This is a message of hope for moms with toddlers, tweens or teens who have some version of the strong-willed child. I know the pain of wondering if you are damaging their self-esteem, leaving permanent scars and ruining their childhood.
First a little more background on The Grunter…
He was born with a mild disposition and he slept through the night. He was an unexpected, unplanned joy in our life.
He was our pumpkin.
He became a big brother far sooner than we would have ever planned.
(If we had been planning.)
At 21 months, we brought home, not just one, but TWO baby sisters who invaded his world.
The days flew by and he spent his days letting his sisters touch all of his toys and protecting them from “choking people.” (You know those little Fisher Price® figures that went with the farm and various other toys.) He announced they had “choking people” at least seven times a day to which I would reply, “Thank you, Officer Humphreys.”
He endured being paraded around and photographed with those darn twin sisters. Here is just one of many, many photos he endured while dressed to match his little sisters.
Side parenting tip: It is much easier to count and corral your children in public if you have them dressed alike. I’m sure it also squelches their individuality but that’s a post for another day.
He even endured life when we had the nerve to bring home another sister the year of his 10th birthday. Weren’t two enough?
But he kind of liked this one who appeared to be his very own “twin.”
The above picture is Scary Baby at 6 months, framed picture of The Grunter at six months and The Grunter himself.
It has to be hard, still to this day, living with all these GIRLS! In spite of how he acts on the outside, we have witnessed his kindness and affection for them. On most days, he’s a pretty good big brother. I like to believe that he knows, deep down, that he would have been a lonely boy without his sisters to play with…
I shared all that with you first so you wouldn’t think I’m a bad mom for taking pictures of one of our many struggles. (Remember we’re all here to share not judge.)
I will be the first to admit that I think there is an extra challenge for mothers who are stubborn and strong-willed who are blessed with children who possess those same characteristics. Well, that and God has a sense of humor…
I am guilty of dreaming of having passive, quiet children who obey and never rock the boat. I have friends who have these
strange nice children. Such a boring life these people have…sigh.
Instead, I have a boy who continues to challenge us in so many ways.
It seems like it was just yesterday but in fact, it was more than 10 years ago when our little pumpkin wouldn’t eat much of anything. (No comments from you vegetable-lovers please.)
I present you now with one of our favorite family memories. You know those fantastic one-liners your kids utter and you know right then and there that you’ll never forget them from that very moment.
On this day in September of 1997, that line was…
“WHEN WILL THIS NIGHTMARE BE OVER?”
The back story of this sad photo:
We were in a phase at our house where he was having a very hard time eating good meals. Yes, I am one of “those” mothers who often says, “You are NOT sick, you are FINE.” But when this eating problem persisted, I had a change of heart. I really did get worried.
Worried to the point of going to the doctor to make sure he was healthy. After many tests including urine, stool sample, blood work, x-rays and an upper G.I. – a clean bill of health was announced.
Dad made a special trip to the grocery and bought him this specific cereal because it “sounded good.” Unfortunately, the soggy texture of the milk and cereal combination (who knew?) coupled with our insistence that he eat the TINY bowl of cereal created a full-fledged meltdown ending with the now famous line, “When will this nightmare be over?”
For those readers who are concerned about the boy, his cereal and his life now…
Here is our
delightful much-loved firstborn on his 18th birthday who never eats cereal and drumroll please…he is FINE!
Life Lesson (LL): Cereal and milk become soggy when not eaten quickly and the trauma of eating the said soggy cereal may cause you to seek out therapy later.
Share a Life Lesson (SALL): What awful things did you make your kids sit at the table and eat? Or better yet, what did your
horrible, mean parents make you finish and you are still sharing those memories in therapy with a chosen few? Come on now, don’t be shy – this is a safe place to share!