Life Can Be So Sweet…

It hasn’t been the easiest of stretches, these past six months.  Factors both inside and outside of my control have conspired to put me in one of those forests-versus-trees mindsets: you know the kind, where the daily details can start to overwhelm, and you lose perspective.  When difficulty finding a parking space drives you to tears, something is out of whack.  (Or maybe you’re pregnant.  Or a little of both.)  Call it mental spring (summer?) cleaning, but I am resolved to turn this trend around and, as luck would have it, a few changes are afoot which are helping me along.

1) I am going back to part-time work in a matter of weeks.  Yahoo!  Time to myself, time with my kids, less rushing…Heaven.

2) I finally spoke to a sleep consultant about Babyman’s big-boy bed struggles.  One part therapy, two parts good sound advice, our phone meeting has equipped my husband and me with some actual tools for helping Babyman learn to stay in bed.  And they’re WORKING.  Sanity returns to our household.

3) The sun is out!  The 2011 “Winter that Ate Spring” made a grab at Summer as well, but starting last Friday the temperature in downtown San Francisco actually broke 60 degrees, which has been amazing.

4) With the bedtime issues resolved (for now), our spirits lifted, and our summer vacation just a week away, my husband and I summoned the emotional strength for one final hurdle before our second child arrives: Potty Training.  One exhausting week later, we are moving in the direction of success.

A big take-away from this whole experience (i.e., parenting a toddler) is that the so-called “terrible twos” might, in fact, be the manifestation of a child’s natural shock and horror at the intense behavior modification that occurs between ages two and three.  In the span of a year, these poor little guys and gals go from being our babies, where all manner of unpleasant behaviors are excused and coddled, to being our kids…and suddenly we expect so much of them.

On the first morning of potty training, as we cleaned up his second “accident” together, Babyman looked at me very seriously and said “Mommy, you better put my diaper back on so I can play!”  It was a totally logical statement, and I’m sure he thought I’d gone bonkers when I explained that the diapers were gone and that this — the mess, the stopping every hour to use the potty, the waterproof pads on the furniture — was the new reality.  (Don’t think for a minute we didn’t empathize with him, too.  As my husband and I took turns leaving the house for some pee-free air, seeing the beautiful people of San Francisco enjoying drinks al fresco on the summer solstice, I imagine we both asked ourselves where we’d gone wrong.)

The exchange made me realize that for every time I’ve looked at my child and thought “He’s wonderful, but he’s making me crazy,” he’s probably had the exact same feelings about me.  (And let’s be honest: I probably totally deserve it!)

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