[It's the Little Things] A Look.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Friday night we had some friends over to watch the Angels vs Royals game (don't ask how the game ended, we're still upset about it...or a certain someone is). The guys were sitting on the couch, Seth was outside BBQing, and I was sitting at the table with Mason, helping him eat dinner.

Everything was going fine, Mason was eating (mainly his apple sauce, which he has a current OBSESSION with) and dinner looked a little something like this :

this photo is from the other night, but it looked almost identical to this
(except he had hot dog and macaroni salad as his main dish)

He must have learned this at preschool because he never used to lift his apple sauce cup and drink it straight from the cup (he only eats pouches straight to his mouth). It is quite possibly the cutest and messiest thing ever. The only thing messier is when he actually uses his spoon.

Anyway, things were going fine until he decided that he was done - after eating his whole container of apple sauce, no macaroni salad, and one bite of hot dog. I explained that he wasn't done, that he had five more bites before he could get up, and all hell broke loose. He pushed his chair back and tried to unbuckle himself. I told him he wasn't finished and he needed to eat five more pieces of hot dog. I pulled in his chair. He pushed out his chair. I pulled in his chair.

I finally got fed up with waiting to eat my dinner, so I got up and made my plate, came back, sat down, and ate my dinner - all while he was still having a tantrum and not eating the five pieces I asked him to eat.

I tried to feed him and he spit it out. 
I put it on his fork and he knocked it on the floor.
I was not winning this argument.

I resorted to bribing. 
If you eat all five pieces of hot dog, you can have a cookie.
If you eat all five pieces of hot dog, you can have a cookie AND watch Mickey.

No luck.

I was done. I cleaned off his hands and picked him up and we went to have a short talk/time out in the corner. He was not having it. I tried to explain to him that he need to finish his dinner in order to grow up big and strong. That he can't just eat apple sauce for dinner every night. That's not enough. He didn't care. He was so worked up by then that I don't even think he was hearing the words coming out of my mouth (not that I really expected him to be understanding anyway since he is only two).

By now he was getting quite loud and I knew that the boys wanted to watch the baseball game so I took Mason upstairs. We rocked in his rocking chair and he seemed to calm down. I "shushed" him and cuddled him and put his head on my shoulder. He calmed down. I tried to talk to him again and explain that Daddy and I love him and just want him to grow up healthy and that he needs to eat more than apple sauce for dinner.

I thought I would let the boys watch their game in peace and I would give Mason a bath. I had the leftover glow sticks from his glow stick bath last week and I thought it would be fun to do it again.


photo from the first time. this time did not go quite so well...

And boy was I wrong. I opened the glow sticks and turned off the lights and he started crying again. I "broke" the glow sticks and made the "pretty lights" and handed them to Mason and he threw them in the tub ... and kept crying. I filled the tub with water and tried to play with the pretty lights but he wasn't having it. The tub filled, I took off his diaper, gave him the pretty lights and tried to get him in the water. Still crying. I actually put him in the tub and he reaches out for me. Still crying. I show him the pretty lights and explain we are going to take a bath and play and he starts crying even more. I tell him that it's ok, I'm right here, he doesn't have to be scared (now I think maybe he is afraid of the dark? but he doesn't cry when he goes to sleep at night...?). Still crying. Sniffling crying.

Then I feel horrible. He is not happy. I go to grab his towel to get him out of the bath and he starts crying even more. Like he thinks I abandoned him. (I'm literally RIGHT there, but just grabbing the towel from the hanging rack on the door and I'm blocked by a small wall for a second). I pick him up out of the tub, wrap him in the towel, and take him to his room.

I sit in his rocking chair and just hold him... rocking. I don't even bother putting a diaper on him. I don't even care if he pees on me. My main focus is him. And calming him down.

I'm already noticing something different besides the fact that he is calm. He HATES the hood on his hooded towel being on his head from more than us walking from the bathroom to his room. But I've just been sitting there, holding him, with the hood of the towel still on his head. He's starring right into my eyes. I'm starring into his eyes. I tell him I love him and I'm sorry. I kiss his forehead.

