Monday, October 6, 2008

Hands Down, the biggest challenge yet...

Of the 3 1/2 years I have been a mom, these past few months have been the most difficult for me. Of course, motherhood is not all about what is easy and what is hard, and like most things in life it requires work, trial and error, and lots of love. The rewards occur daily, at minimum--and they are as simple as a Little Dude smile or a Baby Girl conversation.

When I was adapting to motherhood for the first time, I thought it was the hardest and yet most rewarding process I had ever experienced. Then, when our family expanded and I was adapting to being a mother to a newborn and a 14 month old, I thought it was even harder (yet of course, as rewarding as ever). Now, with a toddler and toddler-preschooler (2 and 3 year old), I think it is HANDS DOWN the biggest challenge for me yet. Two toddlers with two opinions, two agendas, two tantrums, two responding to each other, copying each other, competing with each other, bickering with each other, and learning from each other (and not always setting the best example for each other)... It is a minute by minute challenge, especially on a day when my patience and tolerance levels are low--then, it feels like a game of survival. All that stress is later reflected in my children's behavior.

Now, as you can see above, it is not really that negative. It just feels like it right now, at the end of a long day of meltdowns and pushing Mamma's buttons. So, tonight, as a little reminder of how rewarding motherhood really is, I am going to write a bit about my kids.

Rigel, my 3 year old, has the best imagination. We were walking on the beach today at Mission Bay, observing the animal tracks in the sand, when he referred to the dog foot prints as "ghost dog prints"--I assumed because there were no dogs in sight. Then he elaborated, "when it gets night time outside, the ghost doggy comes out, and then he puts fire out his mouth, to scare people away." Whoa. I know he got the ghost concept from Thomas the Train episodes, but the rest?

Rigel loves stories, and though he can hardly sit still otherwise, he will sit through a good, long story, especially at bedtime. He has memorized the Thomas the Train audio book called The Jet Engine, and he loves Bill Harley's narratives, particularly "The Great Sled Race." He also loves music, and will sing his repertoire of favorite songs over and over again.

Animals are a soft spot for Rigel. From lizards to baby chicks to kittens, he gets a silly little tender grin on his face when he gets his face up close to an animal and talks to it, as if it understands everything he says.

I love how Izzy is so free spirited, especially when she sings and dances. The other evening, on our walk home from a neighborhood restaurant, she found an outdoor stage on the landing of some stairs. She must have danced and sang and posed up there for 2 or 3 minutes before she realized her audience wasn't invisible. I don't necessarily feel it is about "being in the spotlight" that she enjoys, but the actual entertainment factor of singing and dancing. She'll sing to herself everywhere--the car, the bathtub... if she's bored, she'll sing (and sometimes dance, too).

Izzy is very "people observant," and though she doesn't understand everything she sees, she sure pays attention to physical and emotional expression--from a subtle frown to an affectionate hug (of which she always notices and of course makes herself a part). This attention to social detail is one of the reasons why I think she is so outwardly expressive.

Even though there has been a lot of Time Outs lately, I love Izzy and Rigel more than words can ever describe.

1 comment:

jora said...

I loved reading about what R and I are up to! Don't forget all of us moms have "those days"...for me it's been the last couple of weeks! ;)