|modelling a shirt from Aunty Dana|
The old adage is true: they really do grow up so fast! I can't believe how big Ikaika seems in this picture and Koa is already entering a phase of life that I feel like Ikaika just emerged from (super independent 2-year-old phase).
What that phrase doesn't tell you is that sometimes its really REALLY hard to appreciate the present because kids can be so damn annoying! Even though I know these precious years will fly by all too fast - it doesn't seem to change the fact that their incessant not-listening or Ikaika's snotty little mouth truly aggravate me to the point of no return.
This weekend, Mr A was on O'ahu for school and the boys and I were hanging out for two days, just the 3 of us. CHAOS! Both of the kids are selectively deaf, nap time was a nightmare, crying and whining abound. Saturday especially, I feel like I spent the entire day screaming, nagging and threatening. Not only was I a wound-up mess, they were totally fried.
My fear, because all this stems from fear, is that I will be judged as someone who lets their kids get away with everything. If I don't crack that whip, my kids will grow up into delinquents or entitled brats. I worry about my kids manipulating me. On some level, I'm afraid of my children, their independence and what that means. I'm afraid of their behavior, not because its so particularly terrible, but because of how it reflects on me as a person.
Well, Saturday night I was snuggling in bed with my laptop, weeding through the pictures on the hard-drive. and I came across a few videos (THIS ONE in particular) which ignited parental remorse to the most extreme degree. How precious are my children? How cute are they? They are sweet and loving! I love them! I should be enjoying these times with them instead of losing my you-know-what over every small transgression. Isn't it in the nature of a 2-4 year old to not listen, or talk back, or cry over not getting to wear shoes to bed?
The irony is that I'm not even getting the results I want by being such a dictating harpy. Mr A can snap those kids in line with a raised voice and a stern look but I just get passive eyes and the occasional smile. I need to keep my eye on the larger goal (raising well adjusted human beings) and stop letting fear dictate how I discipline my kids.