I've been feeling bad lately... and excited, and really happy - but kind of bad nonetheless. The truth is I want to be thankful for all the things I have in my life, especially my children and my husband. But lately, it is difficult to thank God for having a toddler. Do not get me wrong, I meant to say I do thank Him for Elizabeth, but not for the fact that she cries all day long, do I make sense?
The other day a friend and I were discussing something about our feelings. This friend shared with me feelings of anger against some people. She said she was supposed to be long suffering, patient and all those virtues that we are called to attain in our lives as Christians, right? I knew what she meant because I have felt the same way before, specially when you put me in a one bedroom apartment with my mom, dad and a newborn. But I remember talking to Jeff about it and he mentioned that those feelings are completely normal, that they are actually human...
|Libby at 6 months and 15 months. Same chair. She has grown so much :))|
After that day when I talked to him, I guess I understood that Jesus bore our sufferings and our sins in the cross because he chose to, but I don't think he enjoyed being mistreated, am I making sense? I think there is a difference between enduring hardships and persevering under trial, and actually enjoying bad times. No one enjoys bad times for bad times' sake!! I don't know... I just don't picture Jesus as a masochist enjoying being beaten almost to the point of death just because. The Bible teaches about rejoicing in our sufferings, but I think it means that we are to rejoice in the fact that the suffering produces endurance, and endurance character, and character hope (Rom 5:3-5). And you know that all things work for your good when you trust God (Rom 8:28). But it doesn't mean enjoying the suffering in itself. I don't think that's what it means.
Sept 8, 2012. Highway to hell. Great...
So I rejoice over the fact that I am learning to be more patient with my daughter, because she is losing it every ten minutes, and I get frustrated because she gets frustrated, but I am the adult here. We had several tantrums on Friday. She cried because she couldn't put a little purse I gave her on her shoulders, and it was coming down again and again. I had to take it away after several minutes of trying to help her calm down. Then she lost it again because she couldn't put on her shoes herself. I was asking her to give me her feet so that I could put her socks on, because socks go first. I said I would help her with the shoes after that. But she threw herself to the floor, and her tantrum looked like a storm that's getting worse and worse and worse, and then it just explodes... I had to take the shoes away. Then I think the crayons and the markers also were a tough one.
|In line for the Children's Museum|
The other day I saw her arms after putting her down for resting time, and she had bitten herself hard enough to leave marks on them. I don't know if she was tired, or angry that I left her in her crib, but it wasn't like she was out of control like when she throws a tantrum. Just last night she tried to bite herself in front of us, I guess trying to make us do what she wanted (which was giving her the sippy with milk without saying please), but we didn't give in. This afternoon she tried to do it again, and Daddy didn't give in. She is so darn smart, she is pushing and pushing the limits, and I honestly think we have been very consistent so far.
|Watching the bubbles|
|Playing in the tot area|
|Fearless, didn't care about the steps|
|Playing in the foamy waves|
|Going through the tunnel|
|Going to the foamy tunnel again|
|Carrying some blocks|
|Here with Daddy|
|Developing some motor skills|
|Thinking how to get out|
Anyway... Self control is hard to teach I guess, it is something we are not born with. Obviously, it is more difficult when you are a toddler and you kind of understand what your mother is trying to tell you, but not really, and to make matters worse, you can't even talk. That's probably the main reason of this whole tantrum thing, that she can't tell me what she wants or needs. But we are making progress, at least I am as her Mom. There have been several times when I recognize when this thing is gonna blow, and I stop it before it escalates to full blown storm. Like in the next photo with the legos, she began to throw them because she couldn't do I don't even know what, but I distracted her, and we went outside. And I am aware of the fact that I can't and won't do that all the time, because she needs to learn how to deal with her frustrations in the right way. Something that nobody taught me...
|Smart Mommy smells the storm|
Like today, we went to the Children's Museum, as you can tell by the pictures. I wanted to take the first picture of the day, and was so proud of myself because I hadn't forgotten the memory card, which I always leave in the computer because I take pictures almost all the time, and use it several times a day. But I charged the camera battery the other day, and forgot to put the battery inside the camera. So the camera didn't work. I asked out loud, "What's wrong with this?" To what Emerson replied, "What's wrong with you? Does it have the battery in?" I checked and it wasn't there. Emerson told me I didn't have any discipline, which is true, and I felt so stupid.
That's actually the first thing I thought, "Karla, you are so stupid". I felt like crying, and I felt angry, upset, disappointed in me because we were not gonna have good quality pictures for my blog. I would blog about every poop Elizabeth poops if I could... I just don't have time nor three hands to get a picture while changing a diaper.
|At the Health Museum|
|Outside the Fine Arts Museum|
I hugged Emerson and said I was so sorry. I cried some tears, but then he said it wasn't a big deal for him, and although it was for me, there was nothing I could do. I honestly thought about being upset the whole day, like continuing in my bad mood like I used to do before, but he said we had the cell phones, and I mean, those were okay for the day. I decided I wasn't going to let a camera to ruin our day, and we had a wonderful day!
How do you teach THAT to a child? That it is okay to let go of the crayons. That it's okay if you get upset because you're a 15 month-old trying to color holding three crayons at a time, but if you can't do that because your hand is tiny, it's okay to let go. How did I learn? I'm not sure I'm self controlled all the time to be honest with you... I'm way, waaaay better than before, but I'm not perfect. The other day I felt like hitting some bins I was putting together for Elizabeth's bedroom, I think I wrote about it in a post. I think I did hit them, then I breathed, and walked away. When I came back to try it again, I was able to put them together.
I guess our example will speak volumes. We will teach more with our actions than with our words. Like yesterday Emerson told Elizabeth that cats were pretentious little jerks, and it was so funny I laughed. And I picture my funny daughter telling somebody that we don't like nor own cats because they are pretentious little jerks. It's funny when talking about a cat, but I don't want her to say that to any adult she doesn't like. I don't know... Still we can be godly parents, and that doesn't mean we will have godly children. All we can do is do our best, and let God take care of the rest. The woman I am is a very different version of the woman I was, and all it happened because I gave my life to Jesus. There's no other way I would've changed without God's help. All we can really do is point our children to Him, He will help us with everything, and I will really need help to stay sane once Baby is born.
In another note, today I felt so weirdly happy because we went out... I know I won't be able to do that once Baby is here. This made me laugh so hard... probably because it reflects how I felt.
And yes, call me an ignorant, I know I don't know how to appreciate art, but is this it? Really? Even Libby can do this...
After the museums, we went to have lunch to 100% Taquito and then to Central Market, and then came back home. Libby took a nap, and now is sleeping again for good. It's 8 pm, I'm tired, and I'm ready to go vegetate with my husband on the couch with a virgin piña colada.
God is good all the time :)))
|Eating rice, beef, and chicken.|