Even though I was confident it would never happen, I've found my groove now that Henry is no longer napping. It was a rough first few weeks and I was certainly convinced I would never find any peace during my long day with two small children. Remember how I have a hard time remembering it's not all about me?
Now that scheduling my day around Henry's looong nap time is a moot point, the new priority is ensuring Liza gets her two naps. Her naps don't last long and the rocking and nursing pre-nap ritual sometimes last longer than the actual nap but these naptimes are my new sanctuary.
They are also Henry's sanctuary: he frantically brings his trains into the front room as soon as he knows Lulu is asleep, he choo-choos in peace, we read long story books together and he helps me get supper prepped and ready.
In other words, I get to hang out with my little man and just enjoy him. No fussing about keeping his prized possesions away from his sister. No requiring him to be gentle and thoughtful. No reminders of his "rules".
No wonder Henry has been sweeter and more well-behaved since I got my groove back. He is getting special one-on-one time with his mama and two dedicated chunks of time each day without that pesky little sister following his every move.
Now that I feel better about life, I am trying to be more patient and purposeful with our almost three-year-old. This "positive parenting" blog and specifically, this blog post about the differences between authoritative, permissive and positive parenting was just the reminder I needed.
That blog's post made me realize I tend towards authoritative parenting. I won't lie. I say jump and I want Henry to jump. I say pick it up and I want it picked up. I say be quiet and I expect silence.
Is it really to much to ask that he does what I want him to do when I want him to do it?
I am coming to realize that, yes, sometimes that is too much to ask of this busy little toddler. Too much of my day is spent in a battle of the wills and I have a hard time deciding when to compromise, when to let go and when to insist he does what I say when I tell him to do it.
Now, thanks to that "positive parenting" blog, my new Henry-themed mantra is "Options and Empathy".
To be continued.......