To little to be a big boy

I was a first born, Stuart was a first born…. how we ever got married is a cosmic mystery. 😉 Now that we have our own first born I’m noticing some things that I want to change or at least be aware of. First borns HAVE to be the guinea pigs to an extent. I had OODLES of kid experience before having my own… but it’s a whole different ball of wax when it’s your own screaming bundle of joy. All the babysitting, teaching, day care, or nannying experience in the world just doesn’t “cut it” when it finally comes time to deal with your own offspring. Don’t get me wrong, it HELPS, and I draw from those experiences often. I’m just saying it’s different.
So recently, as in today, I was thinking about my Monkey #1. I think of him as a big boy, and he is…. sort of. As a first child I understand that there are a lot of expectations put on first kids that maybe they can’t live up to. I find myself doing that with Qade somewhat. That’s one thing I want to change. I realize that he is as smart as a whip, but I can’t let the fact that he’s learning at such a rapid pace fool me into thinking that he’s capable of more. He is just 2 and a half. That’s still a baby! The experiences that he is having are still all very new. And even thought he is starting to grasp some life skills and reasoning skills doesn’t mean that he always knows how to put those to use. I need to be more gentle in guiding him in the right way than stern and disciplinary when he doesn’t “get it.”
This came to mind today after he woke up from his nap hysterical. When I went in his room he was just sitting in a heap by his little bed crying. I asked him what was wrong and to use his words to tell me, but he couldn’t. Maybe he didn’t really know what was “wrong.” Maybe he doesn’t yet understand the concepts of ‘scared’ or ‘sad’ or just plain ol’ not feeling well. So I sat on the floor with my little big guy in my lap and we just rocked together. The crying stopped, but he didn’t budge. He needed to be the baby for a few minutes, and just be with his mommy.
Don’t get me wrong. I do still strongly believe that he needs to be held accountable for what he does know. And he’s learning along with us, what works and what doesn’t.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I want to keep my expectations to the level of his ability. For example with our recent bought of potty training, I think rather than trying to “teach” him this new life skill, I was demanding that he do something because I thought he could. I know this will be somewhat of a struggle for me because I tend to be a “high expectations” person. 🙂 Still, I want to remember that my little lad is just 2, he is still learning, and to tap into his strengths and support those rather than be constantly harping on his ‘weaknesses.’ He is such a caring little boy. If I so much as sneeze or cough, he will ask, “You okay, Mommy?” And when role playing with his cow, Buford, he is very nurturing and caring and considerate. Those are strengths. Yes, he has issues with whining, and yes he needs to learn to control his reactions, but that will be an ongoing process that we’ll work on day by day. If I keep my expectations in line with his abilities I think it will alleviate unfair burden on him, and unnecessary strain on our relationship.
Just some thoughts. 🙂

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