Thursday, November 15, 2012

Toddlerhood Part II

When Avery was about 15 months old, I wrote this post about adventures in toodlerhood.  I absolutely loved this stage with her.  Once she could walk, there was no end to the silly predicaments she’d get herself into.  Her personality was really starting to shine bright, she was curious about everything, and hadn't yet learned the word no.  

While I've loved all the stages we've been through so far, 12-18 months might have been my favorite.  I have a hard time writing that (and actually deleted it before retyping) because I really do love the 2.5-year-old stage – and every age in between.  We can have little conversations, she is a great helper, loves to sing and dance, and still has such a tender heart.  But when I think back to the beginning of toddlerhood I feel a slight tug at my heart because it was when my baby girl really started becoming her own little person and I loved being a part of that. 

Anyway… as I was thinking about toddlerhood this morning (yeah, I haven’t been too busy at work this week), I realized that toddlerhood is coming to end and we are approaching pre-school age.  Oh my.  How did that happen?  {misty eyes and a deep sigh}.  My little girl now understands sadness and sometimes looks me straight in the eye and disobeys.  She also tells me, “mommy, I so happy!” and “I love you so much!”

She can communicate her needs and wants and is starting to understand feelings and sometimes I look at her and can tell she’s deep in thought – trying to mentally work through the situation unfolding before her.  We are knee-deep in this season of discipline and making good choices and while I love it, I sometimes wish my baby could just stay innocent and not ever be burdened with sadness or hurt.  Yes, I know that’s completely unrealistic and even a bit selfish but I guess I’m trying to say that for the first time since she was born, I’m a little bit scared of this next stage. 

I’m scared of the first day she comes home from school and is sad because someone didn't want to play with her or said something mean.  I’m scared for the first time she doesn't feel like she’s good enough.  I know it’s impossible but I wish I could shield her from all of this. I know it isn't going to happen for awhile and I'm probably worrying about nothing, but hey, that's part of my job as a momma. 

And then there’s the teaching / discipline side of this “next stage”.  It’s a big responsibility, raising a child. I have big hopes and dreams for her – that she will make a difference one day.  That she will treat others only with kindness and respect.  That she will love the Lord. That she will think of others before herself.  How do I instill these values in her when I fail at them more often than I’d like to admit? 

Well, that’s about all I can write on this subject today, no need to start crying at work.  If anyone has any tips / advice for the pre-school age, I’d love to hear them!   

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