2020 is now behind us. So we thought, but rather than talk about the nonsense in our world in the first week of 2021, I want to reflect on the good my son brought us in 2020.
We survived 2020.
He helped us survive 2020.
What helped you make it through 2020?
My son turned 1 year old. He is healthy. We are healthy. We attempted numerous haircuts and I’m not a hair stylist by any means. We learned all kinds of words together. “No” is his favorite right now as I am positive many other toddlers find this as their first favorite word. We have races in the back room together. He sleeps in and has the best smile in the morning when you wake him up. We hiked together. We spent weekends in the water together. He runs to me and hugs me. He helps me in the kitchen sitting on the counters licking the beaters. He gives kisses, on his terms. He walks with us on his own as an independent boy. He has the very best belly laugh. He does a 3 point stance to tackle us.
I could go on and on and on about all the wonderful things my son has learned and done to keep our heads straight during the difficult year. We didn’t face what some people did. I give my heart to those who had a much more difficult year than we ever did.
But I remind myself this, it is OUR choice in what we decide to do and how we decide to face it.
Sure, this week I had a tough mental week. Thank God for my wonderful husband and son who keep me smiling through anything. I had many of those among the crazy 2020 year. I did my very best to keep a strong face, straight forward attitude, and ensure that my family stayed safe and healthy to the best of our choices.
If you choose to point out the bad and complain about the simplest things, that’s on you. Don’t put it on others because we all have it hard enough with our own personal situations to keep straight and positive without yours.
Let’s remind ourselves though, we made it through 2020.
However that may have been, do yourself a favor. Find the reasons of why you made it through unscathed and use those to keep a positive attitude now.
Cheers to 2021 and finding some good among the chaos that’s around us.
You might not be sure which avenue I’m about to take on this blog post. It’s much more simple than you may assume.
The other week we took a trip north for the weekend for our anniversary. We took our little guy and went to Splash Lagoon, an indoor water park.
I had been to this place years ago in college but this time was going to be different and more fun with our son. We had a hotel room that was in the building connected to the water park making it even more fun for us so we could come and go as we pleased and let him get a nap in during the day to enjoy it fully!
What I have to mention though, as a parent and in general as a human being, is something I wish we could see more of.
Every child and every parent in the children’s pool got along, was kind to one another, and kept an eye on everyone as if each kid was their kid.
I wouldn’t say it was really busy but there were plenty of people and kids to see all kinds of interactions among one another.
A few small stories…
A young boy that was older than my son came down one of the slides just as my son was walking in front of it. That boy stopped as fast as he could and as I said “thank you” to him, he smiled and told me, “don’t worry, I saw him!” That made my heart so happy that he has good parents teaching him to keep an eye out all around him.
I helped my son walk up to and slide down one of the kids slides to my husband. As soon as I let his hand go I saw a mom below telling her son to be careful. I looked and here he’s walking across one of the roped off slides with water running on it and I reached out to help him so he wouldn’t slip. As I did this, she smiled and said thank you. We as parents can’t be everywhere, but we all have the same common goal to keep these kids safe.
My son watched another boy his age sitting with his dad getting used to the water. While we sat with my son, he didn’t care about us, he kept smiling at the other little boy and splashing to get his attention in hopes he would play with him. He was a little scared yet, but to watch my son instinctively want to welcome another kid to the pool to play with makes you happy to see how easy it could be to become friends with someone you don’t know.
A dad had helped his young daughter walk up the steps as we did to the double slide and he quickly ran back down to go to the bottom hoping she would go down and he could catch her. He saw me help my son down and asked me to help his daughter since I was still up there. We had never met or knew one another obviously. I quickly asked her if I could help her and she nodded. She almost hopped right into my lap but then wanted to cry when I tried to help her onto the slide. So, we began walking to the steps together to go down and her dad and I met up there. We both laughed knowing it’s not so scary, but he quickly said, “oh no, she’s going down today!” He went back up and helped push her down. Granted, I wouldn’t force a kid to do anything that I don’t know but to have the trust in another parent to help your child that you don’t know is also another thing we as parents hope for in one another.
