The Things About Kids

I’ve come to realize, I never really put my daughter’s name in my post. I mean, if you click on the “Who I Am” link, you’ll see her name and my son’s name, even though he hasn’t made his grand arrival yet! He’s being shy, until December! Anyway, in light of making being changes with my writing, I’m realizing that my writing flows better when I’m more personable. So from here on out, instead of saying “my daughter,” I will say “Savannah” because that’s her name.

So, to move on from that intro of a tangent, Savannah keeps life very interesting for me and my husband.  We’re both firstborns and we never gave our parents that much grief. We saved that for our teenage years. However, both of us have younger brothers, who were the wild childs. We really thought Savannah would take after us as firstborns, but she took after her uncles! So, we’re really hoping our second born, Austin, will take after us in being more laid back. I have more gray hairs at 30 than I thought I ever would. I’ve also had many heart attacks as well. My sole objectives as a mother with my daughter was to love on her every day, introduce her to Jesus early on in life, and show her that anything is possible. I figured she’d be the walk in the park child. I was so wrong! Now granted, she gets more kisses and hugs than she knows what to do with, she’s been to church enough to know she’s going to get Goldfish crackers and toys to play with, and she’s pretty headstrong on doing what she wants. So I’m succeeding in my objectives, just not the way I thought I would.

The thing about kids is they show you a lot about yourself. I’ve learned where I need to be patient. I’ve learned where I need to be more sterned. I’ve learned that sometimes being the fun cool mom in the moment is better than being the tyrant dictator who demands the sippy cup be picked up off the floor. I don’t have a bad daughter. Savannah is wonderful and amazing and she’s the motivation that keeps me going every single day. But when she yells “Help” while I’m walking out of Wal-Mart with her (and people are looking) and flips herself off the couch and shoves more food in her mouth while she’s already choking, I wonder if she’s trying to shave years off my life. The she quickly answers the question with “No” when she decides to give me a kiss out of the blue, or a hug, or my absolute favorite, cuddle time! She’s a precious little menace or an adorable little savage depending on the day. Either way, she knows how to pull on my heartstrings.

Savannah keeps me young. She reminds me to live life and to stop taking everything so seriously. She reminds me to dream and use my imagination. She helps me see the familiar with fresh eyes. She reminds me there is a God and He’s a very good and awesome God. She makes me want to become better because I want to live and lead by example. Having kids is a rollercoaster of emotions and experiences. Some days feel like they will never end and some days go by too quickly. But whether she’s trying to give me a heart attack or a very sticky kiss, I enjoy it all. One day, she won’t be this sweet two-year-old asking for chips and cookies for breakfast. She’ll be leaving for college.

“The days are long, but the years are short.” I’ve heard that many times and I believe it. So, I’ll take each day in stride. I’m pretty sure everything Savannah didn’t do in her first two years, Austin will. One adventure is going to follow another. That’s just the thing about kids. There will be different personalities and different experiences. But it will be one home full of love, happiness, and zero dull moments!

 

New Leafs in Motherhood

There is an ever growing love in being a mother. Some days are good and then some days are better, but there is never, ever a dull moment with my daughter. I’m sure once my son arrives, the dull moments will become phenomenally less. But each day I definitely learn something more about myself and at present, about my daughter.

I’ve recently decided that knee-jerk reactions aren’t the way to go with my daughter. One reason is she thinks it’s funny and imitates it before repeating the very thing she got in trouble for. The second reason is because the more I observe some of her behavior, the more I realize some of the things she does, she got from me or her father. So is it really fair to get upset with her for doing something that she’s seen us do?

Another baby step on the road of motherhood. Some of the things my daughter does, she learned from her parents. That’s just a reality. And if I don’t want her doing something, I need to make sure I’m not doing it myself. Whether she’s watching me or not, I need to make sure I’m setting a positive example for her. I don’t want her to be the kind of child that has a knee-jerk reaction to things, so I’m working on getting better about my knee-jerk reactions. I’ve definitely got an uphill climb ahead of me.

 

Mother of Imperfection

Oh, if there is one thing motherhood has taught me very quickly is that failure is inevitable! And in learning that failure is inevitable, it’s freed me up to learn as I go and it’s teaching my daughter, that yes, sometimes her mother sucks, but her mother loves her very much! I honestly don’t know why the thought of  “getting it right” ever went through my head. Now, I’m obviously not going to fail in the department of my child’s well-being, but sometimes I’ll forget to let her food cool off a little longer before giving it to her. Apparently, when she was a crawler, I dropped her once not realizing it while I putting her down, but that’s according to my husband, and she showed no indication of having been dropped, so the jury is still out on that one.

Failing has also taught me to roll with the punches. Learn from the mistakes and don’t make them again. How I respond to those mistakes is what makes me stronger and draws me closer to my daughter. Once I accidentally made her bath water too hot and I beat myself up over it for hours. I was distraught enough that my husband had to run the bath again because I didn’t trust myself. I’m passed that fear now, but my daughter never got mad at me. She wasn’t looking at me like, “You savage, you tried to burn me with the water.” No, she splished and splashed in the bathtub, fought us while we dried her off and got her dressed, cuddled with us during storytime, and kissed us good night before bed. Where I saw myself as a failure, my daughter just still saw the mommy she loved very much. So, I don’t beat myself up over the mishaps. I make sure they don’t happen again, I remember my child loves me, and remember that I’m not a terrible person.

I have no intentions of screwing my children up to the point they cannot be functioning adults. I have to remember that’s not what’s happen when I fall short of my expectations. My daughter knows she’s loved and taken care of and she’s one of the happiest babies I’ve encountered in my life, so I thank God for that! And when my son gets here in December, he’ll learn along the way just how much he’s loved and taken care even though his mother is going to make a whole new set of mistakes with him.

I’m not a perfect person. Only perfect person I know of is Jesus Christ. I will not get everything in this life right, I’m not supposed to. And I’m thankful I’ve learned this two years into being a mother because it frees me up to remember I’m still loved even when I make mistakes!

 

Days of Discovery

Right now we live with my in-laws. And they live outside the city limits so naturally they’re in the “country”! And while it’s nice to live in a quiet area, the drive is murder getting to basically anywhere. But still it’s quiet and far removed from the pollution of street lamps and lights from buildings at night, so something like stargazing is possible! My daughter has that chance to see the stars at night and the moon, which she loves more than an outdoor Christmas tree. And she gets to see different kinds of birds, and hear frogs, and watch the airplanes from a nearby municipal airport. She can run down the street and inspect the asphalt as she goes. She can examine the dandelion we pick for her when we take her on stroller rides. She gets to see tractors and stacks of hay and cotton field and cows grazing in pastures. And her little eyes take it all in.

My husband and I want our daughter to feel a part of the world around her. So we take her outside when it snows so she can feel the snow. We do the same thing when it rains or when it’s windy. And we have to make conscious efforts to do this because we naturally find it easier to stay inside even though we have no reason to. Every day is a new adventure for her, which means every day is a new adventure for us. And it’s our responsibility to keep finding things for her to discover and enjoy! She’s a happy baby and we plan to keep it that way!