April 15, 2006

Difficult age, Wonderful son...

He is 14 months old now, and this is proving to be a really challenging age for me...

By now, he's walking around like he's always known how. He is easily frustrated because he knows what he wants, but has no solid way of communicating those wants to me... His communication at the moment consists of going completely limp like a wet noodle and yelling at the top of his lungs. (And yes, I know all about baby sign language... I was recently scolded by my local librarian for not giving my son the tools he needs to 'pre-verbally communicate' with me... I thought to myself, "I'll pre-verbally communicate something to you, lady!")
I'm finding it so difficult to take him places because he seems to have this built in radar that hones in on whatever object he is not allowed to touch, and boy-oh-boy!, this kid can shimmy when he wants to be somewhere!

Even when I try to take him to the park, he's too young to play on most of the playground stuff, and the baby swings just seems to piss him off because he feels trapped. (You can just imagine how he feels about his stroller now-a-days...) He is no longer content just cruising around in my arms or the sling-- and he has mastered this kamakaze dive where he throws his top-heavy head towards the ground when I'm holding him so he can let me know he wants down... (I guess he's figured out that plummeting is quicker than me gently placing him on his own two feet.)

On top of all of this, he's still putting almost everything in his mouth, so taking him places has become more difficult than running the length of a full twenty-six mile marathon. Well, no- scratch that- it's more difficult than running a marathon... it's more like an ironman triathalon... It wears me out, so I find myself going out less. Then I feel like he must be withering away from boredom and I feel like a lousy mommy.

The one safe place I've found to take him is Barnes & Noble. There's a train set there that he loves to play with, and when he gets bored with that, he's content to just walk back and forth from one end of the children's section to the other.... (don't ask me why this is so entertaining for him... I don't question the miracle, I just accept it.)

Thankfully, this age has LOTS of fun things, too... He's turning into quite the little helper. (I'm not surprised... his name, Ezra, literally means "helper"). He insists on throwing away his own diapers and putting away the wipes. He closes the dishwasher for me (even if I'm not done loading it). He wipes his own mouth with his napkin while he's eating. He's starting to figure out that the big red button on his carseat seatbelt = freedom. (eeegad!!!!) And he calls people from mommy's cell phone at 7:00 in the morning for her. What a little dear! hehe.

I know that this is just a season that will pass quickly and then be gone forever- so I'm trying to enjoy it even though it is wearing me out physically and emotionally and mentally. It's hard, as a mom, to grasp the concept that the difficulties I'm facing right now aren't going to last forever. I'm so 'in the moment' and so absorbed with Ezra's needs right now, (like switching to cow's milk or cutting back to one nap a day, or finally getting rid of his bottle that he uses to fall asleep) that I forget the ultimate goal-- to raise him in love and teach him to love God through my actions and my life. It really is that simple! And if I'm doing that, then everything else will fall right into place.

That's why I say "Throw out all those baby books and tell Dr. Sears or Dr. Ferber or whoever that they can try to stress me out with their 500+ pages of 'do's' and 'don'ts' on parenting, but I refuse to live in fear like that!"
I trust that God will tell me what to do and direct me in raising my son,
and I don't need to hear all those other people's conflicting voices in my head -- all I need to be listening to is the still, soft Voice in my heart.


Cheatwoods said...

Its a wonder Im excitted about another!! Wooooooo Hooooooo

Anonymous said...

good job emery jo.... im so proud of you little sister!
camsauce ;)

Candace said...

It sounds like you know what a true mom is their for....raising your son in Christ!!! Though you may feel like you have no idea what you are doing, you sound BRILLIANT to me. I love you sister and can't wait to see you all!

Mandee said...

Oh how I wish I could say that it gets easier...then you'll probably decide to have another! Jake is going on 20 months now and still uses caveman talk to get what he wants from grunts to growls and whinning and screaming. I feel like an idiot everytime I say, "Use your words... Juice...Juice...This is juice." Everyone keeps telling me he'll talk when he's ready. Whatever!!!

Jooste Roost said...

I am way back in your blog log trying to find some advice and encouragement for this "difficult age, wonderful son" season. Andrew is 13 months and has just started with the tantrums. Just one day, like BAM, they started. I couldn't believe it!
It is encouraging to see that you survived these months and that you still love your son and are getting along just fine...sometimes I just need some perspective!
Thanks for your words - I have been blessed :)

the buetzow's said...

has anyone ever told you that you could be the next anne lamott? your blogs are such a blessing to read. seriously. thank you. god bless you and your adorable family. :-) now, go find a publisher.