My baby turned 20 months old today. He is a toddler. He knows what he wants. He's got attitude. He's got sass. He is also snuggly and sweet and funny. He loves to pick his nose.
Something hit me today, and it's taken me a long, long time to realize it. I had a lot of expectations that were never met when I had Lennon. I think my biggest was thinking that Noel would have an insta-friend & insta-playmate. No dice. I thought, if it didn't happen immediately, it would happen in time. It has happened, to an extent, but my children are at ages where they both need more parental attention and guidance. Three 1/2 and 1 1/2 are tricky ages. One is becoming a child, and less needy, but is also testing boundaries & becoming independent...which means he doesn't always want a playmate. He especially doesn't want a playmate that is taking what he wants, or has what he thinks he wants right then. Lennon is growing out of babyhood and into toddler-hood. He wants what he wants, when he wants it. Although he might look like a Precious Moments doll, he is 100% ornery, and knows exactly how to push Noel's buttons.
When they play together, it usually breaks down into "That's MINE!" pretty quickly, unless they're playing together with one of us. This is where I admit my epic failure. I have pushed this brotherhood and friendship, basically so I could rest on my laurels and hang out in the background and watch my children get along like Dick & Jane, sitting quietly next to each other, playing and laughing. It doesn't work that way, at least not at this time.
Today, I played with both of them. I left the iPhone and the computer aside, and hung out with them, together. Guess what? They got along beautifully, and I saw myself for the first time in way too long, not frowning or feeling full of anxiety. I could beat myself up about this, because, well, I've let this go on...It's affected me, my husband, and most importantly, it's affected my children...but I'm going to swallow this realization like a spoon full of sugar, and move upward from here. I saw today that my two precious boys are not going to constantly fight and bicker. They didn't today...and it was because I helped them along throughout the day. I guided them. I parented them. I acted like the mom I knew I was capable of being.
And it looks like I learned something too.