Parenting a baby is one thing, but I'm finding parenting a toddler is where the rubber hits the road.
Ada is two. And we know it!
She's cute: she can sing all of her ABC's, twinkle twinkle and EIEIO at loud volume. She has discovered stars and planes 'look mummy look!! pane!' She insists on goodnight prayers every night, and when she's in the right mood she can charm anyone. It is so fun re-discovering the world through her eyes.
She's challenging: she throws epic tantrums, at least one a day. She hardly eats and prefers popcorn and chippies. She has found her high pitched squeal and uses it loudly and has discovered the art of slamming doors.
Everyday my patience is tested, and I refine and hone and chop and change my parenting styles and values. At my core I value a mix of gentle parenting along with strong boundaries and clear rules. I have vowed to never smack Ada, but that doesn't mean I am doing gentle parenting perfectly- I get impatient, I snap and have sworn under my breath on many occasions.
Yesterday was 'one of those days' and I ended it feeling like an awful mum and glad to be in bed. Ada was grumpy, had watched far too much TV and tantrums through our dinner. She refused to eat.
Today though, she is happy, entertaining herself, eating well and has watched hardly any TV.
I have done nothing different- today and yesterday- and I guess I'm slowly learning that she has ups and downs, just like me, and it's not a reflection on my parenting. In the end, I know she will turn out allright. I will show her patience, and love and problem solving, and at other times I'll be grumpy and too quick to snap, and I guess that's ok - I'm human too and she's learning, slowly, about empathy through that.
Me and my kid. She is sure teaching me a lot.