuff is really mind over matter. It’s also very much common sense, using your noggin’ and keeping one step ahead of them AT ALL TIMES!
Truly, this is a great age! One-year-olds explore everything, begin to test their boundaries in very benevolent ways, and laugh uncontrollably at everything. Three-year-olds also explore everything, continue to test their boundaries in more malevolent ways, and say hilarious and sometimes very perplexing things.
Parker has names confused with a number of other things that don’t make sense. For example, when asked what Traci and Neil’s unborn child’s name is, he says “Christmas” because that’s when the baby is expected to arrive. When you ask what his own name is, he’ll put 3 fingers up and tell you he’s 3. Connor has the most adorable way of tilting his head to see something that isn’t quite vertical, and most often falls over. They don’t know better at these ages, they are just off-the-cuff little midgets.
Of course, they are also sooo challenging at times, and try every last bit of patience I have. That’s the mind over matter. Here’s an example conversation that my mind and I had today:
Brain: Hey Christine, that kid of yours is being really irritating. Time to boil up inside and lose your patience… go ahead, blow your top.
Christine: Thanks Brain, I know he’s being irritating. But I’m going to take a deep breath, tune you out (and him) and not let him drive me crazy.
I’ve found that if I want to (<– key word WANT), I can use this method with a lot of things in life. Here’s another very good example conversation that my brain and I have had in the past:
Brain: Christine – it is really starting to hurt, so you should probably start screaming or cursing or at least ask the Doc for an epidural. Ready? Go!
Christine: Thanks Brain, but I’d like to counter with – women have been having babies for millions of years, it’s not that bad, and it will be over soon, so I’m just going to keep my eyes closed and sweat it out.
But, it’s not always so easy to overpower your mind, and often enough I blow my top, scream out loud and let my blood pressure rise so high I can feel my ears get hot. Sometimes I stop and think to myself about how embarrassed I would be if someone was in the room with me when I react poorly to my kids behavior. Sometimes I don’t know why I can handle it and why other times it can just feel like too much. Why do we have patience when other people are around and blow our top when they’re not?
It pays off to stay one step ahead of your kids. You know your kids better than anyone. Even if they are at school, or daycare, or with a nanny all day – you know your kids when they are at their best, their worst, and every where in between. So, you know what you can do to save them from meltdowns and tantrums. And of course not all the time, who’s kid is predictable 100% of the time. I know some kids that aren’t even predictable 50% of the time.
Parker (3) is getting to the age where it is starting to bother him when Casey and I argue in front of him. Today he told us both repeatedly to stop talking. I told him it was ok and that Daddy and I were just having an argument. It made me a little sad to see him feel our pain and anxiety with each other, but I know it’s normal and ok.
I will never forget the feeling I had when we found out I was pregnant with Connor. I looked at Parker and started to cry. I was so upset because I thought I had to take some of my love away from him and give it to a new baby. I couldn’t stand the thought. Soon enough I realized there was plenty where that came from, and he could keep my love. I’m no Indian Giver.
What a trip… what a trip…