First. May all mothers of young children first and foremost congratulate themselves each and every day that their child still lives. My kid is 3. THREE. Let's set aside the fact that time has gone rather quickly and focus on what that actually means and why it is important to celebrate the fact that he still lives.
Three for us means:
1. Ben finding and demanding his independence.
2. An escalation in monumental fits (ya know cause that actually works??)
3. The introduction of regular chores, which I love, Ben doesn't always think so.
4. A sense of humor that kills me sometimes.
5. Negotiation on Ben's part. "Just one more minute mom, k."
There's more, but these will suffice right now. Let's talk about chores. Chores like setting the table and making one's bed. Chores that are not hard. Chores that he has done several times by himself already and has proven quite proficient for a 3-year old. Chores that have made him feel more capable and have actually improved his mood all the way around. Mostly.
I say mostly because sometimes this little independent 3-year old gets a bee in his bonnet and just won't let it go. Today it was about making his bed. I told him he had to make his bed before he could go outside and play, or anything else really, and he was devastated. Hurt. Wounded both body and soul. And he chose to have it manifest in his body, every little part of it. His fingers hurt, his toes hurt, his head, his eyebrow, forehead, arm, elbow, knee etc. EVERYTHING. And everything needed a kiss better, and everything got repeatedly hurt with each little step towards completing his task.
I will not go into all of the sordid details, but suffice it to say that whining was the music of the morning, not every owie got kissed, and my patience wore thin in a hurry. It's not like I changed the order of things. It's the same every day. It's routine, it's how it's been for the last several months. And most of the time he's jumped at the chance to do his part. And in the effort to keep it real for all you mothers out there, I will have you know I exercised great restraint on my part. Almost superhuman! The urge to beat my child into submission was strong. And if I hadn't learned already, from sad experience that I hope he won't have to have counseling for later on in life, that a spanking doesn't actually work on Ben and only suffices to confuse him and make me feel like a tyrant...well just oy!!
At the end of it all, the bed was made and not by me. An hour later than usual, but not by me. Ben's spirit only slightly broken, which is really okay because the stubbornness of the 3-year old is legendary and could use some tempering. And now we are both happily doing what we would like to be doing on this glorious Thursday morning.
However, the day is still young!
So Mothers. Mothers of young and old, good and bad and all that's in between. Don't be too hard on yourselves.
Take the glowing reviews of perfect Mothers that will surely be shared somewhere this Mother's Day with a grain of salt, knowing that they struggled too.
Know that as long as you are trying you are doing great!
Know that you are okay and are the perfect mom for your kids.
|He's also learning to dress himself.|