Littlest Loes (LL) turned 3 on New Year’s Eve and since then, she has definitely made it known to us that she is changed. Although, it seems that she hasn’t quite decided in what direction this change is going yet. In the last month she has challenged us with obstinance, outright disobedience, tantrums, giving her teachers hell and more. On the flipside, she has also graced us with some of the sweetest snuggles and declarations of love while looking into our eyes and holding our cheeks in her little hands, and gifting us with the best belly laughs ever. Seemingly nothing in between these two versions of LL though…
In these moments I was finding myself just staring dumbfounded at Daddy Loes (DL) asking silently, “What changed? Where did my sweet little baby go?” “Did we go through this with Little Boy Loes (LBL)?” “Are we parenting differently?”
YES!!! To all of those questions!
When we finally took the time last week to really think about these questions… we realized that she grew up to her new age a little faster that we were ready for. In the last 5 months she has seemingly shed all of the last vestiges of babyhood, and we are just now catching up. Potty learning in October, starting school in September, learning to make friends for herself, knowing enough words to have the most lovely and sometimes not so lovely conversations with her brother, and giving up her pacifier and turning 3 in December. So much change and exploration. That being said, I think that one of the things that I was also reminded of this month was that 3 is a hard year for me personally to deal with. Not a baby, but yet not quite able to communicate like a bigger kid yet. A year of transition, and the universe knows that I am not always the best at transition.
So how can I help myself and LL move through this first of many transition year in a mindful and kind way? First, for me, remembering that it is okay to not be awesome in all areas of parenting and to go slowly. Allowing space for LL to explore who she is now and follow her lead, but also reminding her of boundaries. Second, feeling proud in the knowledge that DL and I have given her enough confidence in her foundation that she feels safe enough to explore. She knows that she will be loved, no matter what.
That seems like a good beginning to me, even if she did get a head start. Let’s she what she creates in this year of chaos.