Close

The Present

Yesterday I talked about the early days today I’m going to share a little bit about the present.

It’s fun to look back and reminisce on days gone by. I had a great time looking through the old pictures to add them to my post. As I was sorting through them all we shared stories, we laughed, we smiled. We had a great time and we both said we’d love to go back and re-live some of those moments.

Truth is, that I wouldn’t give up what we have now to go back.

Our life now is pretty amazing. We have loved on each other hard, we’ve struggled through some dark days together, we’ve had plenty of adventures, and we’ve got two awesome kids. The thing is, it’s not over!

We are having such an awesome time now introducing our kids to the things we love. It’s so fun.

It’s amazing to watch Curtis be a Daddy. He is the apple of E’s eye and those two are a perfect pair. He loves L with all his heart and she rewards him every time he comes home with a very enthusiastic squealing of  “da da da da da da” it makes my heart melt.

I have to say, my man, he’s awesome. The two of us we really are partners. We both pull equal but different loads in our home. He’s a great provider, he is a hands on Dad. He loves chocolate chip cookies so much that he has taken over that department because I couldn’t keep up with the demand. 🙂

Our life is so fun. We have something real, something special, and something that we both want to foster and grow.

We’ve grown together, really we’ve become adults together. We’ve changed over the years, we’ve matured, we’ve learned.

Here’s the thing, we’re not done. So while the last 12 years have been amazing, I love our now, and I am excited for our future.

I hope that some day down the road we’re that little old couple that everyone thinks is so sweet because they’re so in love.

 

Photo Credit: Jennifer Foik Photography

Morning Madness

It’s no secret that I’m not a morning person. I have a hard time functioning at a basic level for quite some time after I wake in the morning, and until I’ve had a coffee it’s really next to impossible.

Why is it then that the time of day that I am least capable of functioning well is always the most hectic.

As I am sitting here this afternoon writing this for you I am thinking about the morning madness that we will experience tomorrow getting ready to get out the door.

I do as much as I can the night before to make sure that the morning runs smoothly.

We pick the kids clothes, I program the coffee maker (this is new but very effective since most of my kitchen conundrums occur while making coffee and due to the fact that I haven’t had any). If E has preschool I try to make her snack, and get out my running clothes so I can run while she’s at school.

And still we struggle to get out the door on time without frustration, prodding, and tantrums.

One of my kids is not a morning person. Strangely she is an early riser. At least three days last week she was up at 5:30. And yet, try to encourage her to get ready and she will LOSE IT. She wants to wear her jammies, lounge around, eat when she feels like it, and not be pushed in the morning.

So how do I balance this with our need to get out the door at a certain time?

When we have no morning commitments I can let both kids do the morning at their own pace which is great. However for one it truthfully doesn’t matter if it’s 6:30 or 10:30 getting the ball rolling is grounds for an apocalyptic style battle.

I feel like we’ve tried everything to make this process better to no avail. Every morning we go through the same kind of madness. It always comes down to the last five seconds before we go out the door and I hear myself starting to loose my patience as I ask for the millionth time to find shoes, get coats, and head to the car.

Part of me gets it. I don’t want to be rushed or told what I have to do and when either. So ok, I get it. It’s morning, leave me alone and don’t talk to me. Let me do my thing and I’ll be ready when I’m ready.

I’m just not sure what to do when ready when I’m ready is like 7pm and it’s time for bed again.

We’ve tried it all. Incentives, bribes, going with the flow, seeking the kids input into how they want the morning to go, and still we struggle.

So tell me friends is this just the way mornings go with kids? Do I need to accept that getting out the door is going to be a struggle and go with it? Or can this get better?

What do you do to make mornings go more smoothly? What does your routine look like? Do you have one kid that just isn’t a morning person? How do you deal with that child making it hard for the whole house to get ready to get out the door?

Let me know, I would LOVE to hear your ideas. Maybe there will be some gem that will help make things run more smoothly here!

