Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Lessons from a Two Year Old

I came across a lovely quote from the sadly soon to be defunct Mothering Magazine this week:
"Living with children can be a sweet reunion with the very elements within us that keep us young and hopeful and alive.… Children have as much to teach us about faith, hope, imagination, and spontaneity as we do them the skills of living on this earth." —Lil Comstock, from "Be Aware," Mothering, no. 3. 1977

Some days I think my two year old is doing a better job of teaching me that I am of teaching him.  He is so perceptive of people's feelings already at age two, and he has such faith that feelings can be mended with a hug.  For the past couple weeks, whenever he realizes that I'm upset about something, he says "Mommy, I hug you, you happy?"  When it started snowing yesterday, he ran from the window to the top of the stairs in record time, shouting "Mommy, we better go build a snowman!"  He reminds me that it's okay sometimes to let go of schedules and "have to's" and just be spontaneous.

I feel so blessed to be able to spend my days with that little guy.  Sometimes mothering is so fraught with self-doubt and trepidation over the enormity of being largely responsible for the development of a precious little life.  It is unlike any other job in that there is very little feedback on your performance, probably because so much parenting is carried out in the privacy of our own little spheres, and in the minutiae of a million little everyday tasks.  It makes me realize that I should give encouragement to other moms out there when I see aspects of their parenting that I admire.  I know for myself that an encouraging word can buoy my confidence for weeks and give me a boost of resolve to be a better mother.  I also know that because feedback on parenting is so sparse, I'm overly sensitive to comments that I perceive as criticism.  I hope to not be carried away by positive feedback, nor be defensive to critique and to just pick out the truth in people's words, and use it to be a better mom.

I can't believe that I'm going to be a mom to two little people in about ten weeks.  The second trimester zipped by much more quickly than the first, thank goodness!  I'm feeling the discomforts of the third trimester earlier than I did with my first full-term pregnancy with my son, so I have a feeling that the third trimester is not going to go by as quickly as the second.  I only gained four or five pounds last month, and I passed my gestational diabetes screening test with flying colours, so that is a big  relief.  I am, however, just feeling b-i-g already, and I find myself holding my belly up with my hands at several points in the day, or resting the internal basketball on the edge of the counter while I make dinner ... or baked goodies.  I just pulled out a dish of brownies, two zucchini loaves, and a loaf of bread from the oven a few minutes ago.  Sometimes, you just have to give into those cravings!  I've got to spread out the weight gain though, so some of those things will hopefully go into freezer storage for a time before I eat them.  The weirdest craving that I've had lately is not even for a food item.  Ivory soap.  I normally only use very natural toiletries and cosmetics without any perfumes or parabens or other poisony-type ingredients, but I just couldn't get the idea of showering with a bar of smelly ol' Ivory soap out of my head.  So I bought a three-pack of bars on my last shopping trip and had a nice hot shower when I got home.  Anyone else have strange non-food pregnancy cravings?


  1. Ha - I thought you wanted to EAT the ivory soap. Glad you just wanted to have a shower. I can't wait for your little one's arrival!!!

  2. Funny - my husband asked me if I had been eating the soap too when he saw it on the counter yesterday! Just for the record - only using it for the intended purpose!


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