The Roller Coaster

by Ginger on January 23, 2013

in Mom Thoughts, The Kid

Oh buddy,

Things have been rough lately. I get the feeling we’re headed for the 3.5 horror show that so many have warned me of, and if recent events are any indication, it’s going to be a roller coaster for us all.

One minute, you are the sweetest boy imaginable. You say, “I love you Mommy” unprompted. You want hugs and kisses, and more hugs and kisses. You laugh this little laugh when we do something that amuses you and say, “That’s so silly” in this adorable little voice. You get worried when we look sad or upset, or when you see other kids sad or upset. The other day, we slid down the stairs a little–me more than you as I was able to keep you from most of the fall– and as I sat there trying to figure out if I was ok, you kept asking, “are you ok mommy, are you ok, are you ok mommy?” When you burst into tears, I knew it was because you were afraid I was hurt, and while it broke my heart to see you cry over me, it also makes me oddly proud to know that you feel that kind of empathy. Those kinds of minutes kid? Those are the best.

The next minute though? The next minute you are screaming over who-knows-what-indignity. Usually something like we dared to ask you to eat your dinner, or put on your shoes, or stop hitting yourself. You can bust out a “FINE” like a surly 16 year old (where on EARTH did you learn that? I am not a fan). You like to say, “I’m not going to listen to you” while you go off to another area, cross your arms, and pout. Kid, you boggle the mind with how quickly you can change from smiles to screams. You are testing every limit, pushing every boundary, crossing every line you can find. And the hardest part is that doing the right thing as your parents means that we all have to endure the fallout that comes when we push back on your testing.

The fallout isn’t just your reaction of course, it’s ours too. We don’t always react like our best selves, when you have fought us on every.little.thing. You are a smart little man, and a willful one, so it is often a battle of the wills.  It’s hard to see you struggle, it’s hard to be the bad guy, it’s hard to be the grown up sometimes. But because we love you, we do what we know we have to to help you learn where those boundaries are, where the limits are, what the rules are. Hopefully someday it will sink in.

But one thing is certain bud, we will always love you. And our love is not conditional on you eating your dinner or not throwing your toys or whatever else is the struggle of the moment. We don’t withhold our love, our hugs, our kisses from you. Even when we’re upset, that love is constant. You may lose every other “privilege” but we’ll always put you to bed, and give you a hug, and tell you we love you. (We may need a few minutes to calm down first, but cmon, we are human!)

Life with you is a constant roller coaster kiddo. I never know where we’re headed, so we just hold on tight and hope we navigate the ups and downs and twists and turns as best we can. And even though there are wild days and rough moments, it’s still the best ride in the world.

shasta January 23, 2013 at 12:27 pm

Ah, the sassy voice. So much fun. We’ve taken to calling Mittens out on it and explaining why it’s not cool. If she says something like “Don’t ever touch my princesses!” we tell her that she’s using a mean voice, and that it’s not OK to use a mean voice with people. I think a lot of the sassy voice is that kids don’t get the nuanced differences between phrases. When we point them out, she seems to get it. The sign-eyeroll-“fine.” thing though – I never know how to respond to that except to ignore it.

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks January 23, 2013 at 2:50 pm

I’ve heard the terrible twos don’t end when kids turn three, so I’m looking forward to four when our manic lovable monster will come into his own. =)

Ginger January 30, 2013 at 2:34 pm

I have to say, I have loved 3 so much more than 2. It’s tough (uh, obviously, since I’m writing about it!), but some things about it have been so much easier and more fun too. We’ll see what I have to say about 3.5 😉

Sarah C. January 26, 2013 at 8:41 am

My oldest is about the same age and this is a pretty accurate description of life with him right now. I just keep trying to remind myself that it won’t last forever and try my best to soak in the nice moments.

Hope February 15, 2013 at 6:33 pm

Hang in there! Being the “bad” guy now is a gift to your future self!

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