“Patience is a virtue known by few women and no men.”-Anonymous.
I used to be one of those women, honest. I used to have a seemingly endless supply of patience for children. I spent years as a nanny, an elementary school teacher, and even a mother without irrationally losing my temper, yelling, or saying things I shouldn’t. I am an adult, after all.
My patients is gone now. It vanished into thin air, I swear it really did. What happened? I think I met my match in the only person I’ve ever met who has ever been able to match me in terms of will power and determination: my daughter.
As a baby Nicholas easily complied as I decided when and where he would eat, sleep, bathe, or just about anything else. He was always pleasant and genuinely wanted to please. Sure, he had his moments in the form of a temper tantrum here or there, but I never had a lack of patience for him. Never a knot in my stomach accompanied by a feeling of “there’s just no way in hell I can do this for YEARS to come.”
Raising one child came so easily, in fact, that we decided to have another one right away so that they would be close in age. Yup, I consciously brought this on myself.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Abby is incredibly sweet and very lovable, the picture perfect blond, blue-eyed baby American Dreams are made of. She’s also as stubborn as a mule. Has been from day one.
I didn’t want to give her a pacifier, but we had to because there was just no satisfying her sucking reflex otherwise.
I wanted her to sleep in her bassinet, for 4 months the only way she would sleep was sitting upright in her swing.
I wanted to schedule her feedings, she refused to eat unless it was on her terms.
I wanted to schedule naps, she flat out refused to take them. (Have you ever met an infant who can stay awake for 15 hours straight, I have one.) Unless of course, she was being held- only upright and only if the person who was holding her was standing up and rocking side to side NOT back and forth- in that case, she might cat nap for about 10 minutes.
When she decided she finally wanted to sleep laying down I wanted to sleep train her like we did with her brother. Just like Super Nanny says, let her cry for a few minutes, go in with no eye contact or talking to soothe her, then leave. Repeat until she falls asleep. Yeah, good luck with that. This baby does not cry herself to sleep. She stays up crying until 6am, keeping an entire family awake in the process. That’s not fair to Nicholas. That’s how she wound up in our bed.
So now I have one child who never had a pacifier, always sleeps in his own bed, eats his meals at regularly scheduled times, and at almost 3 still naps about 80% of the time when I tell him to and one child who insists on having a pacifier, sleeping in our bed, eating when she wants, and refuses to nap.
I need to get my patience back so I can straighten her out now because if this keeps up little miss Abby is going to turn into one teenager that I am NOT going to want to deal with!
In the process of appeasing my 9-month-old self-proclaimed princess I have also lost all patience for things like kitchen renovations that take over 5 months, garage door openers that do not work, whining, insurance companies, dishes, laundry, my house being disorganized (back when I had patience I was also a queen of organization. Now, not so much.) and weight loss.
I am trying to stay positive and focus on the fact that I have a beautiful, healthy family, which includes an incredibly supportive husband (who did take me on that trip to Lancaster last weekend, which was awesome) and a business that, while it is currently in the incredibly stressful and financially draining start-up phase, does have a lot of potential.
Frankly, I’m surprised I had the patience to write this much with one child whining because he doesn’t like the way the magnets make the toy trains stick together and one child pulling my hair and hitting the key board. Serenity now…