mama musings | the artist formerly known as sweet little peanut

sass3 sass2 sass1

so, our little dear had a serious case of sass this past weekend.  it came on out of the blue on friday and didn’t let up until monday.

i mean, she was crazy town.  it was backwardsville.  mad hatter’s tea party minus all the tea and tasty treats and party favors.  at every turn, something more wild would happen.  like, who in the world are you, kid?  where is our sweet little peanut?

she fought her naps.  she arched her back.  so persnickety.  getting worked up.  demanding cup after cup of water, well…the straw.

she wanted to stab every morsel of food with her fork.  only the fork.  and not with any assistance.  and then, she shoveled food to the dogs. then squawked because she wanted more.

being all kinds of particular and bossy. the music had to be on, always.  she took off her clothes.  she wanted them back on, like, right. this. second.  she wanted to do everything herself except for when she wanted us to do everything for her.  and then nothing for her.  and then, everything again.

she had a totally absurd and hilarious meltdown too.  waterworks and pleading with the heavens and stomping feet and sighs and flailing arms.  then, fine.

ah, bipolar toddler.

she refused to be picked up.  she haaaaad to be picked up.

she pushed away from me.  she gave me the sweetest hugs.

she grabbed my hand and guided me to her reading nook.  she wanted to walk around unaccompanied.  and don’t even think about trying to hold my hand, mama.  that is for suckers.

she wanted to be outside.  she panicked when her feet touched the grass.

she tested EVERY limit and tried all her tricks.

she also exhibited major feats of strength.  sliding the chairs around the house.  lifting heavy boxes.  perhaps she is being a copycat from our past few weeks of moving???

and then, after being a wild thing, the most bewildering action of all.  she was a total sweetheart in church nursery.  like, eerily sweet.  she brought toys to and shared her magical snuggles blanket with a crying baby!  what?  our child?  the kind volunteers said she was a delight.  a delight.  i mean, a few weeks ago, those words wouldn’t have been shocking {the blanket sharing still would have been} because elinor has always been a delight.  BUT with the carrying on of the past few days… to now be A DELIGHT?  hmmm… ben and i just laughed.  of course.  of course after all the absurdity she would flip the sweet switch.

well, this too has passed.  and we are still laughing about it.  not like haha!  that sure was a good time! laughing.  like, mad as a hatter laughing.  like mr. magorium’s wonder emporium meets sanatorium padded walls haha.  like, what just happened here?  for real?

i mean, we have all had days or weeks or seasons when we really thought that a good melodramatic fit was warranted.  when all we wanted was to cry or stomp or protest or be miserable.  as we get older and grow, we learn how to process emotions better.  we learn how to cope.  we learn how to exhibit self-control.  but man, sometimes there are rough patches.

and thankfully, we survived our first toddler exhibition.  all we could do was get through it.  persevere.  get to the other side.  try to maintain a positive attitude and a spirit of grace.  to love and nurture and instruct.  to use this time to live by example and set a proper tone.  to not lose our minds.  to etch lines in the sand.  to establish the rules of play.  to show our heart.

even though it wasn’t my favorite weekend, it was an important one.  we learned about each other.  it tested us.  we prayed more.  it added some extra seasoning.  it gave us more preparation for the times to come… oh, times will a-come.

and in spite of it all, i hope that elinor always feel safe enough to cry in the middle of our living room.  i hope that in the tough moments when she is overwrought, that she will continue to look to the heavens.  that when she is wringing her hands, she is mindful that her Savior holds her in His palm and bears the scars of His love for her.  that when she is stomping her feet, her soles remain on the straight and narrow.  i hope she feels safe expressing emotion to us, sharing her troubles and struggles and heart with us.  i hope that she understands that we are here to be her soft place…with solid boundaries.  i pray that our family dynamic is always joyful and light enough for us to be able to chuckle and enjoy a good eye roll when someone is acting silly.  and for us to be strong enough to correct when someone is acting foolishly.

i pray that elinor gains an understanding of who she is and whose she is…and an understanding that the whose informs everything about the who.

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5 thoughts on “mama musings | the artist formerly known as sweet little peanut

  1. Pingback: as seen on whattoexpect.com | swanky & dapper

  2. I really enjoyed reading this. Like, a lot. I love reading about how parents deal with the times that their kids are acting out. It’s so refreshing to read about your perspective in the last little bit, about hoping Elinor always feels comfortable enough to know that her parents are there for her in the tough times. I love that. You guys are some good ones. :D

    • thank you, Sarah. those are some kind words indeed. it is such a complex thing, this parenting gig. balancing discipline and mercy. and understanding how to show a heart of grace in spite of it all. she needs boundaries. she craves it, actually. but, i want her to feel total freedom within those boundaries. knowing that we have thoughtfully erected those lines for her protection, giving her a haven where she can play and explore and discover. knowing that she will test the boundaries more and more and one day, learn how to instill her own. hopefully, based on a firm foundation of love and an understanding of her own strengths and shortcomings.

      sheesh. tall order. and we are only 16 months in. this little one will keep us on our toes.

  3. I, too, enjoyed this musing. When our daughter had her switch flipping episode last year it really threw me for a loop! And I already had a son who went through that period of life without any of that crazy stuff. Boom! God let me have it all with her in a matter of weeks. Now we have a new baby boy and I’m just waiting to see if crazy is going to hit the fan again when we get to that period.
    The thing I appreciated most from this post is that when he does get there, I’ll be less “Mommy-be-freaking-out”, and more, “understanding of who he is and whose he is.” With a large dollop of grace! Thanks.

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