How our garden grows (figuratively, not literally) (our literal garden is a bit pathetic right now).
July 09, 2012

Maybe the clouds or the stars or the weeds in my yard finally lined up just right.  Or maybe all those times I’ve had to help Charlotte blow dandelion seeds all over the yard finally paid off.  Or maybe someone just dropped a big fat penny in a wishing well for me.

I don’t know.  But for whatever reason, life with Charlotte is becoming easier.

Frankly, this might be the sort of thing that you just accept graciously instead of examining under a microscope.

Suddenly, seemingly overnight, Charlotte discovered that she could regulate her emotions if she held my hands and looked in my eyes and breathed calmly and talked to me.  SO SHE DOES.  She learned which rules need to be taken seriously (no playing in the parking lot) and which can be bent a little (no painting on the walls) (unless you do, in which case NO BIG DEAL, we’ll just clean it up – and she learned to exploit those that are more flexible.  She noticed that using her words to communicate was more effective than screaming and crying, so she began to find ways to calm herself down so that she could access those words.

And so it went.  We didn’t have to resort to any means of discipline with which we were uncomfortable, we just needed to exercise more patience than we had previously.  And we had to lay the love on thick too, of course.

I suppose that this must be what the ebb and flow of the next few years will feel like.  We will hit a rock wall and then, just when we think we cannot go on, it will crumble.  We will strike a truce, the three of us.  Donald and I will adapt our parenting to better suit our child’s needs and Charlotte will change her behavior to better suit our needs.

Never have I been more in awe of my daughter’s cleverness and strength of character than in those moments when I think she may have defeated every one of the tricks up my sleeve.  And never have I been more thankful for her ability to learn, for her compassion, for her perceptiveness, and for her adaptive nature than in those moments when we strike a compromise.

Suddenly, I look at the next few years and I think BRING IT ON, UNIVERSE.

(Just, you know, not all at once.  Give me a few little breathers here and there too!)


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  1. By on July 09, 2012

    I’m glad stuff is getting easier with your monkey. :) Mine is getting easier, too…although the independance stage is giving me a run for my money.

  2. By on July 10, 2012

    I am convinced that kids run in six month cycles. For six months they are so easy and wonderful that you think you have cracked the code for parenting. Then for six month they test you. Just about the time that turning them over to the State starts to sound good, back to being Angels.
      There is a quote that roughly paraphrased says that a good doctor keeps the patient entertained while the body heals itself.  Applied to kids that would be “Parenting keeps the adults busy while the child matures”.  Of course I do believe our efforts have impact but now with mine raised, looking back, I wonder how much?  In the meanwhile, enjoy the ride. It is wonderful.

  3. By Sarah Christensen on July 10, 2012

    LOL, Mitzie, that’s a great quote!  I’ve sort of been wondering if there’s just a general ebb and flow with parenting too.  Every time I think I’ve got it figured out, the game changes…and every time I think it’s time to throw in the towel, it really eases up =)


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