Monday, October 12, 2009

this is what happens when you aren't paying attention...

yep, i dressed luke in eli's pants. he didn't seem to mind.


Eli is two-and-a-half. It's an interesting age. Each day brings a new set of battles, and I am constantly learning how to win them. And how to lose them graciously. A few months ago, I thought I was going to lose my mind. My sweet, easy-tempered little boy was replaced almost overnight by a screaming, fit-throwing, impossibly stubborn demon child. I was mortified, exhausted and extremely humbled. I felt helpless and hopeless.

So I went to the source of all help and hope. I started getting on my knees every morning and asking God for wisdom, patience, and strength. When I was about to lose my temper, I would pray out loud for God to put a guard over my mouth. I cried out to the Lord - literally - and begged for more wisdom, more wisdom, more wisdom. Of course, He poured it out. "If any of you need wisdom, you should ask God, and it will be given to you. God is generous and won't correct you for asking (James 1:5)." Suddenly it seemed that everywhere I turned I found wisdom - good, Godly, practical advice.

Now when Eli starts to throw a fit or have a meltdown over something, I feel like I have many more "tools in my toolbox" with which I can respond. He still goes to time out - often - and I still spank - less often - but I find myself able to respond less out of anger and frustration, and with much greater thoughtfulness and patience. I also started praying over Eli more - sometimes, even in the middle of a meltdown, scooping him up and just praying out loud for God to calm his spirit - and I really believe that it's made a difference. He is having fewer behavior issues and the tension between us is so much less. This isn't to say that our days are problem-free. Or that the next challenging phase isn't right around the corner. But I'm thankful for good days right now.

Eli is quickly changing from a toddler to a preschooler (insert giant sob here). Cognitively, he's right on the cusp of understanding so much. I can see the wheels turning constantly, and it's hard to be patient and allow him to figure some things out for himself. I watch him make mistakes and get frustrated and have accidents and I think that he's just never going to get it. And then, he gets it. He figures out how to carry the bowl so that his snack doesn't spill. He figures out how to get Mickey in and out of the Mickey car by himself. It's amazing. When I was teaching, it was always so thrilling to witness the Aha! moments in my students - the moments when something clicked and the light bulb came on. It is a hundred times more rewarding to see them in my own child, especially when I am with him all day, every day, and I witness many, many "What the crap is wrong with my child?" moments.

The best part of this age (aside from all of the hugs and "I fuv you too, Mommy"s) is all of the funny things he says now. The other day I went to get him up from his nap. He was standing with his back turned to me, and I startled him when I walked in. He jumped, then turned around with his hand on his chest and exclaimed, "Oh! I scared you!" The same day, I went through the Starbucks drive-through and Eli was whining for his "Eli coffee?" I told him that he couldn't have any coffee, but that I would give him a special treat - and then handed him a nickel from my change. "This is a nickel," I said. "A pee-cole?" he replied in an awed voice. Then, after a beat: "A pee-cole, Mom? This is NOT a treat."

Oh yeah, and Lucas is six months old and growing at the speed of light and Mommy cannot handle how fast it's going this time and is having massive daily meltdowns over it. So, we'll save him for another day.