Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Highs and Lows. And People who get it.

I feel like all I can manage to muster up these days is talking about that teetering balance of parenting...and child(ren). How the highs are so darn high, and sometimes the lows can feel so low. But that I know that somehow, some way, God has that all planned out on purpose. To teach you something. To appreciate those moments so much more. And to learn how to continue to show love to your little one despite the trying times that is Toddlerhood.

I could have never imagined myself writing about stuff like this when all I had was a precious little newborn who just nursed, slept, cried a little, and snuggled. The reason isn't because I was naive, per-say, but because I just hadn't lived it yet. It's very hard to understand, empathize, truly, without having a real understanding. That's just how life is. Once you've walked it, you can pat your friend on the back who's going through the same thing, give that nod of 'I so get it' and that other person feels understood. Like, I'm not alone...I got this...others walked this before me.

Yesterday afternoon, after Emeline's nap, I decided since it was a nice day we'd go and kill a short amount of time at the pond. It's about a 10 minute drive away, but it's peaceful and serene, and we love the outdoors. So we packed up a few things quickly, and went about our way.

When I got there, I did the familiar juggling act, of grabbing everything you think you need from the passenger seat, stringing bags around my shoulder strategically, grabbing blankets, etc. I had both the passenger door & Eme's door open, so I clicked the lock button on my car, so it was one less thing to do when I finally shut the doors to head down the hill to the pond. After I got her out, I decided last second, but wait! I don't really need my purse. So I put it back in the car before slamming the door. Then I heard it. *beep beep*

And that second I knew. I knew I had locked myself out of the car, because I'd put my keys back in my purse...where I always keep them.

We still had about an hour and a half until Declan got off work, who would have to be the one to come save us with spare keys, anyway. So I nonchalantly called him, no rush or tone in my voice, just calmly and casually told him about the locking-keys-in-the-car thing and that on his way home from work, if he could detour by the park to let us back in, we'd appreciate it.  Easy as that.

During our pond-stay we had a blast. We laid on blankets. We found tadpoles. We saw a turtle! Many doggies and their owners walked by. We picked clovers from the grass. She picked me dandelions. We did the buttercup test on our chins. We threw rocks into the pond. We searched for bugs. She rolled down the big hill. We let the sun shine on our faces.


And I'll admit that a little bit I thought, yep, I'm doing this. Making the best out of being locked out of the car. Staying longer than I had planned. We're going with the flow and having the!best!time!ever! We're making this a learning experience. Seeing & touching tadpoles. Finding a turtle. Talking about rocks, and flowers, and trees.

It was all good. The whole time was fun. There was no whining, no testing limits--it was two hours of pure, genuine goodness with her. A high, indeed.

And then I envisioned that I'd write about how amazing it was. That my plans got altered a little, but we made the best of it, and our day was perfection, THE END.

But only, it wasn't the end. And the truth is, that although there was this little slice of perfection found in the middle of my day yesterday, formed out of an unexpected situation, it didn't quite end like that.

We had our lows. Very, very trying 'toddler' times, I'll just say. Apparently going from two hours in the sun, to the vet with her pup, to the grocery store, then home to eat dinner just wasn't her idea of a good time. What I'd envisioned as a peaceful deck dinner on a gorgeous day turned into a battlefield. One thing after another. And by bedtime? Declan and I were both so done. So very exhausted at the battle of the wills that had just occurred.

In those moments, though--I force myself to remember that there were good times in that day. SUCH good times, actually. I have to cling to them.

And then I'm grateful for friends who know. Who get it. Who will text with me, or fb chat me, and give an, I'm so with you, friend agreement. Who, in an instant make you feel normal and sane again.

I thank God for knowing what he's doing...and the people he places in my life. Because, for real. :)

***



27 comments:

  1. I love reading your blog for this very reason- even when I'm having those rough days, you have to look at the good part of it and say "that's what makes it worth it." Thanks for that reminder :)

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  2. I love reading your posts. I do, however, get a little worried of what is to come for me in the next few years when my 4 1/2 month old becomes a toddler.

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  3. I'm right there with you Katie. I totally get it, and there have been DAYS (plural) lately where Justin gets home and I say, "I am so done parenting for the day." And then there are just the sweetest little moments in the mix as well...and it's kind of exhausting!

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  4. Your posts make me realise my life is normal and I'm so grateful for that!

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  5. I soooooo get this!!! Um, confession...I locked my 22mo/old in the car with my cell phone & only set of keys while at the library (ya know trying to be all "i'm super mom and take my kid to the library lady" : ) Some sweet dad with 2 girls was there and helped me fish open the lock with a jumper cable LOL! Oy, some days are just a lot..and then that glimmer of sweet happy kiddo makes it all worth it ; )

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  6. OK, big picture is better then FB thumbnail. ;-)I need some sun! Whenever I catch a glimpse of my legs or feet, I think I have socks on...but noooooo, its my white, pasty legs! Here's to not getting scorched next week in the hot Florida sun!

