Dear Ian (20 Months)

Dear Ian,

You and I are having a good week, little man. We are still adjusting to being home together all the time, but I am choosing my battles more wisely, and you are going with the flow a bit more. This morning after you woke up, you gave me the sweetest hugs and kisses, holding my face in your tiny little hands. It’s moments like those I will replay in my head like a movie, over and over again. Simply the best.

Last night at dinner, though, was a different story. You were already finished, so Dad and I were eating our dinner and you were playing in the kitchen. You pulled an empty Starbucks cup from the trash can, and the lid popped off. You were mad, and you immediately started yelling and crying, pacing back and forth across the kitchen. Dad and I decided to ignore it–you weren’t hurt, and we are trying to teach you to ask for help before the meltdown. But melt down you did.

After several minutes of this, I couldn’t take the noise level anymore. I looked at you and rather frustratedly said, “Ian, if you want help, ask for help!” You looked at me with the biggest crocodile tears falling down your red face and, in between sobs, eked out, “Mama…help.”

Your dad said, “Well, that’s the saddest thing I’ve ever heard in my life.”

It really was, and I felt terrible for ignoring you for so long.

We put the top back on the Starbucks cup, and you happily went along pretending to drink your coffee. (Never mind the fact that it came out of the trash can. Again, choosing my battles here.)

We have a lot of interactions like this lately. You want to do so much, but your motor skills just can’t keep up with your ideas and desires! It seems so silly, but it’s so true. You get frustrated easily, and we’re trying to help you navigate that. But in every moment, I’m always second-guessing.

Is this a moment when you learn to be patient or to dig your heels in further?

Is this a moment when you learn to use your words or that mom ignores you?

If I’m not careful, mom-guilt will sneak up on me real fast, but I think that parenting isn’t a zero-sum game. Not every interaction is THE. ONE. that will teach the lesson, but the sum is greater than the parts. At least, I hope so. So, in-between these moments of frustration, I try to squeeze in as many hugs and smiles and silly faces as possible. The truth is, it’s both exciting and exhausting to watch you grow.

And all the while, I am constantly taking deep breaths, learning to hold my plans and productivity a little more loosely, and learning to get used to LOUD NOISES. All. the. time.

I love you, my silly, stubborn boy.

Mama

At 20 months, you…

Love macaroni & cheese. You’d eat it for every snack & every meal if I let you.

Refuse to drink water from sippy cups. Only regular cups with straws will do.

Watch Tumble Leaf on Amazon Prime and Peppa Pig on youtube.

Say cheese, bus, night-night, blueberry (bloo-bah), I want, hmmm, and house.

Greet every stuffed animal with “Hi!”

Park your toy cars by lining them up against the couch.

Cry whenever you run out of fruit snacks or applesauce.

Make kissy noises, instead of just smashing your face against ours.

Dance hilariously, by spinning in circles and bouncing up and down.

Are sweet, silly, stubborn, and very curious.

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Author: Lindsey Cornett

A Florida girl navigating life in Michigan // learning to trade perfectionism for freedom with an iced coffee in hand

1 thought on “Dear Ian (20 Months)”

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