The pull between my children is one of my biggest challenges and I have learned to accept that and try to give both of them the needs they desire from me. But it's hard, that we know. Lately though my beautiful children have both taken on new attributes, ones that are beyond challenging for me. I ask Him constantly to give me the strength and patience I need to get through each moment or each day and when the day is done and I've tucked myself into my cocoon of a bed I remind myself that tomorrow is a new day and today is done. Move forward and learn from the days lessons. I'm not perfect and most importantly...neither are my children.
Big J is very obviously a teenager, his picture is seriously right next to the definition in the dictionary! Life only revolves around him and his needs. I get this. I know this. I was once a teenager myself and I was the cause of a full head of grey hair for my parents. Sorry guys. I understand him in a way although I do not completely understand what he is feeling. You see, boys don't share. Not so much. If there is trouble in his face I have to pull out my archeological tools to very carefully scrape away the layers until the words spill out and usually there are only a handful of them to work with. And with those words I must piece together the story. Not always easy. Not always fun. First step...remove the earbuds. Second step...unhook the thumbs from phone. Third step...be prepared.
On top of exploring his adolescence, he is also exercising his ability to still be a child. While shopping the other day I was bombarded with begging and pleading of things he HAD. TO. HAVE. Now these things of "need" were far from needs but mere pleasurable desires to appease the ever present iPod or yet another flannel to add to the collection of, ummmmm nine!! To my shock I find myself repeating words I swore I'd NEVER say to my children...."save your money". Or I have to take him down a notch and remind him of our trip to China and bring him back down to reality but that tactic is not working as well anymore. How sad that those days are shoved into the back of his mind sometimes. The pressure of being an American teen is a very hard thing to witness for a mother and I know it's even harder for a teenager to deal with. I vow to be strong and vigilant regardless of how grey my hair gets...sorry bud!
Besides dealing with a fifteen year old who vacillates between adulthood and being an eight year old I also have a quickly approaching toddler on my hip who is determined to bypass the one and two year old phase and go directly to the wonderful world of threedom! Oh yes threedom! (the age of freedom usually exhibited in three year olds.) Our sweet little cricket has moved into a whole new world in the last few weeks and her speed is picking up quickly since she's now very aware of what buttons are pushable. There are new and exciting things happening in her world and she doesn't want anything getting in her way. I am the hurtle she is constantly trying to maneuver and she does not like it at all.
Walking is now pretty much happening consistently although not as fast as little miss would like it to take place. There is also a lot of falling down which is pretty darn maddening. One too many falls results in...carry me everywhere and drop me off at my command. Then we have the issue of total understanding of what is being said from mommy and daddy yet the inability of verbalize back what is on her mind. Hence the whining begins. And it doesn't end until that final bottle of the night is slowly sucked down and sleep prevails. Big J was not a whiner at all and if he was it was not until he was a least three, not a year and a half. Thankfully we do use a lot of sign language but when her mind his running she does not know enough to tell me that she does not want to wear that bow but wants the pink one with polka dots over there on the bookshelf!!! This " whining language" is completely new to me and oh my goodness! God has put me in my place. He has handed me something that puts me outta my mind!
Needless to say I am a basket of nerves by nights end, oh and a little exhausted! Between pouty baby faces (with no tears mind you) to the look of teenage sourness, I am in desperate need of a mommy timeout, heck I'll even take a day in which I can clean my house! Yes I just said that! A mommy timeout like that could seriously bring me joy right now. HA!
Funny thing...as I am sitting in a dark room with only the sound of the monitor around me I am thinking about today and I wouldn't change a thing about it or the day before or the day before that and I am not even thinking about the dirty floors. I may have tight shoulders right now and a slight headache but it's the ache of being a mother. It's the challenge. It's what I crave. It's what makes the glitter in my blood boil and the landscape in front of me rose colored.