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Of Toddlers and Tantrums

Here’s the real story. It’s not easy being a toddler mom.

It’s incredibly fun and nothing else quite compares to the sweetness of those little hands against your face, and that little Eskimo Kiss. The laughter and the silliness and the total cuteness.

Joy just explodes from his little body. He hugs the cat and rides the dog and picks tomatoes for a snack. He is incredibly cute and sweet.

He’s also incredibly fast and dynamic.

When he has a goal, nothing and no one can stop him. His mind is intent on ONE thing. It usually has to do with Daddy, food, or anything on wheels. Sometimes it’s just the sheer joy of running and the chase that thrills him.

And sometimes it’s the little “catch me if you dare”.

Today I thought he was being the most amazing, quiet toddler, drinking his bottle in the comfy little space I made for him, only to discover that he had escaped out side and was vroom vrooming happily on the lawn mower seat.

It isn’t always pretty though guys! He has a BIG voice , a STRONG opinion, and an unquenchable spirit.

That brings me to to tantrums. I’m starting to look at this whole tantrum thing in a different light. I’m starting to put myself in his place.

Whispering at 5:30 AM?

No thanks! I was just quiet for 10 hour and I’m ready to rumble!

Time to come in?

Of course not! It’s way more fun outside with all the exploring to do!

Go to sleep?

Why would I DO that? I may miss out on the fun!

Sit in my car seat?

Are you out of your mind? Those things have STRAPS!

Don’t hit my brother?

But he’s so much fun to tease!

Water is for drinking.

But have you ever let it run out of your mouth. Repeatedly? Just for fun?

How about emptying the tissue box? Or spreading the snack on the floor?

I mean, who actually swallows peanuts! They are made to chew and spit.

And checkout lines? I mean that’s where I am DONE . No, the bottle is only a trick and Mercy no! I don’t want a SNACK right now. I JUST WANT TO RUN.

Sometimes it’s like chasing a whirlwind. Sometimes I can’t have a decent conversation because I’m talking to the air or over my shoulder 90% of the time.

Do I believe in boundaries? Yes. But honestly guys, if your child is safe, fed and clothed (well …we may be a bit sketchy on the clothed part) then give him the world to conquer!

I feel like our kids have so many negative words spoken over them. Like naughty. Stubborn. Rebellious. Manipulative. It makes me sad to hear these words even In My own brain.

What I used to call a tantrum, I look at as a grand disappointment. What I thought was manipulative behavior is often a plea for attention and understanding and connection. To really be heard and valued. What I thought was stubborn is often just a great big personal preference.

Our children are little people, after all, and too often we treat them with very little respect and a whole lot of authority. Then we demand that they respect us. It usually doesn’t go over too well with me when I feel shamed, forced, or manipulated into doing something. It doesn’t feel good to our children either.

I’m learning to take a moment and look at life through little boy eyes. To take a breathe and feel the feels. It takes time and work and isn’t exactly convenient when the pressure is rising and people are watching and all my triggers are firing. But having that trust and connection guys, it’s going to be so worth it!

Don’t give up on pursuing your children’s hearts, my friend! It’s HARD! I know! We mess up! I SO KNOW! But knowledge is power. Failure is FORWARD. Connection is key.

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Posing

You know how sometimes you feel so unqualified for a job that you are paranoid to say you own it?

That’s how I’ve been feeling about homeschooling. I never intended to homeschool my kids. And then I planned to. And then I didn’t. And now I am. And I am loving it!

I caught myself telling someone recently that I’m going to TRY to homeschool this year and then I corrected myself because they were my friends and I boldly said ” I AM going to homeschool this year ”

And I’m going to do an excellent job.

I don’t know if it will be exactly the way I am hoping. But whether or not it looks tidy and neat or messy and freestyle, I am going to do my absolute best.

Having a medically fragile child for 3 1/2 years taught me to hold all plans and expectations in an open hand. However, sometimes it feels like I err on the side of footloose. Commitment is hard for me since I tried not to make any commitments I couldn’t keep. To make it all a bit more complicated, I’m a ‘fly by the seat of my pants” person..Naturally. I also have a hard time saying No. And you know what else? I realized that I love to pose.

This book opened my eye to that 🙂

In case you think I’m photogentic, that’s not what I mean 🙂 Posing is this:

I see myself in a place or situation in my imagination that is not my actual reality. Its just that I like that vision of myself so much and I talk about it so much , that I project it into my days and my life and I almost believe its true.

Like living in a tiny house, for instance.

With glass jars of spices and clothing that all coordinates and cute little cubicals of neatly folded clothes.

I would actually like to try the whole tiny house thing some day but right now, its not my reality and no amount of dreaming is going to change that!

My best days have semi organized drawers and books spilling from shelves and baskets and clothes with bold colors.

I’m trying to not be a poser when it comes to home schooling or mothering. Its just a bit hard when you don’t really know what you’re doing, but you’ve got to start somewhere. Its not posing when your heart is in the here and now.

Right here. Right now.

Many of us are holding it together on coffee and a prayer , though. And that’s ok!

Its the reality show days when our whole lifeline is a whisper to our Creator that really make us who we are.

And we stop and wonder at His waves of grace.

On a side note, Glacier and Yellowstone were beautiful this week and we had so much fun exploring Nevada City.

It makes me so grateful to live in Montana! So grateful for my manchilds and mainman!