Any time kids would meet at the slides at the same time, you would see the older children always slow down and step back for the younger ones to go first. Whether they knew each other or not. I was so surprised to see how well children were acting in a totally new place, to most of them at least. The respect they had for one another was so nice to see. I know not every kid is perfect and patient, but that day really surprised me.
One last one that stood out to me, as we kept going from one slide to another with my son in the kids’ section, you pass and bump into quite a few people. One of the moms standing and watching her kids felt my son bump her leg and she quickly reacted ready to catch a falling kid. She turned to me and said, “oh I’m so sorry!” Then we laughed because it was a true reaction to being a mom.
We mentioned it several times, my husband and myself, how nice it was to see kids getting along as well as parents! In the world we’re in right this moment, there is too much negativity. So many people not getting along because they do not agree on something. Yet we went to an entirely new place, with every age, race, and gender mixed together getting along. I didn’t know a single person other than my husband and son yet we laughed and smiled with so many parents and kids that day.
I’m absolutely sure we all have different opinions and views on life, but not one of those things stood in the way of a fun day with our family.
Remind yourself this during the trying time, be kind to one another. We’re on this earth to help everyone have a good day and live a great life.
Going back to a similar point about friends that I touched on last week about mom friends, but this time, friends you had before you had kids.
We are all on different timelines and plans. That is life. Don’t let it interfere with your friendships.
Don’t ever forget the ones that don’t have the minions. They’re critical in your life too!
It’s their life whether they have them or not, but since you chose to have them doesn’t mean you should forget the ones you were friends with before them. They helped create and mold you to who you are so why would you want to exclude them from the future?
Make sure you call them. Make sure you include them. Make sure you still love them and know they want to be a part of things just as much as you do too.
A very close friend of mine said to me the other week, “I really appreciate that you and *other said friend* still include me all the time now that you both have kids. It means a lot. I’ve had friends in the past who have had kids and they have left me out since.”
I had not realized that from her perspective before even though I was the friend who was kid-less while others had children a few years back. I always thought about it from my parent side, that those without kids don’t want to be around others with kids because we have someone to take care of. We have been left out or not invited to things because of having a child. While I don’t believe people do it intentionally they don’t realize we would love to come, if we’re able and the invite is always nice.
Her comment opened my eyes that it happens both ways. But in the end, we were friends before I had my son and still remain friends now and to be honest, we’re better friends even.
Truth be told, the friends in my life are those that love my child as much as we do so I want nothing more than for every one of them to be a part of his life and make an impact on him as they have done for us.
Our friends are family. That’s just how my husband and I roll. I’m sure many of you can relate to those that you keep in your inner circle.
Just keep in mind, friends should remain your friends whether you have minions or not. Make the call and ask them over. They might enjoy and be surprised to hear from you and be just what you both need, a night to catch up!
My son is developing quite a personality as all kids do while they grow. I believe more things are learned from daycare than I even realize. What I don’t want to admit is that I see my personality in him with these little tantrums. (ay yai yai, little guy!)
I still remember how I would grunt in shear anger at my mom if I did not get my way and stomp my feet. Boy, if he does that, my mother will have a field day laughing at me.
I have mentioned he began hitting me in a post a little while back. Well, that is getting more frequent when he is angry or denied a request of his.
I have reached out to friends of mine that work with child development to ask what we should do to correct this since they handle situations similar on a regular basis.
Their answers were consistent and was not what I was hoping to hear.
Ignore it and redirect his attention. Obviously, stop his tiny hands from injuring me too since he’s got quite a strong arm.
I have referred to him recently to a friend of mine as a sour patch kid. He is just that. He is the sweetest little man, snuggles his mom and only wants me at times. Then when I say no or do not provide the demand he wants we begin smacking aggressively.
My husband asked when this all started where he would have learned it from. It is part of development and showing his frustration and potentially maybe daycare, but not certain there since I am not there.
