So many of the blogs and books I read focus on being mindful with our children. Enjoying the good moments and the crazy ones, too, for the gifts that they are. Being present, rather than just being in the room with our little ones.
Today, though, I'm working through the realization that I may have been giving Moose too much mindfulness. In case you missed it, he last few weeks together have been tough. Really tough.
I can't chop vegetables for dinner without screaming at my feet or destructive behavior in the adjacent room (which, the snide smile on Moose's face suggests, is designed solely to get my attention). I've even been bitten on the rear! I'm more behind than usual with some of my household tasks because every towel I fold gets unfolded; the window gets intentionally smeared the second I finish wiping it. The words of the moment are "NO!" and "NOW!"
Some of that is age. Arguably gender. Definitely personality. But here's the thing glaring me in the face: he doesn't act that way with anybody else. Anybody. Not his teacher at school. Not Daddy Moose. It's just me.
After roundtabling with mom friends, Daddy Moose, and even Moose's trusted and wonderful pediatrician (who happens to have two very spirited ones of her own), the general consensus seems to be that I need to back off.
Not ignore. Not abandon.
But encourage independence. (And encourage is the exact right word because Moose wants to be independent; if I had a dime for every time I heard the phrase "I do it myself!" . . . ) Which is what I wanted all along, but somewhere, along the way stifled without intending or even realizing.
I am entering somewhat uncharted waters. On Friday, I explained that, after we did the singing and dancing Moose asked for, I needed to get some work done in the kitchen and that he could help or he could play. On Saturday I sorted old baby clothes while Moose ran around upstairs with his toy shopping cart.
In the absence of a model to follow (Do you have one to share?), I'm loosely following a 30 min/30 min schedule of time spent actively engaging together/independent time.
It is hard work, not devoting all my attention to the Moose. And exhausting. But it's worth a try, and all I can do is cross my fingers and hope he and I both come out the other side better for it!
Joining Lydia again for Monday mothering inspiration!