Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Sun Will Come out Tomorrow

Do you remember all those posts I wrote about our beautiful little ray of sunshine?  The happy baby with the smile that could light up a room?  The little bald-headed, blue eyed, tot who cooed and giggled at the simplest things?  She was content and easy going, never fussing too much or demanding too much attention.  She loved playing on the floor, sitting among her boxes of toys, and crawling around to new destinations.  She seemed to make Spahnville easy even when things were hard.  Her tears were few and far between and she seemed to know when we needed that gap-toothed smile to snap any of us out of a fleeting funky mood.

And now, the tides have turned.

Our sweet beautiful ray of sunshine is on holiday. She's been replaced with a full-fledged toddler who has definite ideas about the way things should be.  She's feisty and opinionated and unfortunately, does not have many words to her vocabulary....which results in her go to phrase, "Eh! Eh!" while pointing at what she desperately wants  needs at that exact moment.  She cracks me up because her big brother never once had a typical toddler tantrum-- with the full blown head-thrown-back, body turns into a noodle, and the only sounds emitted are the silent screams of what looks like a desperate emergency.  Sometimes, this one will actually lie face down on the floor and just sob.  Nine out of ten times, these tantrums are related to being told "no" when asking ("Eh! Eh! Eh!) for another snack from the pantry.  (Charlie just stood there and wailed.  Still does, actually.)

But as rough as these moments can be, I feel like they are fleeting.  This time around, I know that this stage will not last forever (although when Charlie still has an hour long meltdown at the age of 'almost six', I start to wonder...) and I try to take it with a grain of salt.  I find myself laughing or chuckling or cooing at her when these tantrums take place--and I feel like a grandmother fondly looking at her grandchild throwing a tantrum over not being able to suck on the Windex bottle.  This time around, I feel like I'm savoring more than just my moments alone.  Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy those alone moments immensely, it's just that now I find myself being a little more accepting of these trying times--knowing we signed up for them and that it really won't be like this for long.

Like everything, there is yang to this yin stage.  It's hard and whiny and tiring and unpredictable.  But it's cute and funny and surprising and noteworthy.  There is nothing better than watching this little person turn into a little person right before your eyes.  She has her own preferences, she has her own ideas, she is uniquely herself-- despite who we guessed she was going to be.  And now, though times can be rough, we never tire of hearing a new word or watching a new talent (like climbing everything or showing off a new dance move).  We all get excited when she masters new skills (like eating with a spoon or traversing the steps without tumbling down) or surprises us with a new trick (like saying, "Iine.....uhnnnna......eht!"  which translates to "I'm.....gonna...get you!")

Back when I was a Psychology major at UNI, I remember learning that the majority of parenting experiences are actually yin-- they are negative and dark. But, our brains are wired to hang on to the memories of the yang--the positive and light.  Because, of course, we need to reproduce!!  But really, we need both of these to experience parenting (and life).  The easy days would not feel so easy if we weren't exposed to the whiny and tiring and hard.  And when I'm old and grey, I'll read this blog post and swear that I was on crack when I wrote it because my children were nothing but beautiful, well behaved, smiling, adorable, miniature people at all times.  

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