Dare to dream

What do you dream about? Curtis and I have been talking a lot about our “dreams” lately.

What do we want? What kind of lifestyle do we ultimately want to live? Are we happy? If we could do ANYTHING what would it be? Is it what we’re doing now?

These are all things that we’ve been talking about lately. Why you ask?

Well partly because our house is for sale. We’re excited to be selling but not sure what we’re going to do after. We’re planning on staying where we are but for a number of reasons we’re not necessarily buying another house right away.

Being 100% debt free – even for a short period of time – will be AMAZING. I can’t wait!

It’s got us dreaming.

Eventually we’ve want to buy another house and right now we intend for that house to be here in Chilliwack, but not right away.

We’ve been going back to the days early on in our marriage when we had all kinds of dreams about the things we hoped to do with our lives. We’ve been talking about the experiences we want to offer our kids. We have some pretty big dreams.

We’ve also been talking a lot about what I want to do. I know this may sound funny, but for some reason being a stay at home mom is kind of like being a newly graduated high school student. I am regularly asked what I want to do when my kids go to school (much like the high school student is asked what they want to do when they grow up). Right now my answer is I don’t know.

So I’ve been dreaming. Trying to figure out what I want to do. Do I want to pursue another career path? What would that look like? I know I want to be home after school for the kids so that someone is here, so what kind of job would I be looking at? What would I like to pursue, what interests me, how much time do I want to invest? I have a few years to figure it out but it’s something that we’ve been talking about a lot.

It’s fun to dream. It’s brought Curtis and I closer and it gets contagious. To dare to dream is something that so many people are afraid to do which I think is so funny because really what are you hurting in entertaining a dream?

For us sometimes those dreams get us through.

Things get tough and we feel like we’re just slogging along so we start dreaming. We spend some of our spare time throwing around ideas. It helps keep us going and it makes life a lot more fun!

So what about you, do you dare to dream? Do you dream big? Do you find it encouraging? I hope so. If you haven’t had any big dreams in a while I would encourage you to spend some time dreaming!

Consistent Parenting – sigh

We’ve been having good days around here for the most part but E seems to be going through a phase of explosive tantrums.

Life will be just going along and everything is fine and then the smallest thing will set her off and BOOM it’s epic.

I’ve been at a bit of a loss as to how to cope.

This is not behaviour that we accept in our house and so this kind of epic tantrum results in her being removed from the situation (usually to her room, sometimes to ours).

But let me tell you, it’s hard. I sometimes think parenting is the definition of insanity – you know, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

Across the board parenting experts will say that consistent parenting is important. And we try. Sometimes however I want to smack those parenting experts with their own book and ask them if they have ever actually been in the situation with their own child.

It’s funny though how sometimes a few days of consistency in the face of a behavioural issue will resolve the issue never to be seen again, and sometimes it takes time. A lot of time.

Something we’ve learned here recently and have really been working on is that our own response will either fan the flames, or douse them. If we respond equally as explosively then the situation will escalate. If we can react calmly without showing our own frustration at the event then the situation diffuses pretty quickly.

There are a few things that I have found encouraging lately. One, is that I’ve been hearing from friends that they’re going through the same things with their 4 year olds – it’s so nice to know that we’re not alone!

Another is that on a podcast I listen to the couple talks openly about their own 4 year old and the struggles they have with her from time to time. They frequently mention the explosive tantrums. What I always find as a good reminder is that they talk about her like she’s a baby – like she’s little.

My kids are little. L at 15 months needs very little discipline as of yet E at 4 needs more firm guidance but she is still little. I forget this. I remember her as a wee baby and she is so much bigger now than she was then. I’ve seen the progression from babe in arms to independent child and I often think of her as so big and mature.  When you spend your days with little people it’s easy to forget that they are little because it becomes the norm!

My point is that being reminded that they are little, young, immature, helps me to remember that I can’t have big behavioural expectations. They feel emotions in big ways, but they have no way of regulating them. It’s our job to teach them.

