back in black

so many joys these days, and so many challenges as well. cohen's personality is exploding and with it has come many exciting things. i have heard people mention the filling of their heart, the gushing of their pride and the previously unkown happiness that having a child brings, i have even said it myself, but only recently have i realized that for everytime i think it, or say it, i will turn around and it will get even better, even bigger and more full and i will think that before i didn't know joy, before was just a warm up for this, and i suppose it was. it is the only thing in my life so far that has lived up to the adage that it really does get better all the time.

i am loving this age so much that some days i think i am going to burst from the experience of it, and yet at the same time it is so trying that there are days when i spend the entire afternoon on the verge of tears.

i have a passionate child. he isn't the sort of kid who wobbles or stands on fences, he is sure and determined and so very strong willed. this makes him prones to outbursts of affection, large bear hugs and smiles as wide as a canyon, deep burrowing in cuddles and kisses over and over again on my cheek, but also fits of frustration, body limp, feet stamping and arms flailing. he shouts gibberish in the hallyway to hear himself echo and he dances around the room when i put on the stereo, his arms flailing around above his head, his feet marching up and down and up and down to the beat. he will bang on his drum and pound on his piano so fiercely that the walls vibrate, and then he will stop without warning, point his finger at me and say "mom" in the softest voice, a smile emerging across his face. he loves to explore and to get into trouble, throwing things in the toilet when my back is turned or running for the littler box hands out to grab. this afternoon he figured out how to screw the lid off of the fish food, pellets streaming across the floor, his hand tightly clutching only a few for a taste. yells of frustration when i cleaned his hands and vacuumed the mess, a waste of his effort.

so where is the bad? well, it is in there. the fits, the mischeviousness, the determination. in my heart i am glad he is who is, independent and strong, but in my body it is sometimes pretty tough. fighting to get dressed and then fighting to go in the stroller, fighting when he doesn't want to get out of the bath or leave the swing. it isn't because he doesn't want to do these things, it is because he wants to be the one to decide when we do it. he wants to be in control. it is easy to feel like a bad mom. a slip of patience, a moment of frustration and i feel crushed, incapable. i know that i need to maintain the control and yet language is still a barrier and so boundaries are hard to create. patterns are being set up now and i want to make sure they are the right ones, but some days it is tough not to just do the thing that seems easiest. bad nights these days mean bad days as well, there is no more afternoon nap or lazy morning lounging, it is up early sleep or no sleep and then home to dinner and laundry and playing and bath and story and then bed, then sometimes when there is a moment, there is this.

i guess what i am saying is that i am starting to understand how parenting can be the hardest job in the world, that is isn't always as easy as it looks. however, it is moments like this afternoon when i arrived to pick him up from the nanny share, the way his eyes lit up and his grin stretched from ear to ear when he saw me, the way he ran over to me with his arms outstretched for a hug, quickly followed by an adamant wave goodbye to his nanny as if to say "i have somewhere better to be now, home with mom", that it is all worth while.

1 comment:

laish said...

I admire all the determination - & his sheer joie de vivre! - at the same time that I am steeling myself for life a year from now after glimpsing what it might be like...
A & I like to wag our index fingers & try to imitate the wise nonsense of Sir Cohen much to our own amusement!