Thursday, December 11, 2014

I love you and I like you

I mean, look at this guy. What a little gentleman.
P.S. I won this dress in a Shabby Apple Instagram giveaway, and it makes me feel like $1 million.  
Joony gets his bow ties from my friend Alex's shop The Splendid Bow and he always gets compliments on them (not sponsored, just a friend's awesome Etsy shop!).

I had a long day with Clark today.  He was bossy and grumpy and I felt impatient and frustrated that I couldn't keep him happy.  We were just out of sync, and I know we felt tired of one another's company.  I let him take one or two toys to bed every night--usually Hot Wheels, something that doesn't make noise--and tonight he had a plastic school bus (a "cool-buh").  When I set him in his bed, he immediately chucked it at my face.  I told him good night, and he asked so politely: "Mom...cool buh, please?"  I thought, okay, whatever, and handed it back to him...and he immediately threw it back in my face.  It had been such a long day and I felt so tired and defeated, I just snapped "Fine. I'm done with you.  Go to bed."  No singing, no back rubbing, no "Do you know your mom loves you?" like we usually do, I just walked out of his room.  The minute I came downstairs I sat on the couch, felt a wave of guilt, and started sobbing.  How evil am I?  He's two.  Of course he isn't logical, I'm supposed to be the logical one here...and I'm storming out of his room and crying.

Dave gently suggested I go on a drive, so I stopped at McDonalds for a Dr. Pepper and a cookie (because isn't that how all adults handle bad days?) before driving a wide loop through the farms surrounding our town and talking to my dad on the phone.  I felt like this driving cliche, a frizzy-haired braless mom pounding a Dr. Pepper and sniffling and being all I just need to get out of the house right-freaking-now.  I hated the feeling.

I just feel exhausted by this stage in Clark's life.  He is so cute and so fun (today he called blueberries "boobies" and I'm still laughing about it), but this personality that's emerging is independent and opinionated, too, and some days it's so hard for us to coexist.  I don't feel like there's a lot of advice for how to handle discipline in this specific age range--he's not quite old enough for "You lose this privilege now!" and obviously he's not a baby anymore.  I never know how to respond when people ask how Joony is doing.  "He's good.  He's hard, like really hard, and we fight a lot.  But he's so cute, and here's a funny thing he said the other day, and he's also so frustrating, you know?  I love him so much it makes me want to cry right now just talking about it."  How do I hold onto these amazing, sweet days where we get to spend all our time together without also exploding because we're spending all our time together?

Well, I wrote a similar post back in August, so I guess this is regularly scheduled programming around here.  In the comments, Kate linked to this article, which is really sweet and encouraging.  My favorite line: "Having rules and expectations doesn't squelch kids. Not liking them does. And if I hate being around them because they are totally untrained and insufferable then I might be tempted to just let them play video games all day and avoid their company.  That's why I discipline my kids the way I do, so that we love being around each other. Hopefully other people like being around them too."  I'm making a renewed effort to work on this in my house.
Including these outtakes from our family Christmas pictures because my hair is a windy mess and it was freezing cold, but Clark was still being such a cheeseball. I loved it.

11 comments:

  1. I loved reading this tonight!! I am also in the exact same stage/phase with Emma and I struggle daily, lots of laughs and some tears...... Call me anytime, we love u!!

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    1. I'm so excited to see you guys! Joony and Emma can be terrors together and we can sit back and sip our Dirty Dr. Peppers. Aaaaah.

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  2. I adore these pictures, the way you write, and this post in general. And if you ever want to talk boys and the tricky ages they go through, I'll pass you my sister's number. I think you two would have a lot in common, and she has two boys that she's doing an amazing job with. Just if you ever want someone to talk to. (Obviously it would be a group text bc you were my friend first and I must maintain claim. KIDDING. But not kidding about the group text part because FUN.) Love you friend. xo

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    1. YES to a group text. I need all the boy advice I can get! And thank you thank you thank you. You are the sweetest.

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  3. Ug. I hate feeling like a cliche. I wrote a journal entry once from the perspective of the girls that work at Sonic. "The black mini-van is back. A little later than usual, but that sad mom looks like she's been crying."
    Anyway, 2 was the hardest age for Georgia and I. 3 is still, well, 3 but it wasn't the nightmare "just you wait until she's 3" that everyone warned me about. It's much much better than 2.
    But yeah, Georgia called me "the worst mom" because I couldn't french braid her hair. I was so desperate to please her I took her to a neighbors house so THEY could do it, and when they weren't home, Georgia sobbed in the middle of the street and I felt like #1 Mom of The Year Forever

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    1. That could seriously be the girls who work at Soda Vine. I'm either in pajamas by myself at 9:00, or it's 4:00 and Joony is in the back seat shouting for a "shoo doodee" (sugar cookie). And you are SO not the worst mom ever. French braiding soft little girl hair? Impossible.

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  4. Oh B. I'm right there with you. In the MFing trenches. No one is more mean to me than Gemma. But no one can give me loves like Gemma either. Wonderfully written post my friend. There's nothing more frustrating than a spirited 2-year-old. Love ya!!!!

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    1. :x :x I love you, L! And Gem is the cutest. Soon they will grow out of it. When I think about Joon's newborn days, all I remember are snuggles and baby yawns--I know I didn't sleep and I cried a lot, but I don't REALLY remember those parts. I hope these toddler years are like that, just looking back and remembering the funny things they say and the cuddles and none of the tantrums.

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  5. I love your writing!!!!!! You freaking rock.

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  6. I love the color of that dress. It looks great on you!

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  7. I love this post - so honest, and SO TRUE.

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I think you're smart, pretty, & entitled to your own opinion.

I'd love it if the feeling was mutual!