Parenting is undoubtedly one of the most challenging and rewarding jobs on the planet. But every now and then I get a glimpse, a little insight, into not only my son but also myself. This is why parenting is such a humbling experience.
One of the hardest lessons I am learning at the moment is that what worked yesterday may not work today. I have to pull out all the creative thinking in difficult circumstances.
Here are some of my learning areas:
1. Sleep: Just when I was congratulating myself that things were getting sorted with sleep, a few curve balls come up to keep me humble. One little unavoidable afternoon trip in a car and everything is messed up again. Of course he will sleep, it’s not his fault. But it makes bedtime challenging and exhausting.
2. Independence: I was feeling all confident that Nicky could handle the big kids sunday school after he managed two lessons without incident. Big mistake. The third time he fell to pieces and they had to call me out of the church. The next time I just stayed with him and I still landed up having to take him home in tears. Oh well, we will get there. However, I am noticing that he needs me less after he has “warmed up” a bit – got to know the kids a bit then he will go with them. And isn’t that like us as adults as well?
3. Potty training: I was feeling so happy that Nicky had a whole week behind him without incident I got the maid to clean the floor in his room which was messed up from various accidents. Guess what? We had two days of bad accidents and then as she walked in on Friday he was peeing on the floor again. But, I have to say he is back to pooping in the potty, so hold thumbs, all is not lost.
4. Toys: Nicky needs his toys around him as a security blanket. He cries for them. He names them. This evening, even though the bed is full of bears we had to load up with the trains and trucks as well (small ones, fortunately). Then he started crying for “Maner” (Mater the tow truck) and “Lightning”. So I had to go find them and fit them in the bed. His arms reach out for them in desperation. He really craves them.
I was thinking: oh my word. Why doesn’t he just let it go and go to sleep?
But later as we were finally getting to sleep, and I told him it wasn’t his fault he was struggling to sleep, it was just that car trip, a little comparison slipped into my head. All I could think of was getting onto the computer and doing my stuff. Every bit as much, if not more, than my son wanted his toys.
So there you have it folks. I am stuck to this computer just as solidly as Nicky is stuck to his cars.
The pictures in this post are taken from a great afternoon at the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens at a picnic from my phoning job. Nicky had fun at a playground, a tunnel, squirting water pistols and blowing bubbles. I think all that fun may just have been worth the difficulty falling asleep because of napping on the way back!
Parenting is no doubt there to not only keep me on my toes but also keep me humble: and remind me that I am not so different from my child.