Today was....a difficult day. I had my first arguably 'real' standoff with a tiny, miniature, stubborn version of myself. 21 months old and our first real battle of wills...I have always suspected that this little mini me is going to be as obstinate as they come....but I am so not ready for it to begin now.
We were playing with Christmas decorations and she became frustrated that the iPhone switched to video once again when she was trying to take photos and she threw the phone. It hit me (Naomi Campbell would have been proud), so I told her firmly that she cannot throw things. She didn't like me telling her no apparently, so she then hit me. !! She does not behave like that. I was shocked but I told her that she cannot hit and to tell mommy that she's sorry....to which she said "NO!" And thus proceeded our 20 minute standoff where she kept refusing to say 'sorry' and kept telling me no. I'm mentally exhausted. Suffice it to say, she was upset, I was upset (and trying not to show it), and I honestly had no idea if she would hold her ground so long that I'd have no choice but to either give in or put her down for a nap without lunch - neither of which I really wanted to do.
These moments feel so make-or-break as a mom. (Or at least, for a first-time mom. Perhaps it's easier when you've been through all of this at least once.) But I didn't know if I was handling the situation properly, or if I ought to just let it go once it became what seemed like too big a deal, or if I needed to stand firm to show her that I mean what I say and that she absolutely cannot hit or throw things. I held firm in the end, and she did eventually say 'sorry' to me, and we had a good afternoon once we shook all of that off, but I seriously doubted myself in those 20 minutes. A tough gig, this one.
And so when I put her down for her nap after her lunch, I had to take a bunch of deep breaths, roll my neck and my shoulders, and actively think about how much I love her. I flipped through my journal and found this - I wrote it a few nights ago, just after I had rocked her to sleep:
I can’t bring myself to let go,
Not even for the short while that I know you’ll sleep.
I lower my face just inches above yours,
Breathing in your soft sweet breaths,
Taking in each tiny feature on your beautiful face;
The long dark lashes resting on your cheeks,
Where the baby roundness still lingers,
Your pink bow lips, pursed slightly, mouth ajar
In endless query, even in sleep.
I know you are going to grow up.
That you will not need my embrace forever,
And you will not want me to kiss away your tears
Or pick you up each time you fall.
So I hold on, rocking you gently,
Unwilling to end this moment of ours.
In the quiet, in the dark,
Savoring the love just between you and me,
I hold on to your childhood, to your needing me, to my sweet girl.
I find myself wishing today that - despite the frustrations and difficulties of this age - time would just slow down. I wish for many more years of willing cuddles and kisses before it starts to embarrass Bug. And I wish that I would learn to trust myself in handling these moments and find a little more grace and patience within me to cope with them.