Thursday, October 29, 2009

What started out as potty training

Frequenters of this family blog are well aware of my joys and frustrations parenting a very willful toddler. Combine said toddler with the event of potty training, and you have another story to read!

Except this story isn't about how spicy/stubborn/unrelenting/obnoxious she is; between rushed runs to the potty chair, I discovered my daughter Abigail. The delightful, eager to please, calm, careful, joyful, quick-witted, articulate child that has been there all along.

Thanks to the advice of a good friend, I engaged in the 3 Day Potty Training Method, intent on getting Abigail off diapers. One of the main tenets of this method is that the guiding parent is required to give all his/her attention on the child for three days, eschewing any other activity until the child is done. Simple enough, right?

I couldn't believe how distracted I was the first few hours. And what was revealed to me during the entire 72-hour potty training vigil was not Abigail's strong will, but my overarching lack of attention on Abigail. Just Abigail.

I don't consider myself a bad parent. It has sure helped that my college major was child and adolescent development, coupled with my experience as a teacher, director, and assessor in early childhood programs. Once Ron and I decided that I would stay at home with Amanda, Amanda got the very best of two doting parents' attention.

Abigail's world has largely orbited around her sister's nurturing. I carted Abigail to all of Amanda's lessons and gymnastics. Abigail spent a lot of time learning that her sister is talented in many directions, especially when we started homeschooling Amanda. EVERYTHING focused on Amanda, and Abigail took a backseat.

But what's even more foolish was that I started a side business AND participated in creative teams at the same time as the homeschooling. And Abigail was almost forgotten except for her tenacious screaming to be heard. And in my distracted mind, I started classifying her as "difficult".

While I know that Abigail is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination (don't you remember who her mom is?), I sense that my unwillingness to quiet my life enough to enjoy her may have created more friction for this little one than necessary.

How do you begin to say sorry to a two-year-old for the last year's transgressions?

I will start by enjoying her tiny grape toes cradling her Dora pantied bum, letting her linger on my lap just a while longer, and thanking my Creator for another chance to be a better steward of what I've been gifted.

Love you, Abbers Stombers.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

I'm still here!

How does a month glide by so fast? Family is doing well, all things considered. We have so many things to share that sometimes it's not a reality to cram them all into one little blog.

Amanda's a happy clam in second grade. One of her closest friends is in the same homeroom, and well, that just makes for a lot of merriment for a second grader. Mom's busily attempting to keep making nutritious, fun, and yummy lunches - a tall order at times. As promised, I'll share photos and ideas some day. ;) Mondays I spend volunteering at Amanda's school, and she seems to like running up to me at random times and wave a chicken wing at me, with a cheerful, "Hi Mommy!" I treasure that expression of love.

Abigail is talking a lot. So much, that it can be classified as too much, heh heh heh. Her ideas have now materialized into a deafening crescendo. At times very joyfully, but other times in a heap of mad all over the floor. She is a passionate child that emotes quite a bit. And if this mom can pick and choose the battles a bit better, I think she would have less going on in the tantrum department. Sigh. She is a happy-go-lucky and intelligent girl; I'm working on bringing these attributes out to the forefront more.

I haven't been able to scrapbook in a long time, but this one really tumbled out of me; therapy in artform:

(click for credits)

Since I've come back from a Bay Area business trip, I have had fun post-processing photos. There are new sessions up on my photo blog if you'd like to see what I've been up to:

(click image to be whisked away to the photo blog!)

Aww, look at the time! Get to bed, young lady! Okay, off I go... more later.

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