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Eagle Mountain, Utah, United States
My name is Lauren, and I live in the bubble. I am wife to Marshall, the biggest BYU fan in the world; and mother to Carly, our big girl, and Wes, our wild man, and Calvin, our new addition. I graduated BYU with a degree in Social Work, and I went forth to serve at LDS Family Services. I like scrapbooking and going out to eat at nice restaurants. I am fascinated by new cleaning products at the grocery store, so I have to shop in wide circles around the perimeter to avoid the temptation to buy. I love chocolate.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Tender Mercies

2-year-olds are hard. Really hard. It definitely doesn't help that I completely lack patience.

What is trying about my 2-year-old? Well, let me tell you.

1)The word 'No.'

This drives me up the wall. Basically anything I ask gets this standard response. And it's not like a cute automatic response of a baby, barely learning to talk who picks a random word and sticks to it without grasping its meaning.

She has many ways of telling me no.

Q- "Carly, can you go put that in the trash?"
A- "No, you do it."

Q- "Carly, are you ready for bed?"
A- "Ummm, no. Not right now."
"Carly, go to bed!"
"No, I don't want to!"

Q- "Carly, can you please look at mommy when I talk to you?"
A- "No, you go away now."

Just charming, eh?

2) Willful disobedience

I can tell her 5,000 times a day to not do something...
don't sit on your brother
don't stand on the table
don't open the fridge
don't unravel all of the toilet paper into the toilet
don't drag your brother by his foot, or hand... or head
... and she'll still do it for the 5001st time. Gah!

And I really don't buy that she doesn't understand my expectations of her, or that she forgets 4999 times that it is wrong. She will run away and hide if I come up on her doing these things. She knows. She knows the consequence is timeout. She knows I'll tell her not to do it again. She just wants to do x, y, or z more than she cares that she is going to go sit in the corner after she does it.

3) Picky picky picky

My daughter is a picky eater. Not in the way that the pediatrician keeps assuming I mean. He keeps trying to give me tips and tricks to sneak veggies or protein into her diet. But it is not that she doesn't like those things. She does. She loves just about all vegetables, and even asks for them by name. In fact, there are not many foods Carly has met that she doesn't like.

So what's the problem right?

Well, she's strong willed and knows that meals are just one more arena where she can defeat me. No matter what I make, she doesn't want it. She can be begging me for "dinner" (her word for all meals), and I can ask her specifically what she wants to eat, and she can tell me exactly what she would like, and I can make the item to order, and she'll look at it and say "no, I don't want that anymore, now I want _____."

So let her go hungry right? Well, I've tried this. She loads up on water, and basically just doesn't eat. And then I'm talking to the pediatrician at the next well child check about how she only eats a real meal rarely, and we are back to his tips and tricks.

The other solution, which I usually resort to so I don't feel guilty for her losing 2 lbs when she only weighs 30, is to make multiple items a day and eventually we'll get to the random one she really wants.

Indecisive? Maybe
Evil Mastermind? More likely

So after a week like I've had, you know you are due for a tender mercy. I am a big believer that when we do our best, despite trying circumstances, and endure said trial well, we are due for a small miracle. I basically count on it, and so far I haven't been disappointed.

Well, last night I was in bed asleep. It was about 2am, and I woke up randomly. I was just turning over to get back to sleep, when something told me

Go tuck Carly in.

Whatever still, small voice! I have to get up in 4 hours!

Go tuck in Carly

So I pull off the covers and tiptoe down the hall. Carly was lying in her bed with no blankets. They were all on the floor. I picked them, cover her with them and start to head back to my bed. I make it to the doorway when I hear a small voice
'yes baby'
'thank you mommy'
'you're welcome sweetie, goodnight'
'I love you mommy'

She's back asleep, probably was never really awake. But I've received my tender mercy. And it's all worth it.


Paige said...

Oh, that made me cry! Motherhood is so challenging but those tender mercies are what makes it all worth it.

KarenOjai said...

I've said it once, I'll say it again.... The apple doesn't fall far from the tree! (your Dad just said "This is just proof that Heavenly Father does have a sense of humor!). Gosh, I remember going through the same thing about 25 years ago. You have your hands full kiddo, but she is/will be a valient one, just like her mommy! Keep it up! Love you all. Mom

Megan Miley and Chris said...

I am so thankful you wrote this. Because seriously I'm going to pull my hair out with Miley. She does some way funny, super cute things and I love her to death. But man on man our days are trying. And you pretty much described Miley to a T. That gives me hope that it really is the terrible 2's and it's not just my daughter lacking in the conscious area.

Kim said...

ohhh that is so sweet. Nearly crying over here! What a precious story.

Russ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
*star said...

Good post, Lauren.

My parents used to deal with the fussy eater power struggle by telling us that our house was not a restaurant. We could either have what Mom cooked, or we could have PB&J. Once, my mother got tired of us whining about what was for dinner, and the entire family LITERALLY sat down to a meal of bread and water the next night. Bread straight out the bag, and a glass of water. Not that I think that is the best way to deal with Carly....

Ryan and Maranda said...

What a sweet story. She is such a sweet little girl!! I can only imagine the tough time she gives you during the day, but I am a firm believer in SuperNanny and all of her techniques. I plan to get her book when I have kids so I can reference it when difficult situations come up. Maybe you already know and have tried everything she does, but that was just my thought.

Kalen's Mommy said...

That made me cry too! (Which isn't great because I am sitting at my desk at work.) Sounds very much like my mom going in to watch the twins sleep when they were that age, just to remember they were her sweet boys. Hang in there Lauren, I love you! (and Carly too)!

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