adventures in parenting

{via some e cards}

i feel like this should be the title of my life right now: adventures in parenting. life is exhausting as of late. on top of normal "having two very young children" stuff we've recently lost a family friend, and had to say goodbye to bexley - our dog of eight years.  and i've felt more than a little bit worn down and saddened and stuck.

our kids are wonderful beautiful blessings, and they make life extremely challenging right now. some days i feel like i'm floundering. i'm not exactly sinking and i'm not exactly swimming.

our house has been a bit of a disaster lately. since soccer season has gotten into full swing it seems that there is simply not enough time to do everything anymore. many days i feel as though i'm just scraping by in terms of sleep, and my emotional and spiritual well-being. i'm doing just enough to not completely fall apart.

it's not that i'm not thankful. i am very thankful for my husband and my kids and the fact that we have a roof over our heads that has more than enough space for our family. what i struggle with is the balance. i do not like to feel like days are happening to me, and lately i have felt that way time and time again.

both of our kids are exploring and discovering new things every day. keane has adventured further and further into autonomy. his new favorite thing is to tell me to "shut up" and clap his hands at me. yes, i'm that parent who used to get so frustrated with the dog barking at things of no consequence that in my exasperated state i would sometimes tell bexley to "shut up." and that is what keane picked up on. and that is what he says back to me whenever he doesn't get his way.

we are so very broken.

and our little girl is the sweetest, happiest little creature on the face of the earth. but she doesn't like to sleep. this is partially due to her personality and partially due to the fact that we have not been as rigorous with getting her on a super set schedule now that i have to juggle keane's schedule too.

most days i feel like a failure of a parent. and since i'm a stay-at-home-mom and parenting is my only "job" on my most dramatic days i also feel like a failure at life. it kind of seems like most people around me are doing this whole thing a heck of a lot better than i am, but when i step back i wonder if that is simply because i see all of my life, and just pieces of others' lives.

we live in a culture that prizes authenticity, but hates vulnerability. on my most vulnerable days this makes it tough to believe i'm doing much well.

living with a baby and a toddler can quickly send you from one extreme to the other. euphoria somehow leads to total meltdown.

adele now decides that she likes something, and if she's holding said thing - one of keane's fruit strips for instance - and you take it away from her, say to give her brother the fruit strip out of the package, she flips right on out on you despite the fact that she had been giving you a two-toothed-widest-you've-ever-seen smile not three seconds earlier.

keane gets something in his mind, and even if the answer is "not right now, you need to wait a minute and be patient" he somehow hears "never ever ever" and goes into flip out mode, usually complete with a "shut up" and rounded out with a timeout.

of course it goes the other way too. he could be flipping out about something and you ask if he wants to go play in the water, or go outside, or if he wants to do some other fun activity and he's immediately 100% fine. ah, two year olds.

i know that much of this is a "time of life" thing. that this too shall pass, and i will miss it. when i step back, i remember those things. sometimes i just get so caught up with what is right in front of my face that i forget. i get stuck in the toughness of it and miss the gems.

yesterday keane and i were outside before his nap time. he likes digging in the dirt with sticks right now - he usually pretends he's mixing something up and making cupcakes or cookies. while he dug in the dirt the stick he was using to dig broke. and i said "uh oh, it broke." and he said "it's still good." and it reminded me that he really is listening all the time. he really does take it all in even when i think otherwise.

you see keane doesn't like it when his food "breaks." bananas in particular tend to break on him, and he doesn't like that. so my go-to response when his food breaks is "that's okay though, it still tastes good."

and yesterday he reminded me in his two year old way that just because something else breaks it doesn't mean it can't be useful or good.

of course soon after that he decided to drive his car around the backyard, and this is how that went:
keane gets in his car and closes the door.
"buh-bye mommy"
not two seconds later he stops the car, opens the door, and says "shoot" as he's getting out.
"shoot, i forgot sometin"
"what did you forget?"
"backpack. i forgot my backpack."

do you think maybe i forget things on a regular basis??

my kids both keep me honest in their own ways. it's extremely humbling to have your qualities paraded back to you right in front of your face. it's a lot harder to ignore your bad habits when you see them in someone else. especially when that person is a tiny human who mostly learns from you.

of course my absolute favorite keane-ism right now is what happens when i tell him it's nap time.
"it's nap time keane."
"no. NO. not nap time. it's not nap time. it's morning time. it's MORNING time."
haha. he's pretty good at re-framing the argument.

i hope you have a great tuesday! mine is better thanks to adele sleeping through the night the last two nights. it's a little early to call it a consistent thing, but we will certainly take it!



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