Monday, December 6, 2010

Charles Dickens once said...

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness"
Well that is the best way I can describe our trek into the terrible two's with two under two.
Some days are wonderful and I thank god for my blessings and cry as I look at my beautiful children, and other days I cry when I look at my beautiful children and wonder what the hell have we gotten ourselves into.

Most days I survive, they are a flurry of diaper changes, bottle feeding, snacks of goldfish which are then mashed into the carpet, snacks of animal crackers fed to the dog, bananas mushed into the sofa, whilst trying to change Jax, and attempting to keep Abby's clothes on because she is lightning fast when it comes time to take them off, which is whenever she deems necessary.  They are days of beauty, wonderment, and amazement that we created these two beautiful people, they are days of trials, and sheer exhaustion, when one is sleeping the other one is getting up, when one is eating the other one is screaming, when one is crying the other one wants to be played with.  I have never felt so divided yet whole in my entire life and still I feel overwhelmed and at times nostalgic of days gone past.  Days when my husband and I could enjoy a quiet meal, days when we could have a conversation that did not happen over a crying baby/child, days when we could come and go as we pleased and stay up till all hours on Friday night because we had nowhere to be on Saturday.  Days when that last $10 could go to a cheap bottle of wine and a movie, instead of Diapers.

But when I think of those days, as happy as we thought we were, they will never compare to waking up at the crack of dawn to a toothy grin, and warm snuggles, to seeing my babies first step, or their first smile.  To seeing when they find their feet for the first time, or realize that they have self made Binky's on their hands and are quite happy with those. 

Motherhood takes me to the brink most days, the brink of happiness, the brink of exhaustion, the brink of tears, the brink of frustration, of pure joy and of never ending love.  While there are times when I feel like I can't put Abby back in her bed for the 37th time, or when I can't rock Jax anymore because my back is aching and my ears are ringing from the screaming, I go on, I go on because when I've sung the baby tree song till my voice is hoarse or I have finished lap 200 around the living room with my poor colicky boy, I look down at their sweet, little faces an realize that I will miss this.  That someday not to far from now I will watch my daughter walk down the aisle, that I will watch my son, hold his first born, and I will remember how small they once were and how long some of these nights were, hell how long some of these days are, and I will miss them.

The terrible two's have started in our house, They are a practice in will, and defiance, and rule breaking and creation of boundaries.  We have gone from having a perfect sleeping through the night child to one who wants to play at 5am, from having a child who understands the meaning of no! to one who understands it but doesn't care and will do what she wants anyway.  Meals are usually a battle of wits, and eaten on the run most days, and diaper changes, well I never quite knew the herculean strength that a toddler could have.

I think the two's test us more than they do the kids, it is a test of control for me, especially after the 30th time of taking Abby off of a chair and from climbing onto the table and then the breakfast bar, when truth be told all I want to do is lock her in the dog's house so I can have some peace for 5 minutes, but instead have to tell her in my most calm mommy voice that tables are for eating and not climbing.  That Dudley is not a horse, and that it is not OK to throw your sippy at mommy when you want more milk.  That Jax is a baby so if we sit on him he gets hurt, and yes baby I know the bouncer used to be yours but big girls don't sit in bouncers, or swings, or bumbos, or infant seats and as fun as it may look you will break them. 

It is a true test of patience as well, of finding new ways to say no, especially when they start yelling it back at you...with a huge smile on their face while running the other way to do just what you told them not to.  Patience to sit in the bathroom when they ask to go potty but really just want to sit there and then flush because it is fun for them, patience to deal with a screaming infant who was just sleeping but because his sister beaned him with her snack cup he is now awake and screaming.

Organized chaos is the best way I can describe most days, and while it is frustrating, and challenging, and some of the hardest work I have ever done, I know that everything I do is shaping these people that Donnie and I created, every hug I give after a time out is helping Abby and one day Jax to understand that while what they did was wrong it doesn't mean that Mommy and Daddy don't love them, and while we are disappointed in the choices they made we will never be disappointed in who they are. 

I truly think the terrible two's lay a foundation for the rest of your parenting, and the approach you will take to it.  So while some days I want to run and hide, or head off to a far away place free from toy land mines, dirty diapers, and baby puke, I stop and remind myself, that we are in the business of teaching and growing human beings.  Growing them into successful, well mannered, and happy adults, and while most days I survive, most days I also feel truly blessed, blessed that I get the opportunity to raise my children and teach them and grow them, and watch them change.  So I think Charles Dickens had it right, it is the best and worst of times all rolled into one.

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