E especially is little miss drama. She feels everything to the MAX – love, excitement, happiness, fear, anger, and everything in between. 90% of the time she’s happy, sweet and tons of fun. She is an awesome, loving, kind, big hearted kid. She is an excellent big sister, because while she’s not overly motherly, she LOVES her sister. Deeply. She  plays with her, is generally patient, and at least tries (but doesn’t often succeed) to be gentle.

This also means that frustration, anger, and disappointment come out in big ways. Always at the most inconvenient and embarrassing moments (because why not). It is my job as her parent to lovingly and consistently teach her how to manage her emotions. How to show them appropriately.

It’s so easy to tell her to calm down, stop crying, or get over it. But that’s not really the point. The point is to teach her how to recognize the emotion and respond appropriately. After all you and I feel all these things too, it’s a normal part of being human!

I still haven’t come up with the amazing perfect parenting strategy for managing these behaviours, we try to be consistent but we’re also always trying new things. So if any of you have a great tip for diffusing a major tantrum please share I am open to suggestions.

E & Her run bike, Christmas 2011

Childhood Joy

I’m not sure about you but I don’t remember learning to ride a bike, I do however remember my first bike. It was a red and white bike with training wheels and a big banana seat – full on 80’s style. I LOVED that bike. LOVED.

 

Me & my first bike, April 7 1986, I was 4 years old

Me & my first bike, April 7 1986, I was 4 years old

We’re a bike family. Curtis is certifiably insane when it comes to bikes. He rides like I run – a lot, in large amounts, for long distances – like from Lincoln Beach OR home to Chilliwack BC. I also really enjoy riding my road bike though I’m not as passionate about it as he is.

 

E is bike obsessed. If Curtis is doing bike maintenance she has either her tricycle or her run bike out there and is washing/fixing/working on bikes right along side him.

 

E & Her run bike, Christmas 2011

E & Her run bike, Christmas 2011

She asks every morning to watch bike races on Curtis’ iPad. She could pick Jens Voigt out of a crowd and has been able to pronounce Ryder Hesjedal properly for almost two years now. You probably don’t know who those people are – they’re pro cyclists, like Tour De France kind of guys. And YES we will be watching the tour when it starts next week.

E & her Tricycle Christmas morning 2012

E & her Tricycle Christmas morning 2012

 

We gave her a Run Bike for Christmas when she was 14 months old. Jointly  from us and my parents she got a Tricycle last year. We talked about buying her a pedal bike for Christmas this year but she wasn’t quite ready for it and we decided it wouldn’t be fair to give her something she couldn’t ride quite yet. We did promise a pedal bike this summer though, and the day has come!

 

Love at first sight!

Love at first sight!

Curtis went out and picked up her new pedal bike on Tuesday afternoon. She’s been very clear that she wants a purple bike so with that in mind he went to a local bike shop and picked up a purple bike. He also had them remove the training wheels (though he did bring them home) since she’s done so well with her run bike.

 

The squeals of childish joy at the sight of that bike were worth a million dollars. I don’t know that I have enjoyed anything quite so much in a long time. She caught on to the two wheeler after about 45 mins with Curtis running along behind. The only thing that slowed her down was her intense laughter.

Shear joy. There is no other way to describe it. She was laughing the laughter of pure childhood joy. That deep down thrilled I’m awesome and I’m loving it laugh that only a little kid can laugh. The elation on her face was amazing.

 

I don’t remember learning to ride my bike when I was little but watching her learn on Tuesday night is something I will always remember – and cherish. I felt the joy bubbling out of a place deep in my soul and had that big goofy childish grin that starts to make your face hurt on my own face as I watched her catch on. I’m not sure of the last time the enjoyment of learning a new skill made me feel that way. I can tell you that after watching her learn this week I am excited to feel it again!

Very proud new bike owner

Very proud new bike owner

Who wouldn't want to spend their days with this face?

Redefining Value

I’ve been struggling lately with my definition of value. Specifically with my personal economic value. It seems I need to work on redefining value in relation to myself.

