The Best of Two; The Worst of Two

toddler girl sunglasses outside pigtailsWe did a lot this weekend. A first birthday party on Saturday, and a bridal shower on Sunday. Both were lovely, with delicious food and great company.

During each, Iris and her parents experienced the best, and also the most challenging, things about two year-old existence. On days like these, I remember something I said back in my mid-20s, before I was thinking about having kids myself. The statement holds true, but carries a bit more weight these days:

“I’m looking forward to the good and the bad about having kids. It’s all part of the complete experience.”

Such utterances occurred when a customer’s child acted up in the restaurant where I worked, or a friend apologized for a naughty toddler. I never felt terribly uncomfortable around typical child behavior, and always had little patience for anyone who became visibly judgmental of another’s parenting. I figured approaching the “bad” with a relaxed attitude would make it easier, and it does. Still, my understanding of the 24/7 nature of parenting and the emotions it invokes was, understandably, limited.

Iris is at an age where she experiences life very intensely. When an activity is fun, it’s the best thing ever. When it’s over, the world might as well end. For example, two hours on the park jungle gym lead to delirious joy; when those two hours are up and it’s time to get in the car seat , my sweet babe turns into a banshee. The result is that every fun thing is followed by a meltdown. Fortunately, it’s also usually nap time.

Our weekend comprised repeating cycles of bliss and tragedy, though it ended on a high note with bean burgers, sidewalk chalk and movie night. It’s good to know that, while outings and cake (Iris’ favorite new word) are cause for elation, quiet evenings at home still mean contentment and balance for all three of us. I even managed to squeeze in 45 minutes of yoga.

That’s a feat if there ever was one. To your Monday!

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