Saturday, March 19, 2011

Challenged, but grateful

Right around the time Sylvia turned 4, just recently, she started getting a bit sassy.  Instead of offering to help, she started saying things like "You can't ma-ake me."  Though it usually only takes a bit of joking or re-phrasing to bring her along, she can really dig in her heels when she's feeling stubborn.  As her wise ballet teacher reminded me, "this trait will serve her well someday...not soon maybe, but someday..."

She also has become even more of a force-of-nature than she was previously.  Sylvia walks into a room and water glasses tip, things fall off of shelves, and all manner of items scatter themselves into a messy disarray.  For example, in...Oh say, the amount of time it takes me to write a blog post, Sylvia might have poured half of a (large) container of sea salt over the dirty dishes, along with most of the dish soap, and sloshed about a gallon of (now salty) water on the floor, along with dusting powdered sugar all over the dining room table and floor, her own face, and her baby sister's hands (!)  These things were not done out of malice, or even naughty mischief, but simply out of curiosity, playfulness, and a desire to cure her sweet tooth.  She was attempting to wash a dish (of course).  This is just a tiny example, and I will admit that I'm less likely to yell and get testy if I just allow the house to remain in disarray (until my patience is restored) rather than create a (self-imposed) need to be tidy.

However, just as Sylvia is becoming more difficult to interact with (sometimes, only sometimes), Camille is becoming easier.  In her own words, "I haven't freaked out in like a month.  I'm proud of myself."  She went through several months where she was finding it hard to be human and having lots of strong emotions, but seems to have really come out the other side.  Her imaginative, fun-loving, sweet nature is really re-emerging.  I believe that this is largely because she trusts me (and her Papa) to work things out in a way that we all can feel good about, that we take her emotions seriously, and find ways to help her work through them respectfully.  So, I am truly grateful to have only one really-pushing-her-limits child (along with a teething baby) to navigate at a time.  Truly.  I believe that Sylvia will find her stride too, and for all of her stubborn, messy, larger-than-can-be-contained energy, she pours forth love and humor and goodness too (and in much greater quantity ;-)


  1. Oh you sound like the patient, loving mother that I long to be everyday. We have a strong-willed-testing-the-limts-stubborn three year old on our hands and every slight difficulty in life seems to result in a complete melt down. It is trying on me to say the least! Can you bottle up your wonderful mothering abilities and sell them to me?
    Linked up to you tonight!

  2. Oh yes,they come through the testing times, as do mama and Dad. Although I have to admit that it sometimes feels like forever when it is merely a couple of years. Or when they're all grown up it feels like only moments when it was in fact many, many years for some!
    Good for your girls having a patient mama waiting and guiding them through.

  3. Thanks, ladies. The one thing that has helped me the most with my patience level is reminding myself that my kids are doing the best they can with the abilities that they have. Then if I lose it and my temper flares, I remind myself that I am doing the best I can with the abilities that I have :) Then I apologize and move on...

  4. "my kids are doing the best they can with the abilities that they have."

    exactly. I have an intense boy all the time, with the other one going in and out of it as he has growth spurts (he is having one now, and he is a FORCE). I love that they are so sure of themselves even in the face of total chaos. ;)


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