It's really amazing to me to watch these children of mine grow. Seeing the Pookie go through phases that his sister went through before him, reminds me of how far she's come. Which in turn, reminds me of how far the Pookie's come and where he still will go.
At 19 months old, the Pookie is really learning his words and how to tell us exactly what he wants. But when we don't understand or he can't have what he wants, he has a big meltdown. Just like the Pumpkin used to.
At almost 4, however, the Pumpkin starts to get SO upset when we tell her she can't have something, but then I hold up a finger and say, "Hey, hey, hey! Don't you want to hear why you can't do it?" And she stops freaking out, asks to hear why, and then usually understands the reason and is either okay with it or comes up with a compromise or something that works for us all.
Just yesterday morning, the Pumpkin said she wanted a juice box for her lunch. Fine. She's can have one cup of juice a day. I put one in her lunch bag. Then she got one out herself, and she was getting the straw out of it's plastic when I saw what she was doing. I was in the middle of washing some dishes and my hands were all soapy, so I was telling her no, but she was doing it anyway. As she put the straw to her lips, I went towards her, drippy soapy hands and all, saying, "I told you no!"
She said that she wanted a juice now. I said that we already put a juice in her lunch bag, and she was only allowed one juice a day. So she said, "Well, I just want the juice now, not for lunch." So I made sure she understood that meant she'd have water for lunch, and she said fine.
This thinking ahead, understanding limitations, working through the rules and how to get what she wants within the limitations of the rules... It's just amazing to me to watch. Instead of freaking out about wanting to watch a show in the family room, she now understands that if it's not on TV or On Demand, we have to watch it up in my room where it's recorded. Or maybe it's not recorded and she simply has to wait until it comes on later. She GETS it. She understands and doesn't freak out.
And it's really making life easier around here!
Even the Pookie is at an easier stage. He does still freak out when thwarted, but because he's able to say more and indicate more, it's much easier to get him what he is asking for, instead of him just screaming NO until we guess correctly.
The Pookie is also able to understand more complex directions. Instead of just "Give that toy to your sister," I can tell him, "That's your sister's toy, and this one is yours. Give your sister her toy, and you can play with yours." Of course, he doesn't always want to do it, but he does understand and he usually does it.
I'm just really amazed by my kids. I really enjoy watching them learn, grow, develop. I love that my daughter uses the bathroom all by herself in the early morning hours so I don't have to get out of bed. I love that my son gets his own bowl and spoon and box of cereal every morning (and randomly throughout the day, which is a little frustrating when it's almost dinner time and Londo's cooked a delicious meal, but that's a different post!). I especially love to watch them play together and work out their differences and start to understand each other on a new level.
This parenthood thing is definitely worth it.