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  7. Goodness it's amazing how having kids at the same age/stage can make me continuously nod in agreement when I'm reading your posts. Man, the lows can feel SO SO low. And the highs the same. I find myself trying to figure out how to find that balance, and maybe eliminate some of those lows, so I'm not feeling quite so bi-polar. Maybe, though, I need to stop trying to figure it out because those lows are placed in our lives for a reason? By God? I don't know, but I really pray for clarity and peace on this subject because it can wear a person out, that's for sure!

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  8. OH my gosh, I so get it. And Eme's age is tough. That's when Logan was his worst. It's uphill from here, sister, and not in the battle sense. I loved the age of 3 and 4 is glorious. Hang in there.

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  9. I love being able to relate! You are so not alone. Eme is about 5 months older than Macey, so I love to see what I have to look forward to. I often look back at your blog and realize I'm not alone when I'm having one of those days. I take the lows and the highs and remind myself that she is only little once and ONE DAY...I will miss the lows and the highs!!!

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  10. Patting you on the back because OH I SO GET IT. I did it once, and now, I'm doing it again. Because eventually? The trying times fade away, and all you remember are the good ones.

    Hence why I have four. Cause without parental amnesia, I'd have one kid.

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  11. Oh girl. Don't I know it. So glad to have you to always be able to vent to about these things ... because it's true, once you've been there, you just get it. Hope today is going better for you two.

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  12. Oh girl. Don't I know it. So glad to have you to always be able to vent to about these things ... because it's true, once you've been there, you just get it. Hope today is going better for you two.

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  13. it's so hard to see through the tough times but you always remind me that it's possible. i've been feeling, well, low lately so it's good to know we are not alone. i get it.

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  14. I love the fact that you (and some of our other blog buddies) are going through this stuff at the same time. It makes me feel more sane. I thought losing sleep in the beginning was tough. Little did I know that the battle of wills can be just as exhausting, not to mention the acrobatic efforts it takes to juggle a 2 year old through multiple errands.
    But you're so right. As the days go on, all I seem to remember are the good times with my little guy.

    All this to say... I GET IT. lol.

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  15. In the trenches with ya over here too. In fact, I just put my kids down for a much earlier than normal nap bc they were melting down and I had a headache and momma needed nap time right that minute! Haha

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  16. I always have the tendency to push too far. "We are having a fab day...why not try to do x,y,z too!" And then bam! disaster. Day ruined (well, not ruined but you know). I get it. Toddlers are sooo much fun, but so finicky at the same time. It really is a balancing act every.single.day.

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  17. Oh no! I'm not looking forward to that! You will have to be there for me!

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  18. Everything about this...yes, yes, YES!

    I was on the border of having a moment yesterday and I just had to take a breath, remove myself from the situation and give myself a few minutes.

    You're so right in that we have to take the good in each day and realize that at the end of the day, it far outweighs the bad. Even if we're totally exhausted :)

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  19. Parenting is never easy...and life's challenges never stop! Glad you made the best of it. :)

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  20. Oh my gosh, I have done that EXACT thing. Locked the doors, dropped the keys in the bag, then thought "I don't need the bag..."

    Cringe. My car doesn't have spare keys, either, so it was so grocery store B&E for me (and a very helpful stranger) that day.

    Glad you had a great time. Because you are so right, you have to hold onto those times for those - other - times.

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  21. I just love your perspective, Katie. You are such a good Mom and a good person. xo

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  22. Just as all your comments have been saying. I totally get it. Chloe's about 3 months younger then Eme, and we have the same high/lows. The highs are the best! Sooo much fun, you feel like super Mom. And the lows, sometimes just make you want to throw in the towel. But you don't because you remember the days highs and you are instantly ok! Those are the best!!

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  23. I was reading a blog the other day where the mom just had her second little boy, and in the middle of running two simple errands {which ended up taking 5 hours} she looked at her mom and said, "This is a circus" and her mom answered, "Darling, THESE are the best days of your life." I cried for a solid 10 minutes reading it... no joke. I know those days so well...

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  24. You are so right on. It's hard at times though, right? To remember those amazing little moments, especially when the day ends in not so amazing ones. ;)

    Great job focusing on the positive.

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  25. Dude. Thank you SO much for not having things all sunshine and roses all the time. Today was a challenging parenting day for me, and homeboy made it tough. So knowing there are people out there also acknowledging the tough? In the same shoes I'm in?Makes me take a deep sigh of relief.

    It is all so worth it though, isn't it?

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  26. I so get it! And I love how you've managed to be honest about thenhighs and lows of toddler parenting. It's so nice to know that my struggles are normal, and thanks to those that have done this before me, these struggles will pass!

    You were way more positce about the key situation that I would have been! Good job momma!

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  27. I love love love this post. I needed to read it today.

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