I think the hardest part of it all is learning with him. We have to learn how to handle ourselves and handle the situation. I know other parents deal with this as well and every child is different with their tantrums.
I struggle to not verbally correct him when this happens. I will hold his little hand and take a moment to breathe, though my completely expressive face shows how I am feeling, and then try to either take him to another area or set him down without a reaction.
When I say struggle, I really do. It is a reaction to want to verbally correct him and it is going to take time to continue to learn how to handle the “sour” moments with him.
No parent is perfect and I am learning every day with him!
I want to ask other parents their strategies and tips on handling the sour patch kid moments. What is it that has worked for you and your children to deescalate a tantrum or defer the hitting/smacking that comes from anger? Send them my way!
I’ll be honest, I lost track of the days this week, as most of you can relate to I’m sure. I’m behind on this since I thought yesterday was Tuesday. Whoops!
Now days we may stay in our PJs until almost noon daily. Mainly just our little guy, of course. I do rock my “good leggings” from time to time. However, routine matters in my son’s life as well as mine when it comes to a few things we do around this little house of ours.
This world is weird but without a little bit of daily routine, we would be even more lost. I am not saying I am a saint here with color coded schedules and a daily chore list because I don’t always know what day it is (see above statement) but we try our best and I think that is all anyone can do right now.
Truthfully, I am very happy we are not in the boat of home schooling right now. I feel for you parents who are trying to be mom, dad, employee, and now a teacher as well. As if the regular days with the many hats you wear were not enough, now home school until the end of the school year! Yikes. I know the kids listen better to their teachers most days and certainly do not talk to them the way you may have them speaking to you when asking them to complete their work!
Speaking with both types of friends through this, friends of mine who are the parents and my friends who are the teachers, it is not easy for anyone in that situation. I hope you all find some type of schedule to help make it seem a little more normal.
Our little guy is a very routine kiddo which I’m very thankful for. My husband always picked on me for my schedule of things with him when we first brought him home but it has been working really well for us. It is without fail he is awake no later than 6:30 am daily and then wants to have his last bottle at 8 pm and typically goes down shortly after that.
Not every day is perfect with him, but most days that routine keeps itself in line. It also keeps structure to our days with him. We will be going back to normal life one day soon and he will be going to daycare, so keeping a routine is helpful for when that comes so it’s not a nightmare when we all have to head out in the mornings again.
Do not let me fool you, we aren’t by any means perfect with this routine. We were up just last night from 4-5 am because he did not want to sleep. We each took turns laying on his floor since he wants someone with him when he falls asleep lately, but when that didn’t work, we brought him into our bed to try to get an extra hour of sleep while getting kicked and crawled on.
Another night last week, it was so hot in our house and we are waiting on a repair for the air conditioner, we had him only in his diaper to try to go to bed. That was a mistake. He knows and relates putting his PJs on to the routine for bedtime. We struggled to get him to sleep for over an hour and then got the PJs out and turned his bedroom fan on. Tada! Routine is the key for kids, at least ours!
Even we as adults need routine. I do not put my Sunday best on each day. I would live in leggings if I could. But the idea of still prepping my coffee pot the night before, going to bed at a “normal” time, working out regularly, eating simple breakfasts, and washing my face each morning during my typical routing, without the makeup, of course, are routine steps to make this weird world seem more normal.
Last week I was struggling with how I was feeling about all that is going on. It is a roller coaster of emotions for all of us with all the news, the staying inside the same 4 walls, seeing the same couple of people and not socializing. Last Friday morning I needed a boost for myself. I set my alarm extra early, hit snooze a couple of times but got up and worked out, then showered, did my hair, put some makeup on and put on a “nicer” sweatshirt for the day. I have been working out here and there during the week but when I do it in the morning, I have the feeling of being accomplished for the day already.
Sometimes a little kick in the pants and a change can help guide you right back to where you want to be.
I hope each of you have a little bit of routine in your days to help keep you and your kiddos in line for when the reality of normalcy makes its way back into our lives.