Threenager

12 days until Calvin turns 3… Where has my baby gone?

We’ve already been witnessing the behaviors of a threenager recently, the argumentative nature, the poor listener and the standard “I don’t know” answer to every question.

Despite these new obstacles, there is no doubt that Calvin is a wonderful child. And perhaps that may be said through the rose tinted glasses of his mother, but I truly believe that I am raising a fun, energetic, intelligent boy on the road to becoming a brilliant young man.

I try to tell him three things everyday:

  1. That I’m proud of him
  2. That I love him
  3. That I love to watch him

And by that last one, I mean, I love to watch him play, explore, sing, dance, laugh, love, socialize, share… The list goes on. But I want him to know that I love to see him doing these things, I want to reinforce the positive behaviors. This has lead to him opening up about his likes/dislikes, it’s driven him to speak politely to others and we are on the road to grasping the idea of sharing (which is hard with a little sister!).

We are going to have a little get together with friends and family for his birthday, and Calvin has chosen the theme. Octonauts! I’m stoked that he’s been able have some input as to what he’d like and thankfully the “I don’t know” answer suits me just fine when I ask him about specifics, it just makes things easier!

So gone is my baby, but before me is a little boy who just loves to laugh, and to make other people laugh. And it’s beautiful!

Sensitivity

Motherhood really gives you an uppercut to the feels! I noticed recently that since having children, I have become more sensitive when watching or reading anything about babies and young children. Tonight I found myself welling up watching Call the Midwife, because it not only focused on birth, but on the difficulty that some women face in having to give a child up for adoption.

I have no first hand experience of adoption from any angle, and thus, it has never really been a sensitive issue for me. I sympathize with all parties, but this evening, the idea of an otherwise healthy mother and child being separated from one another due to circumstances such as age and social standing, made my stomach ache and my heart catch in my throat. 

It’s great storytelling that as an observer, you can’t help but be drawn in by the emotional experience these parties are having. You find yourself trying to imagine making such a difficult decision, or in the case of some women having that decision made for you. I can’t begin to truly understand.

I don’t often read or watch the news now. There is just too many negative stories involving children that just the thought of such topics brings a burning sensation to my throat. I’m not trying to shelter myself from reality, but I also can do without filling my head and my heart with scenarios I’d rather not even imagine.

On the flip side of this, the increased tug on my emotions, I feel, has made me more empathetic. In general I find myself relating easier to people, and specifically, I can empathize better with parents and also the emotions of young children. Where in the past I may have looked at a crying child and thought “what have they got to cry about!?” (callous I know!), I am able to understand that young kids are dealing with a whole host of new emotions. I’m not excusing bad behavior, but hell, a few years into life is hardly enough time to expect a child to have their feelings perfectly in line with something such as the high concept of logic! 

I don’t know where I’m going with this, other than to say, I’m more emotionally in tune. And a glass of wine and a topic close to my heart is much more likely to have me reaching for the tissues nowadays than ever before!