I feel like I’m beginning to enter the “fun” years of parenting, and what I mean by that is, these are the years I have my earliest memories as a child, and can relate to my children’s experiences and directly relate to them in a way I wasn’t able to before. My boys are 7 and 3 1/2, and they both have budding personalities filled with likes and dislikes. My earliest childhood memories were from when I was 4 years old – I remember playing at the park with my My Little Pony dolls, I remember seeing my first rainbow, and I remember dancing in the rain with my friends. I love telling my kids stories about my childhood and saying the phrase “when I was your age….”
I’ll admit that I’m not a good “toddler” mom – while I loved the super cute infant stage, right around the one year mark things started getting hard for me – I wasn’t able to see the light at the end of the sleep regression/teething/screaming/potty training tunnel. Add to that the fact that I was a stay at home mom through both my kids toddler phases, and you can probably understand why I was ready to move on. My second child especially was quite “spirited” through his toddler years – practically everything made him cry, or scream, or both. And a screaming toddler makes anyone scream, especially a 5 year old. So after having two years of screaming kids in the house, I was ready to pull my hair out…
…Until just a few weeks ago when my 3 1/2 year old began using his words to communicate. His older brother had accidentally pushed him into the door, and rather than scream bloody murder like he used to, my younger one said “ouch, that hurt!” I was about to say “apologize to your brother please” to my older one, but caught myself out of sheer amazement and excitement at the fact that my baby had used words to express himself! Hallelujah! I can’t begin to tell you how proud I was of him for the mental strides he had made. I picked him up, twirled him around and said “you used your words!!” to which he giggled and said “yay! I use my words!”
And just last week we transitioned him to big boy underwear – he’s had a few accidents, but I feel like we’re finally approaching the light at the end of the tunnel. I feel as though the next several years, i.e. pre-puberty elementary years, could quite possibly be the best years of my parenting life (as I’ve heard many other parents say) and I intend of soaking up every moment. I can’t wait to hear the way my boys perceive life, and hear about their perspective on the world as it differs from mine now, and when I was a child.