The month of December has brought a lot of activity to our home, which is not unusual for anyone this time of year. For us, the holidays are coinciding with Robbie's early navigation into the 'terrible two's'. Rob and I were talking about how that phrase is misleading - it's not a terrible age. We find our son to be more and more endearing by the day. Our love deepens (if that is even possible considering how much we loved him the day he was born... and even before!) with the continued unfolding of his personality. It is, however, a very frustrating phase for a little guy to experience.
The main offenders: teeth, verbals, physical boundaries and abilities.
His eye teeth have been coming in for over a month - the most painful of teeth to cut, our pediatrician reminded us, as the tooth continues to cut at the gums because of it's sharp angle from tip to base.
Although Robbie is our little chatterbox, his vocabulary is still limited. He knows what he wants (take after your mother much?) but cannot always verbalize his needs or desires to us, leaving him a whiny, tantrum-y mess. Thankfully mommy is a fairly good translator (and mind-reader, for that matter), and so if she is nearby many frustrations in this department can be avoided.
Robbie loves to run and climb. He has fallen off the kitchen chair many times, attempted to scale my mom's kitchen island yesterday, chipped his front tooth in the bathtub last night (not a biggie, he was fine!) and is a frequent escapee of the Target shopping cart seat belt buckle. He loves being active and dislikes (initially? on the surface?) when we set boundaries for or around him. Don't worry, we're not deterred.
We are, however, exhausted by the end of the day - physically and otherwise! It takes a lot of energy to keep up with and ahead of our spirited little boy. He is a gift - but of the mexican-jumping-bean-sort.
I have been seeking creative ways to not only entertain Robbie, but bring calm and happiness to our days. Here is a peek at our favorite discoveries.
Breathtaking drives through the winter-wonderland that is the Arboretum right now! (Especially nice for mommy.) The deer are out in droves, and we always pull the car over and roll down our windows to say hi.
We indulge in the occasional frosted sugar cookie while taking drives in the late afternoon/early evening at dusk to look at christmas lights and decorations.
We break out the portable DVD player (used on the flight to NJ over Thanksgiving!) and enjoy a viewing of the Polar Express at the kitchen table while mommy makes dinner nearby. Sidenote: I have seen this movie so many times this month. I am known to quote lines from it while shopping with the kids to entertain Robbie. At Target this morning: 'Is anyone in need of refreshment?! I THOUGHT so!' ::handing Robbie his juice cup:: Sigh.
And we have also perfected the art of sharing germs with each other. Not exactly fitting with the whole theme of things-we-do-for-entertainment. But definitely in the category of things-we-do. For the better part of the last 2 months, at least one family member has been sick with something.
If you need a tutorial...
1. Remove paci from your mouth.
2. Insert paci into the mouth of family member closest to you.
3. Transfer a variety of viruses and bacteria.
Rob and I are learning every day what it means to parent small children. Mostly we find ourselves asking God for more grace, patience and wisdom. Often we look at each other and wonder what the next phase will hold. Sometimes we find success in our attempts. But we always find God to be faithful, the Good Father who loves to give good gifts to His children. Even when our home is a hub of activity and babies, our hearts can be filled with peace. What a gift!