Friday, February 3, 2017
Mr. Independent vs Mama's Boy
This guy. My buddy. My little man. Oh, the fun it is raising a 3-year-old boy. The "squeezy hugs," the nose rubs, the hand holding, the climbing onto my lap to read. The "mama, pick me up" or "give me one more hug and kiss" before nap and bedtime. Every single time. I drive by the fire station at his request both because he loves firetrucks and I love his reaction.
Then there's the tantrums, the taking things from his two big sisters, the stubbornness, the "I do it myself" and the "Put me down, I want to walk" stage. The messes at repeated attempts of independence, the refusal to potty-train and the "it's mine" shouted at his siblings.
I'll take it all though. I've been through it twice before now and just because he's my only boy that I'll go through this with, it reminds me of the girls at this very age. Each of them ventured into this new territory a little differently but the 3-year-old in all of them is there. Not a baby anymore, but not quite a little kid yet. My little shadow, always with me. And it goes fast, so I'll take it. I'll take the hugs, the carrying him on my back, I'll help him when he asks and lay on the floor and play cars together. I'll remember to talk softer, more patiently reminding myself that he is still little. I'll be sad when he doesn't want to be carried because I know pretty soon he'll be too big and even though he doesn't understand that, I do. Very much so.
This stage is tough, 3. The in-between wanting to do it all on their own and the still needing their mama. I have to remind myself to let him try things on his own, although bittersweet, I have to understand that it's for his own good. All too soon, he won't be with me all the time, my shadow will take new adventures. Adventures that will allow him to exert his independence and grow into the strong, smart and successful man that I know he will be.
But for now, because he's only 3, I carry him because I can, I give the extra hugs and kisses at his request and cradle him in my lap as he asks for another book. The messes, the tantrums and the sibling fighting is all part of the package and I don't take one without the other. The good stuff is far too good and as blissfully exhausting as it all is, it's worth every second.