Monday, June 20, 2011

Facing Freedom

Today little goat has fallen asleep in his big boy bed.  Well, it actually isn't a big boy bed yet, but his crib with one side taken off.  It went *knock on wood* well.  Even though he crawled into bed himself he didn't seem to quite get that he could get out, instead he just cried for me when he didn't want to be sleeping yet.  I'm sure that is temporary and we have his room gated off now in an attempt to keep him safe during the night (he knows how to open locks and doors, not to mention having all sorts of other mechanical skills).

Honestly I put off this transition.  I wasn't ready for the freedom of him getting up in the night without my knowledge.  I often find that I am the one who's not ready.  Freedom is a tricky thing.  Little goat grows fast, and even his language has been expanding at a rapid pace lately.  He is learning things each day.  He's learning to swim.  Tomorrow he goes to his first music class.  He is just blossoming.

It is beautiful to watch, but it is also challenging for me.  He is so energetic, constantly going.  He is so persistent, trying to get around your instructions over and over again.  He is so strong, he will fight to get what he wants and often you are in the way.

Sometimes he is just so hard for me and it feels embarrassing to admit that.  But even in his worst obstinance he is very precious to me.  Each night after meds and books and prayers, we cuddle together he and I and I smell his hair as he nuzzles into my neck and everything is fine again.  The difficulties of the day fade away.  I'm glad for that, it keeps me sane.  The challenge is to find a way to parent this toddler.  This toddler who wants his way and doesn't like to listen but still needs protecting and guiding and loving.  Independence and freedom within safe boundaries.  And that is a challenge.

He's asleep in his big boy bed tonight, facing his freedom wonderfully.  And I am here blogging wondering how I learn to be a big boy mom when sometimes I just wish he were that tiny infant that I had finally figured out.  Little Goat, I want you to learn to be independent and confident, but can we slow down a little bit so mama can catch up?

EDITED TO ADD:  He only fell out of bed twice (um, I wonder if I should put a pad down, we'll see how tonight goes), but he slept in the "bed" all night long!


Veronica said...

The hardest thing we have to do as mamas is let go. Step in when you have to step in, but otherwise....let go. It's S C A R Y...but it has to happen.

Emma said...

Oh boy, can I relate! :-)

Valerie said...

This reminds me of the book "Love You Forever." The book was a favorite of mine growing up, even if now I find it a little creepy. However, that's not the point. The cover of the book (and one part of the book) is from when the boy is a toddler. He's made a mess of everything, he's gone slightly wild, and he's even thrown his parent's watch (or wallet, I can't remember) in the toilet. Still, though, at night, when he's quiet, his mom tells him how much she loves him.

I love that book (and always have) because it just goes to show that, even though it's not always easy, it IS worth it. You're a great mom. Don't stress about toddler-hood. If anyone can handle it, you can!