Monday, July 15, 2013

Letter to (Twenty Seven Month Old) Graves

Dear Graves,

Every day with you is an adventure. There's really not a better way to say it. This past month has been fantastic- you're getting more consistent with the potty, you're talking more, and you and your sister fight less than ever. You are so happy and SO sweet.

BUT, this last week has been rough. I'm going to tell you about it first and just get it out of the way. I'll keep it short. You started climbing out of your crib. You busted your face up a couple of times. We took the side off the crib. Naps and bedtimes have been wholly miserable since. You're having a really hard time staying in bed and I'm having a really hard time figuring out what will motivate you to do so. I cannot think of a single postive reinforcement that you'd love enough to stay in bed or a single negative consequence that I'm comfortable with that would work. I've tried a LOT of things. I think it may just take a consistency on my part and possibly more maturity on yours. You don't have a lot of self-control right now, my little goofy guy. You're just so darn impulsive. It's not really defiance, but you certainly aren't being obedient. It's hard because I feel like your apologies are genuine and you truly want to please us. But somehow, you're just not quite big enough to make yourself do it. I hate you started climbing out; I really feel like you're so little for this transition.

The other day, in a moment of desperation, I did, with you begging me not to, close your door. I was tired and couldn't handle it anymore. I just had to. But I only left you in there about two minutes. (That was my intention all along). You screamed like you were being stabbed the whole time and when I came in you were shaking. I put you in the bed and you sort of just cowered and fell asleep quickly. I knew you were either terrified I'd close it again or I'd sort of broken your spirit. I resolved to find a new method. We still haven't found it, but I'm having better days and I *think* your adjusting to your bed a bit.

This wasn't the first time this month I lost it with you. You have me WORN OUT lately. Just this past weekend, you flipped over the COFFEE TABLE and colored on your church clothes with a highlighter. A few weeks back I was way too firm with you and you told me "scare me". I never, EVER want you to fear me and it really messed with my mind for a bit. It was good, though, because it pointed out some things and helped me and Papa re-evaluate a few areas.

I'm done with the hard stuff. I want to tell you what a delight you are. It seems the bigger you get the happier and more charming you are. A friend was telling me about all the whining she was dealing with and I can honestly say that's never been a problem for you. You may be a lot wilder than Annie was/is, but you're also more content and just satisfied in things. You're so pleasant and happy. I love how care-free you are and I so, so hope you find a way to stay that way. And sometimes your little face just looks like it's going to break you smile so big.

You really charm the ladies in the nursery and aside from Mickey, "Ms. Paige" is probably your favorite person to go see. You can be being so loud and we'll say we're going to church and you'll cock your head and almost in a whisper say "Paige?". It's the sweetest thing and she's pretty taken with you, too :) In fact, the other night they painted all the little girls' toenails and of course, they couldn't tell you no. You came home with bright green toes.

You and Annie are one another's biggest fans. For some reason, the twins question has started again. In the last month, three different people have asked if y'all are twins. Maybe it's sharing a room and just spending *very* little time apart, but I think y'all are inseperable the way I'd imagine twins to be. In fact, Annie gets really upset when you're apart and you keep calling her name at night after she falls asleep. Several weeks ago I heard "Aa-iee? Aa-iee?? Aa-iee?!?" and then "I'm trying to go to sleep". [Then you making crazy sounds w/' his mouth]...and her "Bud those bubble noises keep waking me up". You've started getting more into playing pretend and y'all both enjoy the imaginary world she creates for the two of you. You guys also legit wear the same size shoe now. Whoa.

In other news, you are obsessed with our blueberry bushes and pluck the berries with your teeth. You also love just being outside in general. And you love chasing the kitties.

Annie's favorite thing to do is ask "Why we...?", "Why you...?", "Why I...?" The other night she asked me "Why we change up our whole house? Because Bud is a big boy now?", alluding to your bed and your high chair converted booster seat. You are growing up so fast, sweet boy. And it's a little scary. 

Graves, you are a great little guy. And these days are so, SO happy. But sometimes I worry I'm doing things wrong. That we're too soft.  The other day we kept your cousin who was a lot like you when he was two. He was well-mannered, obedient, and frankly incredibly easy. When it seems like you have broken everything I own and your multiple self inflicted injuries in a single day seem to suggest (of course, mostly to myself) that *I'm* inadequate, I'm going to think of today. I watch your father channel a wild spirit for good every single day, but that day I got to see that the tunnel's end might be a little nearer than I even expected. It was God's grace that we got to watch your cousin that day because it was right before one of the hardest weeks I've had with you in a while. It helped me to not question myself and my parenting, even at times when I felt like some around me were. 

I pray so much that God will show me your heart and your mind and teach me how you tick. You mean the absolute world to me and it's such a privilege to be your momma. 

Momma (and Papa)

P.S. Your outfit is a 24 mo. 

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