And I feel a tear run down my cheek.

For those of you who know me, know that I am not very emotional. I don't really cry easily. But Mason's changed me.

Right in that moment, we were at peace with each other. He starts to look at me a little funny since he can tell that I am crying. I hug him a little closer and he snuggles in more. I kiss his forehead again and tell him I love him. Another tear. I run my fingers over his cheek so gently and through his hair - all the while he is just starring in my eyes. I rock him. We snuggle. We stare in each others eyes.


It may not have been the best parenting. It may not have been how I should have handled the situation. It may not have been what Dr. I Wrote the Book on How to Parent Your Child would have told me to do, but it's what I did. I am learning. Every experience with Mason is new. The terrible two's are no joke. I know he is probably frustrated that he can't fully express what he needs to us yet.

But that look. That snuggle. That looking straight into my eyes with that loving look. 
That's all I needed.
And I knew right then that even though I am not perfect and I may not have handled the situation perfectly, I am the perfect mom for Mason.


********




Sadie Sky Boutique

12 comments:

  1. Aww, that ended sweet. Terrible two's are hard and we all do whatever we need to survive haha

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  2. I have had so many days and nights just like that. And I had the EXACT same experience when I tried a glow stick bath. The girls just were not at all okay with it. Glad that your night ended on a happy note, well all of it except the game ;),

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  3. Great story! Some days (and nights) can be so tough and you just want to pull your hair out, but at the end of everything, it's those cuddles that make everything so worthwhile. I'm glad it ended happily for both of you :) I have no doubt that you are a fabulous mommy, and it's those awesome mama instincts that allow us to do and be the very best parents for our little ones.

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  4. dude. my brother in law had a legit TWO HOUR STAND OFF with his 3 year old daughter because she refused to pick up the food she threw on the floor. two hours. i mean stand your ground yes, buuuut woah.

    and how crazy is it that they can frustrate you so so much but at the end of the day just a snuggle from them somehow makes it all forgotten. . . crazy tots.

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  5. Oh man, some times cam be so hard. Snuggles to make everything better.

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  6. Girlfriend, I give two shits less about what a book or dr. says I should do with our son. I'm in the "trenches" with him every. single. hour. of the day. So yeah, I'm form and try to push him to do more, eat more, use manners more but there is no way in Hell I'm going to push him to the point that he is uncomfortable or said or confused. You did exactly what Mason needed. You are a PERFECT mom. No questions asked.

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  7. I've said it before and I'll say it again I'm sure - what a lucky little boy to have you as his mama. Your love for him comes across so clearly.

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  8. isn't just crazy how one minute you can be in the trenches like that and the next in the sweet moments of parenting? I've always been emotional but not a crier but man parenting does crazy things to you! Love that you embraced the sweet moment at the end!

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  9. This age is so fun, and so trying. There isn't a day that goes by that I'm sure I've done something that may be seen by others as less than awesome parenting. But, each decision I make is the best one for me, for Marcus, for us.
    You're a great mommy, and Mason is so incredibly lucky to have such an amazing momma!

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  10. It's pretty awesome how even though this is our first time being mommies and we may not do everything right, we are still made just perfect for each other :) Most days I go to bed wishing I was a better mom, but I know that he loves me and I love him more than anything. Sometimes I get frustrated, but then I always realize that gosh it has to be hard being two. Really so many rules and they probably don't make sense. Myles gets the most upset when I won't let him do something because it's not safe. I am sure he just doesn't understand why and that is frustrating. But that hug and snuggle just shows that we only love them and want whats best! Loved reading this special moment you had!

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  11. In my experience food bribing never works. Must be a food thing. I hate when they get all worked up like that, goes from something small to a whole to do. And, hey even if you aren't doing it by 'the book' you always do your best in the moment. Too bad glow stick #2 was a big flop. So nice to have a sweet ending like that though. Eye contact really is sweet.

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  12. Twos are tough. So dang tough. You have to choose your battles for sure. We've all been there Mama!

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