The other day Zoey climbed in bed with us at 4:00am. Nothing unusual there, happens all the time. But on this particular early morning she brought a book with her. This was no cute little board book, picture book or even a Junie B. Jones. No, she brought in a thick paperback and when Greg tried to take it away from her (thinking it was the book from my bedside table), she threw a fit. Turns out it wasn't Clash of Kings, it was Your Baby's First Year - one of those doctor's office freebies I got while pregnant with her.
What is she trying to tell us? Even though she's out of her first year, is she saying we need to some further training in our parenting? I think probably so. That's the message I'm getting from the big kid, too.
No one tells you how isolating parenting is. Occasionally you see a parent in public with a kid having a giant meltdown. I'm not talking about babies or even toddlers - everyone knows that's the way it goes with the wee ones - I'm talking about the big kids, the ones who should know better, the ones that have reached an age of reason. For the most part, though, these things usually happen at home behind closed doors and you never remember when you're in the thick of it that you saw the same thing happen to someone else at the park or the mall. You always think, "Why is this happening to me? Why am I the only one with a kid who does this? Why am I the only one who has no idea how to handle these situations with care and patience and magic?"
Yesterday during the midst of a meltdown from the big kid, she yelled something that I remembered a friend telling me her kid said when he was having meltdowns sometimes. It was a bit of a comfort to know I wasn't alone, someone else had experienced this exact thing before me and they made it through intact. That was my first thought but it was quickly followed by "I have to ask her how she deals with it, how she makes it better, how she turns the situation around." She laughed at me when I told her I hoped she had an answer for me. Of course, I'm not the only one who doesn't know all the answers or how to do it "right." A friend commented on the blog, "Wendi, thanks for being so honest. We all need to hear that we are not alone in this crazy parenting thing we got ourselves into."
That is an amazing comfort to hear. Too bad it isn't followed by some practical, completely concrete and proven methods to deal with all this crazy.