So I know I’ve been pretty absent the last couple of weeks (or months). Aside from taking time to enjoy the holidays with the family while being less on the internet, I’ve been really swamped with other stuff during the inception of 2019. No complains, though, because everything that’s been keeping me so busy is everything we planned for the future.
While I can take a hiatus off the computer and off social media, there is one thing that’s just constant: THE SCREAMING BOY IN MY BACKGROUND. Well, sometimes he’s not screaming… just climbing on my back or crying (more like bawling) or pulling a man-made tornado on the house or bombarding me with never-ending questions and stories and requests or, I don’t know, being possessed by some kind of “Terrible Twos Spirit”. When I think about it while writing this, I find it super funny. Mommy gets tyrannized by a 3-yr-old every day. Ha! But when I’m actually in THAT situation, it often feels like I wanna stick my fingers into my ears through my brain and, I don’t know, explode? IT’S MADDENING, I tell ya!
I’ve never been a parent to older kids so I can only talk about being a toddler mom… How come parenting a toddler never gets easier by the day? Yes, a newborn can deprive you of sleep and maybe self-care, too, but a toddler? Oh… that sweet, innocent-looking smile he wears on his face? That cutesy voice he uses with matching eye sparkles? Super adorable! BUT! This can be deceiving, too, and trust me, dealing with him/her can be one of the most challenging tasks in life because number one, who could ever resist that charm? Number two, and you must always remember this: THEY ALWAYS LOOK LIKE ANGELS and they can look at you with puppy dog eyes that could melt you right into their pockets. Consider yourself warned.
It was 8 in the morning when Ezra came down to start his day. The moment I saw him walk down the stairs while rubbing his eyes, I knew THAT was the official start of my day, too. He was wearing his favorite Carters sleep shirt (he doesn’t wear pajamas nor use blanket even when the AC’s on full blast) and had no diaper on (he takes it off the moment he wakes up).
“Good morning, Mommy!” He hollered, flashing a gorgeous, sweet smile like he does every morning and I ran to him for my morning hug and kisses.
Things went by pretty normal in the morning: a hearty breakfast, some playtime, and school (he goes to a 3-hour toddler class). And with his grandparents over for a visit, he had more playmates (or maybe people to pester? LOL).
“I’m gonna make you mac n’ cheese for lunch, okay?”
“But Mom, I don’t like the orange.”
The orange. Haha! Last time I made him mac n’ cheese, he caught me putting squash in it. From then on, he didn’t want mac n’ cheese. Funny because he’s been eating mac n’ cheese with squash all his life. LOL
“It’s going to be a different kind of cheese, okay? Just like the one on your spaghetti.”
“O-kay.” He said in a sing-song voice, and so I was like, Oh cool. That worked.
Now before I tell you what happened in the next few minutes, here’s a quick background: Every time Ezra doesn’t feel well, his favorite feel-good food is always pork sinigang. It is also his, in his words, “favorite food in the world.”
*sniff* *sniff* My mom was in the living room when she heard Ezra cry “quietly” in the corner of the room.
“What’s wrong, baby?”
Now picture this. Ezra had a very sulky face that looked so pitiful — petted lips and eyes brimming with tears. So cute, you could barely say no. Not to mention the very cute, kawawa voice.
“I feel sick. My tummy hurts.”
“Are you hungry? Your mom is already making you lunch.” His grandma wiped his tears away and had him sit on her lap.
“But I don’t like mac n’ cheese, Wowa. It hurts my tummy.”
“What do you want then?”
“Sinigang because I eat sinigang when I’m sick.”
My mom told me about it and when I told her he might just be playing her, she insisted I just cook sinigang instead. So I did.
When we went back to the living room, my mom told Ezra I’m gonna make sinigang now. Still with a pitiful face on, he ran to his grandma and gave her a warm embrace. “Thank you, Wowa.” Then he looked at me and flashed me a sly, haha-I-got-you smile.
YOU MANIPULATIVE MONKEY!!!!!
That’s just one of the tricks up his sleeve. Like most toddlers, he has other silly tactics, wise moves and utterly hilarious moments. They also have the occasional tantrums which, frankly, makes me want to get buried in the sand.
Funny thing is, no matter how vile and gut-wrenching they can be, all can be forgotten with one smile, one embrace, one kiss, one “I love you”, one puppy dog look, even one nothing! You could just be incredibly angry one minute and then you see them being quiet in one corner or playing on their own and BAM! No more angry momma. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how they get away with it.
And don’t get me started with dads. Yes, they can sound extra tough but when it comes to these little Carters-wearing charlatans, they tend to be weaker and hence go soft at most times.
But we can’t just let these kiddos get away with everything, can we? So what do we do? What SHOULD we do?
Frankly, I have no answer to that. In fact, I always find myself and my husband changing our ways because one way may work one day and then on the next day, it won’t. So we mix it up, we adjust our patience, we fight our inner monsters, we try our bestest best to understand, and most of all, we (try to) take time to breathe.
Toddlerhood, like other stages of development, is a crucial part of growing up. It is also a crucial time to raise a child. So between this, the constant struggle to discipline, and the sweet faces and voices of our children, it is always easy to feel like we’re constantly failing as a parent. But you know what? If you feel that way, that means you care so much about raising your child right. And that makes you a good, trying parent. After all, there is no right manual to parenting. We all need to be the parent on our own; the parent who struggles so he/she could raise his/her child right; the parent who “fails” but never fails to try again… and again… and again.
I know toddlerhood is not the end of it all and parenting doesn’t end when the child’s 18 or 30 or 50. I also know the ride can get crazier and messier and mind-blowing. And I bet grandparents are reading this thinking, “Ha! We finally got back at you!” or “Wait til he gets to teenage years.” Hahaha! I should know — I was a difficult child. 😅 I’m just thankful that Ezra’s not a difficult child like I was. He didn’t have so much of the “terrible twos” stage either. He was just a smartypants. But now that he’s three? My oh my.
I love my son. With all my heart. He’s easily one of the funniest, wittiest, sweetest smartypants I’ve ever known. And I would really really love to enjoy every minute of parenting. But, can toddlerhood please go by fast?
Again, I understand it’s a crucial stage. Sometimes I just…. want to pull my hair out. LOL!
And now, as I write this and I look at him playing with his Legos and robot cars, I think to myself, “Aaah, this is peace. He’s quietly playing, I finally found my time to write, and…” Uh-oh, he’s standing up…. He’s looking at me with a cheeky smile…. He’s walking towards me….. I TAKE IT BACK. I TAKE IT ALL BACK! THIS IS NOT PEACE!!!!!!!
If you think he attacked me with Legos, you’re partly right. It was Legos with chocolate chip cookie crumbs and some liquid!!! Was it water? Who knows? Now, who’s gonna clean up the floor, the Legos and the child? Phew. So, see you on my next blog?