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Finding Rhythm, Getting in Tune

January 25, 2011

My son is a loving, emotionally intense, playful, tricksy, dreaming, independent wee lad who every day makes me crack up…and almost as frequently simply crack. Or take crack.

I spend chunks of my day pondering these two mantras:

1. A 2 year old is like a pint-sized zen master demanding you to stay present, stay present, stay present.

2. A child at his/her most unlovable is a child who desperately needs to be loved.

I’ve read both of these truths somewhere now long forgotten, but they are my two most helpful nuggets that have filtered through all the advice.

Take a typical morning: I’m trying to do laundry, check today’s mortgage rates, work on a contract project, nurse the baby, mapquest the post office and plan for the week’s worth of meals. Jarah comes in and demands to “play trains, read book, have a cuddle.” Except it sounds like this, “playtrainreadlibrarybookhavecuddle.” And he wants it all done right now and at the same time.

I absently say, “in 5 minutes buddy.” To which he howls to the kitchen ceiling a wail so mournful, so pained, so outraged that I have a pang that the sliding glass doors are open because the neighbors are certainly frantically dialing CPS. Then he tries to bite my leg and hurls himself to the rug before peeling himself up, running to his bedroom and slamming the door. Then opening it and slamming it again twice as hard.

Whoa.

So trying to figure out a rhythm. How do I balance out my needs, the stuff I gotta do…with the stuff he’s gotta do. We need a rhythm. Everyday lately I wake up  thinking today I am going to get this whole rhythm thing dialed. Then I get a Chernobyl sized meltdown over the plate choice my son gets his peanut butter and jam toast on for breakfast. A plate he gave the seal of approval to not more than 2 seconds before.

Whoa. I find myself humming the Wilco verse, “I am so out of tune with you.”

But then this same child goes to the park and spends 45 minutes contemplating the world of the duck…

Or pauses in our walk for a good 10 minutes when he spies a distant sea lion/surfer interaction…

Creates cozy book nooks in the living room…

Has secret hiding places…

In short, I know I  have a great kid. Even when he bites his only mate in Santa Cruz on the upper lip during a playdate. Then the next morning asks innocently, “teeth for food?” I nod happily, “yes, teeth are for chewing.”

Pause as he ponders…Finally he looks up, “no, teeth are for biting luca.”

3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 26, 2011 10:20 am

    I love your mantras – I’m totally going to try them.

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