being a parent · outside of my comfort zone · parenting

Grace Under Pressure

My sister in law suggested the farmer’s market this morning, and it sounded like a wonderful idea! Get the girls out, get coffee, browse beautiful handmade goods and art, pick up some veggies, enjoy the cool morning air and gentle sunshine.

Yeah.
Right.
SO not how it actually went.

It started out well enough, but I should have known when I waffled over whether or not to bring the wrap for Babs, and ultimately decided not to, that trouble would start.
Seriously, always, ALWAYS bring the carrier! Yes, it’s a pain to carry around if you’re not using it, but it’s a lesser pain compared to the pain of chasing a small toddler all. the. time. or resigning yourself to feeling like your arms are going to fall off.

Toddlersaurus Rex, aka Big Girl, was in fine form this morning. After reaching my boiling point and fearing I was going to break her neck in front of witnesses, it hit me: she was really hangry.
Duh.
She didn’t eat her dinner last night and since she usually turns her nose up at breakfast, and also because I was in a hurry to get to the market early, I skipped food this morning too.
Mother of the Year, right here.

After waiting in line for half an hour we all sat down to a delicious breakfast, after which we all enjoyed the market a whole heck of a lot more. Big Girl and her cousin got soaking wet in the fountain, Babs got to toddle around, and SIL and I got to enjoy looking at all the fun things while getting some early Christmas shopping done (hallelujah!). 

So what did I get out of today?
My SIL was the picture of grace throughout the morning. While I was alternating between bribing, threatening, and trying to peacefully parent my Big Girl (and failing at all of it), she helped keep me from losing my sh*t.
I realized, there was nothing that I truly needed to be grumpy about. Yes my toddler was an asshole. Yes my baby was super stimulated and excited by all the exciting things to see (and thus kept running off toward the nearest shiny). But once it (finally) occurred to me that Toddlersaurus Rex was hangry, remedying that was a piece of cake. Once the Big Girl is happy and cooperative things can go a lot more smoothly, and I can secure cooperation from her in a much better way than coming uncorked.
Attitude is everything, and with littles around it’s even more than everything because it’s the example you set and the patterns of behavior you teach them. Grace and patience pay huge dividends.
How does my SIL do it? Well, it doesn’t really matter, because she DOES it. And I need to do it too.
She literally made my morning so much better by being there.

I saw the sweetest new family on our way back to the car. They caught my eye because of the aura of love glowing around them. Grandparents were holding their first grandchild. The baby was three weeks old, and clearly so wanted and welcome.
I simply had to take a picture of them. They had to see how beautiful they were. So the new mama handed me her phone and I snapped a few, and it was even more precious because the sunlight was diffused around them.
They were so sweet and happy. It was the best thing I’ll see all day.

Overall, today is a win of gratitude.

 

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