Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Storm Before the Calm?

IMG_0595It was just yesterday that I posted about my FB break and trying to get things in the proper order, right? It was just yesterday that I announced to the blogging world that one of my new goals is to devote more time to Bible reading and prayer, wasn't it? Well, I expected the days to be sweeter, brighter, and more full of smiles and "smackers" (Riley's term for loud kisses) than ever before. That certainly hasn't been the case. Yesterday and today have been the two hardest "mommy days" I've had since becoming a parent. What's up with that? And it's not the newborn that's giving me the problems... it's my little stinker of a two year old (she should be very thankful that she's so adorable!).

Before I get into all the gory details, let me just say, I love my girl. She's generally happy and cheerful, sweet and loving, and a joy to be around. Most of yesterday and today were no different. Riley is so smart and makes us look at each other all the time with a look that says, Did she really just say that? I think being accustomed to such a good little girl makes these days with some "issues" seem far worse than they actually are. Unfortunately, that's the farthest thing from my mind in the heat of it all. And, if I may make some excuses for her (that's one of those things I said I'd never do) she is fighting a cold, getting teeth, and adjusting to a new baby sister. That's pretty rough on a two year old. 

Yesterday's worst meltdown came when it was time to brush Riley's teeth before bed. Usually, David does it but he wasn't home. I don't know if it was because we weren't sticking to the normal routine or if she was just testing the waters to see what she could get away with, but it was war. Those of you without kids would be amazed at what a fight a toddler can give when she has her mind set to it. It frightens me that I have what seems to be a strong-willed child. I just have to keep reminding myself that I have to win these battles now so that they're easier to win in the future. Also surprising is how quickly she can return to her adorably sweet self, offering me sweet hugs and bedtime kisses. After Riley went to bed, I laid on my bed and cried. I felt like a failure. My sweet husband reminded me that I'm not and that I just need to keep going ahead. 

Today's meltdown came when I was trying to do a craft with Riley. All I wanted to do was trace her hand with a pencil for crying out loud! Battle number two was, thankfully, shorter than yesterday's. Perhaps that means we won't have any tomorrow; or maybe it means that they'll keep getting shorter for a week before they totally dwindle down to nothing. Either way, I'll be thankful when this war is over. 
I'm hoping this is the reverse of the proverbial "calm before the storm." Maybe this is just a test to see if I'll stick to my guns when the going gets tough. If I can stick to my new habits now, I can definitely do it when things are smooth sailing, right? Let me rephrase that: if I can do it now, I will be able to do this when things get back to normal. 

Unfortunately, I didn't deal all too well with the meltdowns. No excuses for me: I should have been more patient and kind during our exchanges. Today, I'm happy to say, in the midst of it all I realized I was handling it all wrong so I sat Riley in a chair (first picture) and took a break to pray. God really helped me calm down and deal with the situation better. I'm so thankful for that. When I'm tempted to think that I can't handle it and that I'm messing up her life, I need to remember that he blessed me with my precious girl so he obviously thought I could handle it with his help.

Hopefully this situation will help both Riley and me in the long run. 


  1. I don't think you are making excuses - those are big things happening in her little life and they often make little changes (like Mummy cleaning her teeth instead) harder to cope with.
    I'm encouraged by your prayerfulness :)

    1. Thanks, Libby. I'm glad they don't sound like excuses. She really is a sweet girl. I think we'll be back to normal soon!

  2. Hi Lauren! Glad you found my blog and I found yours! I totally understand the unpredictable meltdowns; our 3 y.o. Kate is as mercurial as they come! The other night, an hour past bedtime, she was screaming for a piece of tape to fix a sign on her door (torn because she had taken the tape that was holding it up off!) We ignored it and she went to sleep. Ten hours later, my husband went to rouse her in the morning, she rolled over and groggily said, "I need a piece of tape for my door." Crazy.

    Strong willed people make the world go round. It's just hard being their mama :0) Hang in there.

    1. That's so funny! They are easily fixated on things, aren't they?