Kenadie and Lila's tantrums have been escalating lately despite all the great advice I've received and parenting books I've read.
When Lila's hands are grubby from food, instead of wiping them on a napkin or even on her clothes, she just runs her sticky/messy fingers through her hair.
Kenadie has taken to enthusiastically thanking Garrett and I for every meal we eat as we sit down at the dinner table and it is the cutest thing.
Lila still loves to push Kenadie's buttons at bedtime by randomly shrieking while they are both supposed to be going to sleep. This makes Kenadie cry and holler in frustration for her to be quiet, which makes Lila laugh and laugh, and then Lila shrieks some more. This pattern usually goes on for a good 30 minutes before Lila will quit and decide to go to sleep.
Kenadie continues to have potty issues.....two years after successful potty training. While I have come to realize that she has actual problems that will probably need medical attention, it has nonetheless made for a frustrating and laundry-filled two years. I sure would love to get this resolved so that come January, I will only have to worry about 2 kids' elimination needs. *prayers*
Lila still requires snuggle time with me every morning for a good 10 minutes after she wakes up.
My mother remarked the other week that with all of Kenadie's antics, she at least hasn't taken scissors to her hair yet. Within four days of my mom's statement, Kenadie found a pair a scissors and chopped 5 inches off her hair (luckily her hair was so extremely long that it is actually still pretty long even after Auntie Adrienne fixed Kenadie's "haircut").
Lila adores Kenadie and went up to her the other day when Kenadie was sad and tenderly asked, "What's a matter, Kenners??" while giving her a hug.
To help save my sanity during Kenadie's tantrums, I had a little chat with her the other day where I explained to her that while it was okay to be upset, it was not okay to hurt everyone's ears with her screaming. I suggested that when she needs to gets her screams out, she should run into her room and scream into a pillow. She thought this was brilliant and I had a much quieter house during "tantrum time".........that is until she no longer thought it was a fun idea 3 days later! Now we are back to square one.
While I was busy packing the other day, Lila found a bottle of purple acrylic paint and dumped it all over the carpet and bedroom door just minutes before we were supposed to leave the house to pick Kenadie up from school and run errands. She ran away and hid, and when I found her she gingerly patted my cheeks with her purple hands and chirped, "Nice!"
The girls' favorite thing in the world is for Garrett and I to be monsters that chase them. When we get too close, they will both scream in unison, "Ice!!!", after which we immediately turn to ice and freeze in position, allowing them to escape until they can get to safety, at which point they shout, "normal!!" and the game continues..........
These are just a little glimpses of what goes on in our home on a daily basis.
If you wanted to take a glimpse of what goes on inside my mind while all of this goes inside our home, you'd find the following: frustration, adoration, thoughts of running away, pure love and compassion, anger, awe, exhaustion.
The other day while I was driving to pick Kenadie up from school and trying to cool down from Lila's above-mentioned purple painting project, I began marveling in my head at what a wonderful and difficult thing parenthood is, and I began playing a little game of "fill in the blank" with myself.
It went something like this:
If you want to _______________, then have kids.
Here is what I came up with:
develop the greatest degree of patience humanly possible
never sleep again
learn to laugh at yourself
become more selfless
develop a less squeamish stomach
know how it feels to be the most important and beautiful person on the planet
feel and know unconditional love
learn something new everyday
experience what it's like to be a counselor, teacher, nurse, social worker, or professional wrestler
never have a "day-off" again
develop a thick skin (because you'll be asked if you're getting fat or having a baby even when you aren't pregnant)
receive your elementary & secondary education all over again during afternoon homework hours
test the strength of your sanity at the most inopportune times possible
understand a little more how much God loves you
Can anyone else back me up?
Or add to this list?
Having kids is like developing a bipolar disorder where you go through a myriad of crazy emotions and moods every day, day after day. It's lunacy!
But I don't think I could possibly learn more from any PhD course than I do from the mere daily experiences of being a mom.
"Kids are one of God's greatest ideas", is something my Grannie is always saying,
and I couldn't agree more.
Kids are so much fun.
Kids are so much work.
They keep us crazy, busy, ridiculous adults grounded and focused.
Their presence in our lives helps us to stretch and grow in ways we never could without them.
Children are truly the greatest teacher we adults will ever have, and that is one of the reasons I believe God gives them to us.
I am so grateful for children, not just because of the joy they bring into my life, not just because of their sweet innocence, unconditional love, or hilarious antics, but because of the person they are helping me to become, even on the difficult days.
I resist sometimes (a lot lately, actually), I may on occasion need to go into my own room and scream into the pillow, but of all the "ideas" that God has had as to how to help me grow, learn, and be happy, nothing comes close to the little girls who are giggling in their bedroom right now as they rip every item of clothing out of their drawers.