Tuesday, May 24, 2011

You can't keep them little

Yesterday we took a trip to Target.  Nothing out of the ordinary, since I've been known to hit up Target at least twice a week.  Diapers, wipes, and a few other necessities were on the list.  Brynn requested a stroll down the toy aisle(s), to which we agreed once we had what we needed.  Of course, she wanted to buy a toy, and of course she wanted a $60 doll.  When we declined her request, we were met with a pout, a 'hmmpf', and a pitiful look reminiscent of Puss in Boots from the Shrek movies.  Nothing we haven't experienced before, so we knew that ignoring her (while smirking behind her back at her adorable attempt) was our best defense. 

As we headed toward the check-out, we strolled past the books.  I found a Dora book I thought Brynn would like and offered it in exchange for the pouty face.  She took the bait and we were on our way.  Until I caught a glimpse of a title that I could not pass by: If I Could Keep You Little... by Marianne Richmond.  Think Guess How Much I Love You, Oh, The Places You'll Go, and Love You Forever, and you're along the same 'pluck-the-heartstrings-of-a-mommy' books.  Seeing as how I have all of those titles, I picked up the book and promptly put it into my cart. 

As we were leaving, Brynn decided to revisit her earlier mood (grumpy), and proceeded to have a bit of a fit because she wasn't getting a toy.  That's about when I took her book and removed it from the cart, because there's no way her behavior warrants anything that could be viewed as a 'reward'.  Well.  That wasn't a great move on my part if I wanted to avoid gaining the attention of the entire check out area of Target.  Thankfully, I didn't care who witnessed her temper tantrum, I cared about my parenting.  The message was going to be clear: "we.do.not.act.like.that.".  The tantrum elevated to the point where I wasn't able to contain her writhing little body, so daddy stepped in to help remove her from the store.  She screamed.  She cried.  She begged for her mommy, the book, and a toy.  She received none of them.  Randy struggled to strap her into her carseat, while I had to ignore and let him handle it.  When we climbed into our seats, we looked at each other with a bit of exasperation.  Randy seemed a little taken aback by her 'performance', and was just about to say something about it when 'whooosh!', a small purse came *flying* from the backseat in our direction, landing on the gear shifter.  Daddy did not find this amusing.  And Brynn?  She was not a fan of the response she received for her actions.  Needless to say, it was a quiet ride home (minus the occassional *sniff* from the backseat.  Thankfully, during all this, Raegan slept--we don't need her learning this behavior!)

When we got home, I was unpacking the bags and remembered I had bought myself (ok, the kids) the book.  I sat down on the couch to feed Raegan and flipped through the pages.  I was reading the story, finding myself tearing up (I told you--I'm a sap!).  The general message of the story highlights the diachotomy of cherishing the 'now' of every stage your child goes through with the often times heartbreaking experience of watching your child grow up.  Basically, I felt like the book was written for me (as I'm sure that every mom would feel this way after reading the book). 

I am going through a bit of a struggle right now, as I'm still finding the balance between mommy-of-three, wife, friend, daughter, and 'me'.  I want to cherish and savor every single moment of Raegan at every age, as I did with the other two, but even moreso because I know it's the last time I'll have these experiences.  The trouble with that is that I have two other kids who deserve just as much attention (and, in Brynn's case--demand that attention!).  I also have friends, family, and a husband, all who deserve my participation in the relationship.  Plus, I need to make sure I'm remembering what makes me, me, and stay true to that.  Whew.  I never thought that at nearly 6 weeks post pardum, I'd still be struggling.  I assumed that I'd 'have it figured out' by now...or at least feel a little more settled about it.

I have a lot of guilt.  Guilt because I'm always wanting to be a better mom, wife, friend, etc.  Guilt because while I say I want to cherish every minute of my childrens' lives, I find myself being annoyed by some of the little things, that in reality, shouldn't be that big of a deal.  Guilt because I feel bad asking Randy for help, and if/when I do, I don't feel like I do it in the nicest way.  Guilt because I want desperately to make time for myself (read, work out, just 'be alone'), but always put that as the bottom of my priority list because I feel guilty about asking Randy (or anyone) to take the kids for a while (yikes, that's double guilt).  I could go on, but you get it.  Guilt.

Randy's told me that I'm a people pleaser.  This, I know.  I don't want to offend people, or do something that will upset them, or make them not like me.  My addiction to approval has been something I've dealing for a while, but it's starting to catch up with me, and starting to affect the relationships with the people that mean the most to me.

It sounds funny (or even hypocritical) saying I don't like to upset people or have them not like me, all the while letting my daughter have a temper tantrum in public because she didn't get a toy.  I'm sure I annoyed people in the check out lines, but at that particular time, I didn't care.  Brynn was learning a lesson, or at least taking a step toward learning a lesson.  Being true to my parenting beliefs trumps whatever feelings people may have about me.  She might temporarily cause people to be annoyed by her screaming, but in the long run, being a good mom will turn her into a good person.  While I can't keep them little forever, I can instill in them what they need to become the people they're supposed to be.

While I continue to struggle with this balance, I cherish every moment I have with each of my kids...the smiles I'm starting to get from Raegan, the extra bed time kiss I'm surprised with from Gavin, and even the Target temper tantrums I have to endure from Brynn.

5 week old giraffe :)

No comments :

Post a Comment