Mothering a Toddler The Third Time Around

It’s easier  in some ways and harder in others. The girls help out quite a bit with Samuel. I don’t know if they realize it or not. They play with him, they like to help pick out his clothes, and feed him.
They are great big sisters.

I seem to have forgotten how much these kids move, and how fast they move once they become mobile. Samuel was hard to keep up with once he started crawling, but now that he’s walking we’re in a whole new realm of curiousness. I forget that I can’t leave things out on the table. Cups have to be up high where he can’t reach. Yesterday morning I left my glass on the table and he walked right over there, grabbed it and poured juice all over the floor, then he proceeded to play in it. He was so proud of himself, smiling and laughing.
You really can’t look away from him for a second because he moves so fast. This boy is into EVERYTHING.

He has free reign of the house. It’s not what the experts would call kid friendly but Samuel is used to navigating his way. He started climbing the steps about two months ago, but he would just sit there. Now he pounds on the door and goes on to the next step. He also loves to open and close any doors that are open.

The only time he’s not moving is when he’s sleeping. Speaking of sleep…..Samuel only takes one nap a day sometimes. He used to go to bed around 8:30-9 and getting up about the same time, and then he would take two naps at some point in the day. He could easily sleep two hours at a time, or more if I was wearing him. He would wake to nurse and drift back into dreamland for at least another hour.
Now when he finally takes a nap he’s only sleeping about an hour. I am beyond thrilled when he naps twice in a day. I need him to sleep during the day. My sanity and mothering depends on it.

This time around I thought “I’ve done this before, I got this” It’s not as easy as it was when I only had Nakiah, and then when Ava came along. Now I have a six year old, four year old, and a one year old.
Life can get quite chaotic at times. I still love it though. I did forget about how much energy you need to keep up with a toddler, plus the needs of my other two Spirited girls.

Then there is the toddler nursing acrobatics, teething, and dare I say tantrums? Samuel gets mad and stomps his feet, throws himself on the floor and cries into the floor. I thought this wasn’t supposed to start until closer to 18 months? It’s cute now.

New life in the family brings so much joy to everyone. Watching them explore, figure out how things work. Putting lids on and taking them off, putting toys into buckets and pulling them back out.
He helps me with the laundry too. Yesterday when i was putting the kids clothes away he kept going behind me and pulling their clothes back out of the drawers. I think I’ll need to give him a drawer he can play in, maybe put some clothes in a basket just for him and let him have at it.

I get so busy sometimes and forget to stop and enjoy him. It’s easy when they are newborns. Our bodies need that rest and relaxation.
I still need it a year later. Lately I’ve gone back to sitting on the couch with him and letting the oxytocin take over.
It gives me a a few minutes to recharge, look into my sons eyes and enjoy the moment.

It seems he’s gone from being exclusively breastfed to eating what we eat overnight. Gone are the days of eating in front of him, he makes a big deal when he sees someone eating. He wants to try everything. I’ve watched him take my food and food from the girls and go on about his business. I wish I could get into his head so I know exactly what he’s thinking. I imagine he’s thinking that we all love him and he loves us…we have food, he wants it, he takes it and eats it.

I really do love the early years. Instead of wishing they could stay this age forever I’ve accepted the fact that they must grow. It reminds me to live in the moment, once it passes it’s gone forever.

So on this third time around the toddler block I think I’m doing a pretty good job. Balancing the needs of everyone isn’t always easy, but I’m figuring it out.

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5 thoughts on “Mothering a Toddler The Third Time Around

  1. I love this photo of Samuel, Darcel! He is so cute and I cannot believe he's over a year old now. How time flies. I love your posts and the photos of your children. From these photos and your posts I can tell you and your husband are wonderful parents.

  2. Oh, he's so cute! It's amazing how quickly they jump into toddlerhood, isn't it? For my daughter, it seemed that as soon as she turned 10 months, things started changing, very quickly. Now that she's 16 months, she is a full out toddler. It's amazing, challenging, and fun at the same time. She also helps me with laundry which is very sweet!

  3. My kids are now 17 yrs, 15 yrs, 15 yrs and 14 yrs, I miss them being little and always up under me. Now they have lives…For the record, toddlers and teens think the same thing "that we all love him and he loves us…we have food, he wants it, he takes it and eats it." LOL

  4. I hear you! My son is fourteen years old. My daughter is seven years old. Having a baby again is so different! And she's not even a toddler yet!

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