Growing Up Fast
Being a mom is the best thing in the world. When you are loved by the little one, it feels right. This is why I am in this world. Validation. But its up to us to also be the police, the enforcers of discipline, the watch dogs and even the one who disappoints.
We must pop their bubble. This summer, little one (LO) is 2 years old. Just two. Sometimes it feels old enough to make certain good choices- ie. not pulling the dog's tail. But sometimes what is expected I think is too much. Summer camp insisted no toys. This was not because he should not have a stuffed animal at 2, it was more because other children will want his toy and then it opens the situation to fights, crying and toddler screaming. No fun, I understand. But it also seems to be explained as something he shouldn't have any longer. And I say Why? He is TWO! Two is tiny- 5, 6 I get it, but 2 is unrealistic. He is a baby and should have a security blanket for sorts.
In today's world, we are asked to constantly ask little ones to act as a "big boy" or "big girl". Today I told my LO, "no crying when mommy leaves you at school, you are a big boy and there is no need to cry since you are staying with these nice strangers, I mean teachers- who you haven't seen in 3 months and now I will leave you with for 8 hours straight". Clearly that wasn't really what I said, but I did say the beginning. I said it, because I had heard other parents say it, maybe my own and it seemed like the right thing to say. But as I drove away, it felt so wrong. I mean I told him.... its ok, you don't need to cry (no need to show your emotions), I know you are sad that mommy is leaving you, but hold back because you have to fend for yourself now, at 2 years old.
Why did I do that? Why did I ask you to grow up so fast? For several reasons. The biggest was to make me feel better. Honestly, leaving him even with a half smile and not full of tears would make me think that he is ok being there. That he would have a good day- as if that were the only time he would cry all day- and that ultimately, he would be ok. But really its me who would be better, kissing him goodbye without him tearing up or grabbing for me. I would be able to have peace of mind, work better throughout the day, concentrate and somewhat forget that I had left him, there to fend for himself.
The mommy guilt is real my friends. It stays with you all day, all week, month and year. Staying at home would not be a good option for me, but it would be SO great in LO's eyes and heart. Last week, I was able to work from home a few days. I didn't have a choice, hubby needed to be at work. He spent 2 weeks with daddy after summer camp ended. One week with me at home. We know that he got attached to having us with him all day quite quickly, but we also know that interacting with other kids, having those day to day experiences that make him oh so tired are so good for him and we pray that he gets somewhat used to it and enjoys it. I also pray though that he doesn't grow up too fast. That he gets to enjoy taking his "dog" to school daily and hearing stories from the teacher, singing songs and enjoy his little toddler life, because in the blink of an eye he will be a big boy, for real.