Thursday, November 20, 2008

where oh where has my baby gone?

holy.
life at the coconutbelly household has been chaotic lately.

belly, my super sweet 4 and a half year old. has turned into a holy terror. she has begun this defiant, testing her boundaries, assertive, loud, 4 going on 16 personality shift.

that i don't quite know what to do with.
but at the same time i want to encourage ... because someday ... several of those are the traits that i'm going to cherish about my daughter.

my strong strong beautiful kind wonderful daughter.

for now ... all i can do is pick her up and squeeze her in a bear hug ... and ask her how much her mommy loves her. if she doesn't respond, i remind her gently that ...

mommy's love is as big as the universe. or the galaxy.
(whichever is bigger.)

she's been eating like a horse. she eats dinner and then needs another bedtime snack after having the first bedtime snack. or a growth spurt of some kind?

or the after effects of the ear infection that lasted through 2 rounds of antibiotics? and hopefully isn't preparing for a third.

i can't imagine what it would feel like to feel that out of control. to feel like your head is aching ... but at the same time the pain has become your constant friend (so you don't feel it so much anymore). to feel like your body is revving up for another 3 inches of growth in the matter of a week. to realize that you are trying so desperately to find your place in the world and determine what you can do and say about it. to understand that everyone is talking about your world and you don't always get a say in it. because we think it's sometimes easier that way.

i'm sorry baby.

i'm sorry that mommy can't always make it better. i'm sorry that i can't always kiss away your pains. i'm sorry that mommy sometimes has to enforce a rule that you don't enjoy. i'm sorry that your poor little ears can't get better (if i could have made them more efficient at minimizing ear infections ... i would have. believe me.) i'm sorry that i do things sometimes because i need to keep myself afloat. and that i don't always relish your opinion as a deciding factor. i'm sorry that sometimes i get mad at you ...

i'm learning that, more often, i need to give you hugs instead of time outs. because without saying it ... that is what you are asking for.

and that maybe ... during these times when i'm feeling that life has gotten too chaotic ... so are you. and what we really need is a few moments of uninterrupted time together. it will help us both to get our feet on the ground again.

10 comments:

Wicked Step Mom said...

Oh no! I hope her ear infections go away. (If she has chronic ones, consider getting her tested for allergies. I use to get them all the time. Turns out it was allergies.)

It is good that you recognize that her strong will id a good thing. Even if it is used against you most often. *hugs* I know you will get through this rough patch.

Casey said...

Do I ever understand the ear infection guilt. I hope the second round of antibiotics do the trick, ear infections are terrible. Good point about wanting her strong and independent traits to stay with her, I've never thought about it like that....

steenky bee said...

I love that you pointed out how wonderful her independence is. That's noble of you. Ooooh, and those ear infections. They are of the devil. I'm not looking forward to that time of year.

little.birdy said...

Eek, ear infections. :/ I'm glad you're giving her some extra lovin' and encouraging her to be independent. She's gonna thank you for that some day. :)

DeeMarie said...

I just got over an ear infection. They stink. I also heard an increase in appetite means her brain is growing. She's getting smarter every single day!!

A Buns Life said...

Ear infections are tough....both my kids have had multiple sets of tubes to help with theirs and they still got them, just not one right after another....

You've got the perfect attitude and put it into words just beautifully.

PsychMamma said...

I have found the same thing with hugs vs. time-outs. Hugs are often what they're looking for. More time, more attention. More of us. Sometimes it makes me mad at myself that she had to resort to bad behavior to get it.

Loved this post. How great to realize what life is like in her world. What a good mommy you are!

LazyCrazyMama said...

What a sweet post! She probably is headed for a growth spurt! :)
BTW: Amazing advice you gave me! You are super awesome! Thank you!

HeatherPride said...

Yes, I have been through ear infection hell myself. My son is 4 and got one over the summer, and his pediatrician said we should be seeing the last of them now. Hopefully your ear infection era will be winding down shortly, too. I know they definitely CAN cause a horrible personality shift!

I sympathize with my little guy too. It must be frustrating to have someone else making all the decisions. I try to give him as much freedom as possible. It's tough!

bernthis said...

My 5 year old was having so many of those boundary testing moments (okay, freakin TANTRUMS) that I honestly thought I couldn't take it anymore. I would like to try the hug thing more, I think it would do both of us some good. I'm a single mom and the stress of being in this position is sometimes so overwhelming and it has nothing to do with her and so when she then goes into tantrum mode, I want to pull my hair out. Now, instead, I will hug her. Great idea.