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These are the moments that make the bad days worth it

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Yesterday started much like any other day. The baby woke me up. I was tired. My daughter stuck her feet in my face, the smell of her sandals emanating from dirty toes. It didn’t take long before someone got kicked (me) and someone yelled (me). Then the whining started.

Ugh. The whining. Better than full blown tantrums, I suppose. Lately it seems like whining and crying meltdowns have increased tenfold – some days having more than one. These episodes don’t always last long, but some days they drag on and on and on until I want to rip my hair out.

Since it was a Saturday that meant Daddy was home. Not awake yet, but I could (wake him) pass at least one child off to him while taking care of the other. My juggling act is on break on weekends.

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So the whining didn’t last long and most of our morning routine went smoothly. X was in a chipper mood. He babbled and played once I gave him to Daddy. I sat down, patting my leg. Rissa hasn’t completely weaned yet and has been resisting weaning. In fact her requests for mommy milk have gone up over the past month or so. It’s a bittersweet situation. I’m not sure how to move us forward but I’m trying to follow her lead the best I can.

We snuggle as she nurses. As I look down upon her face I see both a baby and a “big girl” all rolled in one. She’s still so young and dependent upon me (us) but she’s growing fast. I’ll be relieved yet sad when she finally stops nursing.

After breakfast, I decide I need to find my Gymboree Gymbucks and go shopping for the kids. Oh and find that Stride Rite gift card I stashed somewhere because Rissa needs new sneakers. Going shopping also meant going out for lunch. Rissa was a trooper and tried a few different foods (even if she spit some back out).

It was mostly a good day. We talked, laughed and hung out as a family. And mostly unplugged. We wanted to go apple picking but it rained off and on.
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Rissa was excited about her new shoes and socks. And for the first time I saw her put her own socks on. Yet another subtle sign of her growing up.

Then dinner time came.

Brian and I discussed various ways we try to approach the meal time battles. I wish they didn’t exist but they do. I’m not sure how or why they started but they did. And they suck. They push my buttons (and I’ve been working on being more positive and gentle in my responses rather than reacting in anger).

We are thankful bedtime battles don’t exist here (nap time is a slightly different story, but it’s mild).

Rissa was excited about what we were having for dinner, but then refused to eat it. She dawdled. Kept wondering off, playing with stuff, and begging for things like chips. After asking her repeatedly to sit down and eat, I lost my cool. I threatened to take away her food (which she hadn’t touched in 20 minutes). She didn’t care. I took it and put it in the fridge.

Rissa yelled and cried, asking for her food back. She got louder and I could tell she was having a hard time regaining control of herself. Not even a week ago she was having a similar meltdown and told me she couldn’t calm down. She didn’t know how.

I came up behind her, wrapping my arms around her in a hug. “Breathe,” I reminded her in her ear. We breathed deeply in and out together and the crying stopped. She asked for her yogurt back. I kissed her forehead and agreed to give it back of she would eat it, not play with it.

Then I cleared her table of any remaining distractions.

As we sat waiting for her to finish eating, Rissa suddenly said, “sometimes I play with toys instead of eating.”

“Yes, and we should help you by removing them.”

“I’m sorry mom. I love you mom.”

I was surprised at how well she processed what happened plus apologized without any sort of prompting. There was more that she said, but her exact words escape me.

“I accept your apology, thank you. I love you too.”
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