Saturday, March 26, 2011

on toddlerhood

Emory is 19 months old today. And I'm not going to lie, 18 months was kind of a hard month for us. My mom tells me all the time how much she loves toddlers, and last week, I looked at her incredulously as she said it again and asked "so, you loved parenting toddlers?" to which she said that she did. Over the past month, Emory and I have learned together, and we're developing communication and discipline methods that work for us. And I am striving to find joy in every stage of his life. And I do, I promise.

I can't help but stare at these photos and wonder that he is really my child. Emory is so handsome, and looked especially dapper today in his green sweater. Sometimes I look at him and can't figure out if he resembles Jon or me, but in these photos, the little man reminds me so much of his daddy in photos from about this age. Truthfully, Emory is so much fun at this stage of life, all stubbornness and frustrations aside. He is such a sponge right now, and on the one hand, I am so proud when he imitates positive attributes and actions and on the other hand, I am mortified when he imitates things he sees that he shouldn't. I am so grateful that my child is bright and driven and opinionated--all attributes that add to a colorful life. Lately, Emory is obsessed with cars. Obsessed. Today Jon Sr. mentioned that Jon would get "hung up" on things as a child (for instance, he went through a stage of having to have keys with him at all times and the solution was to pin a set to his shirt so he wouldn't lose them and lose it as a result), and all I have to say is the apple really doesn't fall far from the tree. To say that the little man is "hung up" on cars lately is a gross understatement. Because we don't yet have our entire dealership building to ourselves, we have several cars to add to the already existing Beutler and Fox fleets. If he could, Emory would spend all day hopping from one car to the next, driving each one to his heart's content, as long as the doors are closed. He spends all day with his collection of Hot Wheels stashed around the house, and the highlight of coming downstairs is the old playstation steering wheel that's attached to the coffee table for his indoor driving enjoyment. However, I'm thrilled that at his early age, I can determine that Emory is passionate. He is also very sweet, and mostly wants to please. He loves to hand us things (I think this started with unloading the silverware) and says "ahhhhhh" in a little sing-song voice so we know he is giving us something. And I'm proud to see my little boy loves to read so much that even before he goes for his cars in the morning, he wants to read at least 3 books. He naps well. He sleeps well at night. He's shy and still dependent on me (sometimes) and has even started to say "Mama" again after a long, 7-month break from the word.

I think that when I started thinking about what I wanted to say about toddlerhood, I felt so negative about how I was dealing with the frustrations I have felt over the past month. But as I write this, I realize how much Emory has progressed, just in the past week. As we learn together, I think I am learning the most. I am trying to let go and relax a little, and not expect so much of someone so tiny. The miracle is that as I do that, I really do love Emory more, become annoyed with him less, and celebrate his learning better. I'm a lucky mom.

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