...is a humbling experience lately. Coren is right at the age where he now understands what Mom does and does not want him to do; and the age where he's discovering he can either do or not do what Mom wants him to do. A tricky age.
A few examples from this last week:
The minute I tell him not to run out into the street, into the street he runs as fast as he can go (which is surprisingly fast these days... not to mention I've gotten significantly slower). And he usually runs straight into the path of an oncoming car. Of course.
I ask him to come over so I can change his diaper, and he climbs onto the couch, giggling, and crawls to the other end, because he knows I'm too tired to get off my rear end and get him. This one is actually not bad--more of a game for both of us than serious defiance.
Today, my favorite--after I told him about 13 times to leave the paint alone (sending him out of the room nearly half of those 13 times), he drops a nightlight into the paint, then onto the carpet. Now his carpet is pink. Fabulous. That one nearly sent me over the edge.
But this really is not a surprising development. When kids are discovering their agency, it's only natural to experiment with it, right? Test limits (or parents, at least) and see what happens. This I have been expecting. What I wasn't expecting is how directly his little moments of free will show me my parenting flaws. I have had to apologize to my little 18 month-old more often this last week than in the entire 17 previous months of his life. A humbling experience. And at the same time, one I am grateful to be passing through (though it's not easy or fun necessarily)--first, because my son is so forgiving. And second, because I am learning that even parents should never be above admitting our faults (which are many...in my case, anyway). And I can see exactly which areas of my personality need some scrutinizing and improving. Good to know.
And on the flipside of the parenting coin, this week has also given me a treasure trove of tender moments with my same sassy son... Isn't it nice to have the bitter and the sweet? Opposition in all things really is a perfect idea.
Some favorite examples of these tender moments:
Coren running around the house, calling out "Honey!", as he tries to find Daddy.
Any time he hits his head or smashes a finger, he immediately comes to me to kiss it better--and he makes me kiss it over and over until I get the exact spot that was hurt. Where do they learn things like that, that Mommy's kisses make crashes better? I don't think we teach them that, do we? I don't remember teaching it.
His newfound love of running--he has to do at least a dozen laps across the upstairs every night before bedtime. As a perk, it also helps wear him out right before bed. Yeah! And it's always a joy to watch his loud, lumbering run--absolutely no grace whatsoever. Maybe he'll find some later on.
His super excitement whenever we start to sing Popcorn Popping or Itsy Bitsy Spider. He can't wait to go through all the hand motions, and every single one is seriously intense! So great.
Isn't parenting a ride? One minute they're cracking us up, and the next we are restraining ourselves from putting them up for adoption on Craigslist. What a ride! And I must be enjoying it, because I'm near the front of the line for ride #2... just a few more weeks!