 

Love this little face

Love this little face

 

 

Curtis and I do a lot of dreaming. We look forward to the things we would someday like to do. It keeps us going, and helps us to stay on track heading towards our goals. Something we often talk about is what I want to “do.”

 

For some reason I feel like I should be contributing financially to the bottom line in our home. I feel like I’m not adding value to our home if I’m not earning some form of income. I toss around a lot of ideas about things that I could do to earn SOME form of income.

 

The thing is I don’t really WANT to do a lot of the things we’ve talked about. When it comes right down to it ten years from now I want to be doing exactly what I’m doing now. Loving on our kids. Caring for them daily, taking them to school, the park, swimming, and whatever else it may be that they are interested in.

 

Baby Giggles

Baby Giggles

 

My life today is exactly what I want it to be, and how I want it to remain. (If my kids could stay little that would be awesome too but that really is dreaming!)

 

So WHY this feeling that if I am not earning MONEY that I am not valuable? The things I do in our home and with our kids are valuable. They have eternal meaning, and a lasting impact on our family.

 

Today after leaving Curtis here with the kids for most of the day he told me how much he appreciates what I do. He graciously acknowledged how much work it is to take care of our little loves for the day.  He told me it was just as hard or harder than what he does day to day earning an income.

 

Without coming out and saying it he told me he valued me (and he didn’t even realize it)!

 

Wardrobe Consultation

Wardrobe Consultation – no you cannot wear your Tinker Bell costume tonight

 

I am fortunate enough to be able to stay home with our family full time which is a blessing a lot of people don’t have. I have never felt undervalued by Curtis, he always appreciates the role I play in our home. He accepts my failures and we laugh our way through many of my oopses.  Again WHY do I feel such a need to earn an income?

 

We do have some big financial goals, buying a new house, going on a holiday, saving for the kids college educations etc. There has definitely been more than one occasion that I feel frustrated at the pace of our progress so maybe that’s it.

 

 

Who wouldn't want to spend their days with this face?

Who wouldn’t want to spend their days with this face?

 

I think it’s more the response I often get when asked what I “do”. Maybe you know how it goes:

Stranger: So what do you “do”?,

me: Oh, I stay home with my kids

Stranger:  awkwardly withdraws from conversation while summing me up as some uneducated frumpy housewife – THANKS

I need to start responding with: I’m the Director of Operations at McHale Inc. my responsibilities include, sanitation, bookings, time management, sleep specialist, event planning, interventions, overseeing leisure activities, nutritional planning and arbitration, wardrobe consultation, K9 activities, and financial management.”

 

Event Planning

Event Planning – splash park!

Maybe then I won’t be dismissed as the ominous “housewife” – you know that all encompassing title that you’re given under “occupation” on government forms – and just about every other form that you fill out anywhere.

 

Sleep Specialist

Sleep Specialist – transferring from carseat to couch undisturbed

 

I also like the line where you fill in your income: 0

 

I love what I do. I love my kids, and my man. I love being able to play, cuddle, kiss owies, read stories, tuck in, discipline, encourage and celebrate the three people that are most important to me EVERY DAY. You know what, sometimes it’s really easy. Sometimes it’s really hard. Either way what I do here on a day to day basis IS VALUABLE.

 

Bookings - Preschool end of year celebration

Bookings – Preschool end of year celebration

 

I need to remind myself of that. I also need to let it go when I feel dismissed by some stranger in the grocery store because I don’t have a “job”. So what?! I  love what I “do”. Not many people are lucky enough to be able to say that!

 

What about you do you love what you do? I genuinely hope so.

Can't stop loving this kid!

Adding Tools to my Toolbox

I’ve recently been reading “You Can’t Make Me [But I Can Be Persuaded]” by Cynthia Ulrich Tobias.  It’s a parenting book that will hopefully fill my Mommy tool box with useful tools to help this strong willed Momma lovingly guide my strong willed daughter through this thing called life while highlighting and bringing out the positive aspects of both of our personalities.

