Monday, April 16, 2012

23 Months & Still Learning to Parent with Joy

IMG_1002So I am super late doing this post, but every month since Nate was born I have done a monthly post!! We are just ONE month (well half a month now!) from him turning 2!! And I just hated NOT posting this month!

I'm going with the phrase "better late than never"!

New Tricks
  • Steering the Gator and will stop and move it if he feels like he is going to bump into something unless it's a person, then see below in the New Verbage
  • Watches everything and tries to copy (see Momma's thoughts)
  • No more paci!!! We couldn't find his paci as we left the grandparents' house at Easter. So we quit "cold turkey". At home after 2 days he found another paci, but Momma hid it away when he lost interest after an hour and he's been paci-free for almost a week(minus Sunday when he found it again...LOL)!! It really was too easy... he asked but it was a nice excuse to snuggle;) All 4 kids have had their pacis "taken" by 24 months !! And it's been easy each time. Of course we've had good excuses too... like "lost at Grandmas".
  • Can put away silverware... matching the forks, spoons and butter knives
  • IMG_1125

New Verbage
  • MOVE! yes, my sweet little man tells us to "moov" when he needs to get by
  • Go! he's been repeating that one from a reading lesson
  • baby talk phrases  that sound like "I did it!" or "there you go!"
  • He's got a few more animal noises down... like the "peeps" of chicks, cow's moo and he tries to do a horse's neigh (momma has a hard time with that one, too)
  • He says "hi"... sometimes it means high up on something, other times it means hide:) He usually says "hewwwo" when he means to say hello.
  • He's a chatter box... too bad we still don't understand most of it, yet!! I bet it's super exciting and very silly:)

Bad Habits
  • I don't like calling his perseverance and problem solving "bad habits" but it sure gets him into plenty of trouble and messes! With maturity, these will be great traits... right now they add chaos :)
  • His perseverance often leads to loud calls or cries when he doesn't get what he wants.... yikes, we are working with him "using words" and learning to wait patiently. We try not to give into crying, fussing or yelling for items. It's a lot of correcting and waiting for "nice" requests"! We also realize he is little and this will be something we will have to work on for a while;)
  • Prefers Momma to take care of him when she is around. Especially bathing and putting him to bed
  • Escapes from bed often, unless Momma sit in bed with him and reads to him, aloud to the kids or her own book.
  • Everything thing is "mine!"....  fussing over other sibling's toys/drinks

Momma's Thoughts
We are thick in the consistent discipline and the correcting stage. I had forgotten how time consuming and emotionally draining it can be to have a little one who is in the toddler "me" mindset. Between demanding that everything the other kids (or anyone) has is "mine" or finding creative ways to get stuff he wants, Nate keeps us on our toes!!!

This stage could be one to complain about, but instead (knowing he is a gift) I appreciate having a beautiful, active, loud and usually sweet youngest boy. And I know that stages come and go and these challenging toddler days past by very fast (although it doesn't seem like it during the hard moments).

I"m also thankful for the journey I have been in to parent with grace and joy...

 To enjoy the kids at every stage, every day...  not because it's easy, or they are perfect children or because we are on vacation or Daddy's been home with us (and I have had help or "time to myself").

But because I am their MOM. I have been given this special role to love, train, teach and take care of  these sweet children! Through each season, sickness or tantrum... and I am challenged daily to "mother with grace". Treating them with grace and love like I have been shown by our Heavenly Father.

So as Nate attempts to take another toy(or pencil) from a sibling's hand or refuses to stay in his bed for a nap.... I get to choose to respond gently, kindly, and firmly with grace.

It makes all the difference in my family and parenting when in the middle of a "situation" that my goal isn't that the child needs to obey the first time (although we want them to) or that I feel like my house is crazy (because it probably is)... but the priority is my heart!! And then their little hearts:)

I kind of have a funny story how this looked like the other day...

 We were attempting to get through some home schooling work. I had Chris and Anna at our constantly-wobbly toddler table in the kitchen working on their timed fact sheets... they were being timed using the oven timer... a classic home schooling moment!!

And Nate comes into the kitchen, attempts to take one of their chairs, instead finds the stool, opens a cabinet drawer and goes digging through the drawer looking for something. I'm working with Lydia on an assignment in the dining room and I hear screams from the older two...

Nate is trying to poke them with an adult pair of scissors he got out of the drawer. I go running into the kitchen and scoop up Nate with the scissors so the oldest could finish (I mean really, who knew ONE minute could be soo exciting?). As the timer goes off, I am ready to "fuss"... an almost 2 yr with scissors... in the middle of a timed fact sheet that they really weren't excited about doing anyway... he knows better, right!?!

So instead of "loosing it", I send the older two back to the dining room table to finish the problems they didn't complete and I tell Nate gently( but firmly) that scissors have to stay in the drawer and are for Mommy and Daddy. He fusses at me for putting them away and then starts adamantly pointing to the screws on the corners of the toddler table.

The table is wobbly, the screws are loose and Daddy tightens them with the scissors!! He was trying to help :/

It was then I was thankful for the decision to speak kindly and calmly. The challenge NOT to "loose it" and the grace to not freak out on my kids when they look like they are doing wrong. I am learning these things and want to be willing to listen to them and try to understand them (and their hearts) more and more!!

Because these crazy, chaotic days are going quickly! And it's my choice to embrace (and attempt to enjoy) the chaos or fight it and be grumpy! So that is my heart right now... I'm learning. It's a journey, I pray for patience and wisdom daily and I am blessed to have sweet children who are ready to forgive and that give me plenty of opportunities to practice;) LOL!!

And now when I find this on the counter (done while I attempted to get cleaned up a bit for church)...

I can smile and really appreciate the reason... he is trying to help! I can thank him and we can clean up the "extras" together;)

Submitting the 1st picture to


grandma said...

What a doll! He really is creative and ready to help in what needs to be done (especially according to what he thinks needs to be done---like put jelly beans in eggs!) Such a joy to watch him and the others grow and mature.

Suanna said...

I love it when my kids try to help. I just have to remember to keep myself out of the equation and enjoy their effort, too.

Jenny said...

What a sweetheart trying to help. I know that I would have freaked out about the scissors. I'm proud of you for teaching him gently and finding he was just helping.

He is just a doll!

Krystyn @ Really, Are You Serious? said...

What a sweet boy...there is something about that almost 2 age, isn't there?