I have a toddler.
Those word can strike fear in the hearts of many.
A few months ago, after a stick meets head incident, Isaac declared about Levi….
“He gets more and more dangerous every day.”
In 14 days, my darling baby will be 2 years old. He is very fond of his words. He is making complete sentences now and enjoys the fine art of communication. I often feel like I am ignoring my older children because I can’t help but ask him a hundred times if he’s okay. His response is a darling, “Yesh.” I love hearing him say his brothers names when he asks for a kiss from them before bedtime. Of course my all time favorite has been the, “I love you!” he says with insistence. It’s as if he is trying to convince me of something he has never been able to say before.
This weekend has marked a new stage in his little life. It began last weekend when he finally climbed out of his crib. For a family with two boys who were scaling their crib by 11 months, I was counting my lucky stars. Who needs to climb out when you have two big brothers who are willing to come and pull you out in a dangerously loving way. The first time he climbed out all I heard was the thud of footsteps downstairs in the foyer. The jig is up.
This morning he awoke at 5:45am and climbed up into my bed…with the rest of us.
Yes. I am that mom. I do not call myself a co-sleeper or crunchy. I have no literature to share about why children should be left to sleep with their parents. What I am is deeply, deeply lazy. I do not, nor will I ever care if my children are in bed with me. As long as they are sleeping, I would make my bed on a moving train.
Can I get an amen!?
After about 10 minutes of kisses for all of the tenants of my mattress, I realized he was not going back to sleep with all of us. So I marched him across the hall, rocked him for a minute and put him back in bed. He fussed but he remained. Victory was mine and I slept. After one more moment of wakefulness at 6:15am, he still stayed in his bed. He ended up waking up around 8:15am. In my world, that is serious sleeping in but the bed was still a crib. He at least still had to make the effort to make a run for it.
Today is Saturday. The day when relaxing starts the day, cleaning (now that I have a full time job) fills it and preparing for the week ends it. I don’t clean with a fury or stress. Cleaning is a job that involves TV, music and warm coffee all day. I don’t mind cleaning on a Saturday like today. I hate it when I have 12 things on my schedule and I have to treat it all like chores.
I attempted to make pancakes. No milk. Fail
As I was just cursing myself for forgetting an ingredient again, Levi spilled a full cup of orange juice on my easy as a snap (someone really needs to invent a sarcasm font that is recognized worldwide) to clean slate kitchen floor. Ugh!
As I start to clean up, he walked over and patted my back.
“Tank tyoo, mommy.”
I looked up at him and said, “Your welcome.”
Later as I scrubbed the tub he patted my back and said…
“Tank tyoo, mommy. I love you so mush.”
A few hours later while changing a super duper stinky diaper he looked up at me and said…
“Tank tyoo, mommy.”
I love being appreciated. I do. I am a hardworking person in several areas of my life. However, as a mother, appreciation is lacking simply because no one could possibly recognize all of the small things you do. No one wonders who filled the salt shaker, who matched all of the socks, who gleaned the clothing to make sure the jeans from last season were put away. It’s not intentional. It’s kind of like how we forget that God created gravity, oxygen and skin. These things are essential to our daily lives (unlike salt, socks and jeans) but we don’t notice them anymore because they are always there.
Today, my two year old pulled apart his crib. No lie. The side panel came off and it is now a toddler bed. I walked in, put my hands on my hips and sighed. It’s the end of an era. Isaac looked at me with excitement and said,
“Mom, now he can get in and out whenever he wants too! You don’t have to come and get him anymore.”
I am thankful for the optimism of my five year old who told his brother last week on the way home from church,
God is always with us! He is everywhere and so he is always with you!
I am thankful for the supreme independence that frightens me but also assures me that they are confident and will survive without me. I am thankful for their sense of humor and their ability to speak their minds to even me. I am thankful that even in my exhaustion as a human, not just a mother, but in my own struggle to continue evolving as a person that I still get the privilege of being in their company.
I looked at Levi and said, “Tank tyoo, darling.”
and then I thought in the quiet of my heart of all the little things,
“Thank you God.”
Isaiah, Isaac and Levi’s Mommy