If I’ve said this once I’ve said it 100 times; E and I are two people cut from the same cloth. She is a 3 year old version of me. Our strong wills battle against each other on a daily basis. I often find the two of us locked into the same battles over and over again. My will against hers. The problem is that I am the parent here. I’m supposed to be the mature one in this relationship and yet I regularly find that my 3 year old gets the better of me.

I hear myself speaking to her, issuing commands, and rather unsuccessfully trying to “negotiate” and I think to myself “no wonder she doesn’t want to capitulate, I wouldn’t either.” I regularly find myself fearing that I am going to shred any hope of ever having a relationship with my daughter to tiny little irreparable pieces before she even enters school. I want to avoid this with all my heart.

What do I long for? Well, I long for a slightly less co-dependent Lorelai & Rory relationship. I want a closeness with her – and any other kids that come along – that is secure. I want her to know she can come to me no matter what. I want her to know she is unconditionally loved. Period. My question has been HOW? This kid gets the better of me on a regular basis and I lose my cool. HOW.

Enter my current book choice. I generally hate “labels” like “Strong Willed Child.” I think they have such negative connotations. I don’t view E’s strong will (or my own) as a negative trait. This stubborn streak that is firmly implanted in her is exactly what will someday make her a tenacious, competent, intelligent adult that knows what she wants AND how to go about accomplishing the goal. I do not want to crush that in her. I do want to help her guide it and learn to use this personality trait as positively as possible.

Can't stop loving this kid!

Can’t stop loving this kid!

As I’ve been reading (and I’m only half way through) I have been able to put SO many little things into practice that have already made my days easier. One of the things that has struck me most (and that I have been working through for a while even before starting in on this book) is how much I need to work on MYSELF. This isn’t all about molding E into an awesome little person. It’s also about molding her Mommy into an adult that can pick her battles. Be gracious, firm, loving, patient, and kind. I need to be a better person for her. I need to be able to move past my own desire to stick to my guns (sometimes) in order to help E learn to channel her own strong will into something useful.

So much of parenting is about the parent. How I react, how I respond, how I understand my child. Being able to put her first and me second. Choosing my battles wisely, allowing that outfit that makes my skin crawl slide because it makes her feel like a princess. I have to resist my own urge to push certain issues to the death so that she knows that when I do press an issue it’s really time to listen. I need to choose my battles wisely. I need to ask myself more often; if a month from now, six months, a year, five years, ten years from now does this issue I’m fighting over today really matter? If the answer is no then why am I fighting it?

One thing this book is hammering home is that my approach is everything. Deep down I knew this. I’ve been struggling with it for a while just not really sure of how to change it. What reading this book has done so far is give me some of the tools I need to do something about it. It’s been showing me how to best approach a topic and garner the best possible outcome, all the while understanding that these techniques aren’t always going to work, and sometimes we will have to do things the hard way.

Something else that has also been significant to me is that her response and willingness to comply with me is directly related to how much she values her relationship with me. It all comes back to relationship. Which is what I want so desperately to preserve with her.

So is this one book going to give me all the answers? No. So much of this process is trial and error. Figuring out what works for me and what works for her. What garners a good response and what is ineffective, while understanding that what works once may not work every time. One book, ten books, or a hundred books are not going to unlock all the secrets to parenting without ever butting heads with your child. That said, anything that makes this process a little bit easier is welcome!

Is this book going to have a significant impact on the way that I parent YES. It already has. I can already tell you that E and I have had much easier days since I started reading. I knew that I needed to make some changes in the way I was parenting I just wasn’t sure how. Now I have a few more tools that are helping my days run more smoothly.  I feel a bit more capable of navigating a day with my little one. I don’t feel like every task is a struggle, and I am enjoying it. I still have a long way to go, and will always be working on learning to do things better but today I would say that we are making progress!

A pic from our 15 week Ultrasound (2 1/2 weeks ago)

Big News in the McHale Household!

