I'm just wondering...
These parents that I see everywhere, who just effortlessly know how to make their children happy, who know when to play with them and when to let them go off on their own, who can redirect a child who is focused on something without any eliciting any whining or yelling, who always know the right thing to say to turn a bad mood into giggles...what's up? What's your secret?
I remember before having kids I used to look around and see a lot of sucky parents. You know the ones, who yell at their kids for breathing too loudly and whose idea of "redirection" is yanking little arms out of their sockets. I had all kinds of sage advice for them (that I would keep to myself, of course, for fear of similar abuse) and all kinds of ideas about how I would raise my kids.
But now that I am a parent, I look around and see the opposite. Everyone is calm and happy and getting along like best friends. It's nice. But it makes me feel completely incompetent when E starts pushing those buttons and I've got nothing. Sometimes I find myself just sitting there, looking at her, because I have no idea what to do to diffuse the situation. It's not a good feeling. And sometimes, when she's really pushing the boundaries, even though I know that a smile or a song might turn things around, I just don't have it in me. Could I really be that selfish? Yikes.
I guess it's possible that I'm just seeing what I'm looking for. I'm looking for people who are doing it right, hoping to stand close enough to them that some of that "born to parent" dust will get sprinkled onto me. I'm hoping that one morning I'll wake up and all of the energy and motivation I had around here somewhere once will be restored, and I won't start every day feeling like a zombie. I know. Less chocolate, more vegetables. E and I have a lot of fun together, but I feel like too much of my time is spent stressing out about scheduling and forming bad habits and doing too much or not enough.
I'm lucky. I have a very wonderful daughter who is not a problem child in any sense of the word. But she is 2, she is very intelligent, and she is not afraid to voice her very strong opinions. And I suppose you would be hard pressed to find the parent of a 2 year old who is feeling pretty good about themselves 100% of the time.
If you're having trouble following my choppy thought process through this post...welcome to my world. These days I'm a lot tired, a little emotional, and fairly disjointed at the best of times. Maybe it's the rain. On the upside, I haven't changed a poopy diaper in over a week. And that's a pretty big upside.