Thank goodness someone up above knows me better than I know myself.
“You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.”
As a parent, there is a lot I don’t know. I don’t know much of Sprout’s history. I don’t know what their future will hold or where they might be next month. I don’t really know the dark demons that live in my little boy’s heart. I don’t always know the best way to respond to behavior challenges (let me tell you, this child thinks of things that aren’t in any parenting book). I don’t know the right answer to all the questions I’m asked. I don’t know if I say the right things or if I do the right things. Heck, I don’t even know how long I’ll be able to call myself a parent.
But, what I do know is that my love is stronger than his anger. And that’s all I need to know to get up tomorrow and do it all again.
Rosebud has started to develop some dry, sensitive skin over the past few weeks. At one point she even had an allergic reaction (or so we’re guessing) to one of her bath products leading to a bumpy rash all over her face and ears. So, we did a complete skin-care overhaul and I was thrilled when her skin cleared up and her soft, glowing, impossible to resist baby cheeks were back.
Just one problem. I was rocking her to sleep last night after her bath and my arms started breaking out in hives. I have lots of annoying allergies that I’ve learned to live with, but this one is just ridiculous. Apparently I’m allergic to the only baby lotion that she’s not.
Back to the drawing board…
– Roses (I used to get her one for each valentine’s day we had celebrated together)
– Dinner reservations
– Exchange of thoughtful, romantic gifts
– Little black dress
– Spending the day holding hands, looking into each other’s eyes, and generally being the vomit-producing mushy gushy couple
– Sweat pants
– Pink pancakes and heart shaped grill cheese
– Walk to the playground holding the sticky hand of a 3-year-old
– The only gift exchange is the purchase of a new minivan for the family
– Laundry, dishes, giving the dog a bath
– Baby giggles, “I wub you mommy”, and stealing kisses from my wife as she makes another bottle. And I thought I was happy then 🙂
On Friday Sprout came down with the stomach bug. We’re not usually big TV people, but since it was in his best interest to rest and stay mellow, we let him watch the movie Cars. Then I proceeded to spend the weekend complaining to anyone who would listen about the improper language in the movie and why in the world can’t anyone make a nice, appropriate, children’s movie anymore??
Fast forward to yesterday evening. I get home from work and Sprout is excited to show me all the treasures his bio mom gave him during their visit (she didn’t show last week so I guess there was lots of making up to do). A monster truck. A duck for the bathtub. A dollar. And, a movie. He was especially psyched about the movie.
You know why the joke’s on me? Well, after I spent days complaining about a G rated kid’s film, his mom gives him a DVD thats rated PG-13, and full of violence and sexual innuendo (no, we didn’t watch it. I had seen it before). Apparently he’s 3 going on 13? As an added bonus, he also told A no less than 5 times that we’re not his mommies and that Rosebud belongs to his mom only.
Ahhh, the joys of coparenting.
Let’s face it, I do a fair amount of mentioning Sprout’s less desirable behaviors on here (ie: the meltdown of epic proportions we faced Thursday during bath time) but I want to make sure I give this boy a fair shake and highlight the many things he does so well. Friday morning provided me with the perfect example…
At 5:15am A got up to shovel the driveway and since Sprout is (as his therapist has labeled him) hypervigilant, he sprung out of bed to see what the early morning fuss was about. And now that he was up, there was no chance of getting him to go back to sleep. So, A asked him to read some books quietly in his room until I got up.
Pffft. Sprout? Energetic, 3 year old, must-be-with-people Sprout? Read books alone in his room?? Well, wouldn’t you know it.
I got myself and Rosebud up about 20 minutes later and peaked into Sprout’s room to see him sitting on his bed reading “I love you, Good Night” to Elmo who was placed gingerly in his lap. I stood in the dark hallway watching him, holding his sleeping sister in my arms, and trying my hardest to soak in the wonder of these amazing children. It didn’t matter that it wasn’t even 6am yet, or that my house was a mess, or that I had at least 20 emails overdue for a reply – all that mattered was that this beautiful little boy felt safe, secure, and loved enough to read a book by himself for a little while. I know it seems like such a simple thing, but in our world – in his world – the ability to trust enough to be alone is huge. I made sure to tell him how proud I was…after I blinked back the joyful tears.