While I’ve casually dropped this bomb in another post recently this is BIG NEWS in the McHale household and deserves it’s own space. (I’ve also been getting random emails from friends and family asking me to confirm the “rumor” so I thought it might be time to make an official announcement). There are a number of reasons I’ve been fairly quiet this summer the largest of which is this…

The McHale Family is Expecting!

We are blessed and excited to share that in January of 2014 our little family of three will be growing by one small family member and we’ll be joining the ranks of thousands of other family’s out there with two kids. Yup McHale Baby #2 arrives in January.

A pic from our 15 week Ultrasound (2 1/2 weeks ago)

A pic from our 15 week Ultrasound

So along with all the other activities and craziness that summer brings I’ve been traveling through the early stages of pregnancy and well, writing has fallen to the wayside.

Now our “secret” is out, we’ve past half way (23 1/2 weeks now meaning 16 1/2 to go), and hopefully I can find more time to put into posting again as we enter into fall!

Why Dad’s deserve more credit than they get

I’ve been gone a while, life has been busy and crazy, and I have so many posts swirling around in my head that need to be written. Hopefully over the next little while I can get them out, but today I need to respond to something that’s been bothering me for a while.

Dad’s deserve more credit than they get! A lot more. Done.

Really I could leave it there, but that would be boring and I’m too opinionated to just leave it at that. There have been a ton of posts lately going around Facebook and various other blogs and forums written mostly by women, but even by some men that completely discredit the things that the Dad’s in our lives do for our families.  This is just wrong.

Daddy & E shortly after her arrival

Daddy & E shortly after her arrival

I think we do ourselves, our children and our society harm when we minimize the important rolls that Dad’s play in the lives of our kids. Spend an hour reading on-line, watching tv or a movie and it doesn’t take long to realize that the general opinion of most Dad’s is that they’re some goofy figure in their kids lives that goes to work, drinks beer, and can hardly handle getting their kids dressed. This needs to change, it does no one any good.

Daddy & E a few months old

Daddy & E a few months old

Maybe we’re unusually different, but in our church, and our circle of friends both local and spread out all over the world I know far more amazing, active and participative Dad’s than I do the goofy incapable of keeping the kids alive type. I am fortunate enough to be married to a man that has a very real desire to be involved in our daughter’s life and he acts on it regularly.

Daddy & E snuggles

Daddy & E snuggles

We know more Dad’s that regularly take over the full time care giver roll for large chunks of time so that their wives can go away with friends, out for an evening, or just for a run than we do ones that sit on the sidelines.  We look around us at church and see tons of Dad’s actively participating in the care of their kids. Let’s acknowledge that rather than minimize their roll by drawing attention to the times that they take the kids out with two left shoes on.

"Fishing" with Daddy

“Fishing” with Daddy

If I’m honest with you the “goofy” parenting moments at our house happen WAY more often when I am the primary care giver than when my hubby is. Grilled cheese sandwiches are burned – almost every time I make them which is a lot – I leave the house and realize that E has two left shoes on, or that all her clothes are on backwards (yup even her shirt with the big Minnie Mouse face on the front). I spill the whole jug of milk on the floor while trying to fill the milk cup, or turn the white laundry pink by accident when I miss that one red sock. No one draws attention to those moments when Mom does it unless it’s Mom herself, and yet for some reason when Dad does it that’s all anyone talks about.

 

Let me put this in perspective a little bit. When we teach our kids that Dad’s are incompetent goofy household figures that are capable of nothing more than going to work and coming home to veg on the couch we give our daughters very low expectations of the men they will one day marry. We are teaching our sons that it’s ok not to learn to cook for themselves, never to see their kids, and to expect their wives to be little more than household slaves. Is that really the picture of family life that you want to paint for your kids? It’s definitely not what I want for mine. I am thankful every day for the amazing Dad that E has in her life. He is the type of man that I would want her to someday marry.

