Rather than write about how this angelic face has tested my patience morning and night for the past few days I will remember the delight in her eyes while she pulled weeds in the yard this weekend. I will remember the squeal of laughter when her daddy gave her a bath in the late evening hour. I will remember that every tantrum means a long hug in my lap, her tear stained face pressed against my chest, her small hands stroking my arms, her little chest rising and falling as she calms down in my embrace. Instead of recalling the times I lost the battle against my own patience (news flash, I have none) for the millionth time I will recall all the moments I took a long breath and looked at her frustrated little face asking her to help this mama understand what she needed. Those were the moments I won.
Mothering a willful toddler is tough work. This afternoon, after a nice long nap, she woke with a frown. I rattled off a list of things we could do after a diaper change (aka HELL on Earth, for both of us). All of my suggestions were met with a scowl and a shake of her little chubby face. Finally we settled on a snack, only she didn't want to sit in her chair to eat the snack, she didn't want to share my arms with the makings of a snack, and she didn't want to actually eat the snack. So, I sat down beside her and took her bowl of fruit for myself. I ate her pears, exclaiming how delicious they were, and let her pick each piece out for me to eat. I made some toast, one of her favorite snacks, and smothered it in peanut butter and raspberry jam, a recently discovered treat. By the end of our snack time she had eaten half the pears and one piece of toast. Everything on her terms, this is how our house is run.
I call her my sweetest baby, my darling daughter, my small angel, and she is all of those things. Lately it just takes a little extra time to look beneath the furrowed brow into the eyes of a frustrated baby who just wants to have things go her way. Inside I feel the same way so I can hardly blame her.