Wednesday, August 21, 2013

You Say Goodbye, I Say Hello...

It's finally, finally happening. The Terrible Twos are letting up a bit with Miss Abigail.

That's not to say that things have been perfect, by any stretch of the imagination. She's still hard-headed and prone to throwing, hitting, pushing, and screeching, but (with the exception of the first transgression I mentioned), she's doing such things with less frequency.

Perhaps I feel the change more than I can really see it; it's in the notable lack of tension that I experience as she approaches me. It's the reflexive, unbidden smile that I feel upon my face in response to her various interruptions, which used to seem more like intrusions when my patience was stretched to its max. It's in the pride that- more and more- comes welling up within me as I see the way she interacts with her siblings, with her father, and with the world around her.

Maybe the change is in me. Maybe it's in both of us.

All I can say with certainty is: my little girl is growing up, and I'm really digging the person she's becoming.

Of course, as I discovered long ago, this parenting journey never really gets easier, so much as it gets different.

The strides she's made and is making set the bar higher in my mind. Therefore, I find it that much tougher to be patient when she does  things (to be fair, rather typical toddler things) that I feel she should have moved beyond. It makes my skin crawl to watch her toss her fork to the side in favor of her fingers at the dinner table. It makes my blood boil when she throws that same utensil to the floor, "just because." It's getting harder and harder to passively accept that she's not ready to potty-train.

And then there are her siblings, whose own changes continually make my life both harder and easier at the same time. Just as Abby seems to be exiting the worst of her "difficult phase," Michael is entering it with a vengeance, and on an even earlier schedule than his sister kept.

While Abby chose the two weeks preceding her first birthday to learn the art of Tantrum, Michael has elected to begin a full five months shy of that milestone. For the last two days, it's been nearly non-stop fit-pitching around here. I feel for the guy, as it seems to me that half his troubles stem from the frustration he's now so keenly feeling at being unable to fully communicate.

Hopefully, as his vocabulary expands, things will get better before they get bad again.Heck, maybe I'll get lucky and Michael will sail right through Year Two once we get past this little speed bump (not counting on that, though).

Luckily for Michael, though- he's got a pretty great big sister to lean on through it all.

As for me, let's hope I've learned a thing or two from being "broken in" by Abby. A little experience should go a long way, right? (Please say yes.)