I’m definitely not minimizing the rolls that the stay-at-home parent plays, or the work that it is to be home full time. It’s a lot of work to work full time and care for your family too though. Our culture is very unaccommodating to family life in general regardless of the work/home split that you have going in your life. Parenting is hard work no matter your situation but rather than put one parent on a pedistool for their sacrifice, competence, or domestic abilities let’s give equal credit to both parents. We need to acknowledge the important rolls that Mom’s and Dad’s play in their kids lives. Everyone needs a break sometimes whether they’re the primary caregiver in their child’s life or the burnt out parent burning the candle at both ends working full time and caring for your family. Let’s not paint the picture that one parent is a silent partner. Lets model for our kids that regardless of the work/parenting split you’ve got going on in your house BOTH parents are an important part of your kids lives.

Parenting Failure 101

Need some tips as to how to be a complete parenting failure? Keep reading. Yesterday I think I won the medal.  Not so much because I lost my patience, yelled, or was just unreasonable but because I was completely incapable of instilling the need/desire to behave in a positive manner in my child. Yup, it went from bad to worse. It was one of those days that would have completely cured a single or newly married friend of any desire to ever reproduce if they’d been visiting.

For the most part E is a happy and well behaved little kid. Keeping in mind that she’s 2 she really does quite well. 99% of the time I would tell you without hesitation that I am lucky to have such a unique, spunky and fabulous child. She is also an all or nothing kind of kid so it’s all good or it’s all bad. We have an all bad day once every few weeks, and yesterday it was all bad from about 7 am on.

She’s been in the habit of making frequent clothing changes lately. As cute as it is when she disappears upstairs only to return a few minutes later dressed from head to toe in Purple to announce “I’m wearing Pupo” it’s also a lot of work discerning what is actually laundry and what isn’t.

One of the things E enjoys most - Bikes in the parking lot!

One of the things E enjoys most – Bikes in the parking lot!

Yesterday when I walked in and found the entire contents of her dresser on the floor for about the millionth time that was the last straw. I followed through on our threat to put child locks on all her dresser drawers and now she has to ask if she wants clothes out. Seems small, but at 7am that kind of set the tone for the day.

It was a beautiful day here yesterday and the rest of the week is looking dismal (though really the weatherman couldn’t correctly predict the score of last weekend’s hockey game around here so who really knows) and I really wanted to take E to the park. I also had a small list of things that NEEDED to get done before we could go anywhere. Usually first thing in the morning is a great time for me to do a few chores and E will entertain herself happily while I do. Yesterday was a different story.

By the end of the day, not a single one of those things was finished. I spent my day disciplining, removing privileges, supervising time outs, and doing the best I could not to completely loose my cool. I tried EVERYTHING, but no matter what I did the situation just continued to escalate. I even tried rewards. I promised a trip to the park for x good behaviour, and the park trip was won, however when I sent someone to put on their shoes – a task she usually relishes because really who doesn’t love shoes – it resulted in every pair of shoes on the shoe rack being thrown down the hallway while I was in the bathroom. Why? They were the wrong ones. Needless to say that park trip did not happen.

Finally with me on the verge of a nervous breakdown (not quite but tears were imminent) my Knight in Shining armor stepped in and shut down the office a little early. Somehow Daddy was the magic and life became pretty harmonious afterwards.

What did I learn? Well, E is 2 and I keep having to remind myself of that because she always seems more mature. She is developing normally and part of that development is testing boundaries. Yesterday She needed me to be consistent. She got the same answer every time, and consequences followed. Do I wish that the day had gone differently? Absolutely. Do I think my child hates me? No, in fact I’m sure she loves me deeply. Was this a personal attack on me as a parent? Though it may have felt like it I know it definitely was not.

On the bright side, today is a new day! The sun will shine or the rain will fall, but we get to start again. Hopefully it goes better. If not, Wednesday is yet another new day. When it’s all said and done, she may be 2 years old but this whole parenting thing is still kinda new for me because she grows and changes with each passing day. Yesterday I failed, today hopefully I’ll succeed and we’ll keep figuring it out along the way.