If The Twos are Terrible, What Are the Threes?

I thought I was headed for a much needed break as my daughter is rounding out the last few months of her "terrible twos."

And then, she took a turn for the worse. Time-out mean nothing. The little girl who would sob for two minutes then give hugs and kisses and apologies, is gone. She has been replaced by a defiant teenager-like nightmare who cares nothing if she has to stay on the kitchen rug for 15 minutes. She refuses to apologize, she refuses to discuss her behavior, and she has the most infuriating way of cocking her little head to the side as if to say that she is so completely bored with me. We've resorted to losing toy privileges which is working for now, knock on wood. But someone please tell me what happened!

Why wasn't I prepared for this by a cute title like "Terrible Twos." Why wasn't there a pamphlet at the pediatricians? Why doesn't the government send out postcards warning of this domestic security threat? Is it something parents don't want to talk about, can't talk about, because they are sure to quake in fear and start crying? It's like "The Age Who Must Not Be Named." Parents are afraid to mention if for fear that it might give it more power.

Well, the misinformation stops here! No longer will parents be caught of guard by this unnamed behemoth. I shall call it . . . I'm sorry. I can't. My trembling knees are causing my laptop to shake and I can't see the keyboard through the tears.

Is there any hope?


Great Expectations

unexpected First Photo

I've been doing a bit of soul searching lately. It was bound to happen. You see my son turns one in a couple of days so it's the perfectly cliché time to think about the past year. . .

. . . And giving birth. I suppose I was one of those silly girls who dreamt about getting married and becoming a mother from the moment I first laid eyes on an unsuspecting dolly. I was taught that becoming a mother was one of the greatest things I could do with my life. I know to many that seems rather old fashioned or even a anti-feminist, but I believe with all my heart I am meant to be a mother.

I just didn't realize that a lot of motherhood wouldn't live up to my great expectations. You see, I figured I'd become a mother with a lot of contractions, a lot of pushing, and probably a few too many primitive screams, but none of that would matter because I would be staring into the beautiful blue eyes of my tiny baby. I never really expected to become a mother without feeling an ounce of physical pain (I know, don't hate me! Trust me, it's not as blissful as it seems.) You see, I had a C-Section. Little did we know, when I went into the hospital on a jittery, euphoric high after my water broke, that my daughter was surprisingly breech. I never thought for a moment that my excitement of becoming a mother would be so overshadowed by tears and fear as I was all too abruptly whisked into the OR.

And it's bothered me for a while that my great moment of becoming a mother became so lost in my fear and anxiety of having surgery. It's really bothered me. My husband would probably say that I just can't get over it.

Now, thinking back on my son's less than euphoric birth (I attempted a Vaginal Birth After Cesarean , but he just wasn't having it, so I had C-Section number 2), I realized that it's not their method of coming into the world that bothers me, it's the rather unimportant emphasis I put on my great moment of becoming a mother. I forgot to look past that singular hospital stay toward those events in their lives that would truly define me as a mother.

I hate to say it, but many women can give birth to babies without becoming a mother. A mother is something far more than a woman who is able to push a child into the world. A mother spends nights walking the floors with her baby, or days wiping applesauce from the walls, or entire weeks feeding her 2 year old as if she were a puppy. A mother is far more than that one moment I placed too much emphasis on.

I get now that my little girl dreams of dressing a baby in frilly clothes and pushing her around in a lace covered pram didn't quite capture the true spirit of motherhood. I didn't realize that being a mother might involve an endlessly messy house, grocery store tantrums, and far more hot dogs than I ever wanted to see.

But on the other hand, I never could have realized the overwhelming joy I could feel staring into the faces of two earthly angels.

So, moms, lets get past some of our unimportant expectations and enjoy what truly defines us. I know I need to, for me and for my kids.


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