Last night I was putting Jp to bed. He hadn’t had a nap and while that should make a toddler more tired and ready to go to bed, it typically makes mine even more irritable and unwilling to yield to the necessary processes of going to sleep. For my little one, that means tears. Lots and lots of tears. Tears while brushing his teeth, tears while putting on his pajamas, tears literally until the moment he knocks off for the night.
It’s my normal.
I’ve written many a post about my highly sensitive, dramatic, and tenderhearted little boy. Crying is just something that is an integral part of his quirky little personality. He weeps when it’s bath time, time to get dressed, change a diaper, if it’s a food not on his list, if you try to read to him…pretty much if the wind blows (right this moment he is crying because he wants the computer to play ABC Mouse even though he had already commandeered my phone and the TV).
Jp is a man that is touch with his emotions and wants you to know all about it all of the time.
Which is great normally, I love him just the way his little self is. Truly. But last night I had a moment of weakness. Bedtime routine, 30 minutes in and he is still crying. It’s pitch black, I am holding his hand and he has been crying for 20 solid minutes at the top of his lungs. It’s like this every night so I don’t know what was different exactly, maybe it’s the fact that I am reading How to Raise Your Spirited Child (of which I am sure I will be writing a series of posts on to be certain) or that Aunt Flo is in route to my house as we speak but I just lost my cookies.
There, in the darkened room, where no one could see my weakness, I cried. I thought of all of the moms that were able to rock their children to sleep, or read to them before bed and just started to cry. I thought of night night kisses and baths without drama and trips to the store without getting a “Really?” look from a clerk because I have 7 boxes of toaster pancakes in my cart and I just broke down.
I love my son just the way that he is. I wouldn’t change one hair on his head for anything in the world but in that one second…I felt a little overwhelmed.
Raising kids is hard, I know that and I knew that when I walked into this adventure. Raising Jp takes patience that I didn’t even know was possible sometimes. It’s like living in a soap opera that I partake in. Ridiculous scenarios, screaming, drama, mayhem. All day at times. Once every few months or so I think of what it would be like for every single minute of every day not to be a battle (or at least, every moment that he wasn’t engrossed in an electronic or some sort) and I think -just for a moment- why me?
Is it a popular thought to have? Of course not, but it’s true.
Why is it that I have a child that screams all day? I was not renowned for my patient nature before I became a mother. Why can’t I put my child down for bed without having to fight? Every. Single. Night? How nice it would be to give kisses and read a book and maybe rock him just for a little while. My rocking chair has been collecting dust in the garage for a year since he preferred to climb it than ever be rocked. His books have tags on them or are missing pages since there is only two ways he handles the reading situation and that is ignoring me while I read it or grab the book out of my hand and destroy it.
Sometimes I think that I was chosen for this grand important reason and that is what drives me. It is what makes my feet hit the floor in the morning. I was chosen for my strength and my test is my patience. It is what I am meant to learn in this lifetime. Other times, in the cover of the dark room, I cry because it’s unfair. Unfair that a child that I wanted so intensely and love so much is teaching me something with so much intensity and tenacity that it actually makes me cry. And I feel weak for feeling like that at all.
Then he finally fell asleep. I listened to the sound of his even breathing in the darkness and thought, “But what if I never had him?”. It is a idea that I wouldn’t even want to contemplate. It was a possibility -more a probability- that I would never have a child. But I did. Against all odds, I had this beautiful little bundle of drama and excitement. He may be extreme lows but he his extreme highs, too. He is this burst of energy in my world that I desperately needed even though at the time I didn’t know it.
As I sat there and listened to my tiny angel breathe slowly, I leaned over and kissed him on his cheek and wiped away his tears and then mine. We were brought together to teach each other; to be a team. It’s okay that sometimes we make each other cry. It’s okay to be weak at times. As long as you can pick yourself up and remember what is important at the end of the day, it’s okay to be a parent and be human.
And a stolen goodnight kiss when he’s asleep is just as good as one that is given, in my humble opinion.
I'm just living minute to minute, hour to hour, day to day.