We made it! We made it through the swirling month of birthdays. We made it through some of the most tumultuous days of parenting yet…and lived to tell about it. We survived bronchitis and a double ear infection for the boy and the girl’s first ear infection. We made it through a visit from Matt’s folks that was wonderful even though it was sprinkled with some of the three year old’s maelstrom.
Only today, after much trepidation of what the day would hold, not wanting to wake up to what I might face with my man-child, I am breathing a sigh of relief. My boy, newly turned over into the 3s, shows signs of extra determination to get his way and displays an eruption of emotion otherwise, (typical of what many of you mothers of 3 year olds have testified to). But the deep sigh of relief comes because it looks like 75% of the meltdowns of gargantuan proportions, the stinging scowls and accompanying attitude over the last few days were stirred by the ear infections and bronchitis.
Granted, my own wretched mommy moments (of which there were many the last few days that prompted a number of sincere apologies to the treasured ones I’m supposed to be a good steward of), didn’t help matters; I made it worse. What’s even more troubling is that they occurred when my children weren’t feeling well!
I’ve found Ann Voskamp’s seventh point in her Joyful Parenting Manifesto to ring true: in the moments where my child’s behavior and attitude are most grotesque to me, I’ve found the act of drawing ever closer to that child melts away the hardened heart and tears. A smile. A gentle touch. A soothing word. If only I’d remember this and not let my voice raise to a high shrill. If only I’d remember this before I walk away in utter frustration wanting to wring my hands out in anger. If only I’d remember that love covers a multitude of sins. “God, help me,” is a prayer uttered in both silence and out loud throughout my days. May it be so for evermore.
And today, after some war-wounds from the last few days, I am breathing a sigh of relief and giving thanks that we made it! At least through this bit of time, we made it. It’s enough to spur up enough desire and energy in me to tell you how we celebrated Brennan’s third birthday this year.
Brennan Matthew turned three years old on January 16th. We had a few of his and Kensington’s buddies over for a small play group, which would have worn him out if that was the sole activity of the day. But we piled on the celebrating by going to Chuck E. Cheese for lunch on top of it. My momma came into town to join us and Matt met us there, too. The five of us chowed down on some pizza and the chocolate pie Mees made for her grandson. Out of the three times we’ve been to Chuck E. Cheese, this was the first that Brennan wasn’t afraid of going on the rides. And it should come as no surprise that his favorite was the horse race.
While the little girl conked out, the birthday boy was so hyped up after his play group and lunch that he couldn’t nap. It made for a very long but fun-filled day.
The next day, Matt, Kensie and I took Chick-fil-A to Brennan’s school to eat lunch with him. I’ve done that a few times since he started going and I love joining him and his two teachers and eight other classmates for lunch! We all sit around the same table to eat together. It gives me opportunity to know each of the kiddos by name and get glimpses into their personalities. For example, I know the quiet and reserved ones, and I also know who gets the conversation going rapidly and with gusto. Brennan falls somewhere between those two <grin>.
I came a little early to pick him up so I could deliver his birthday cupcakes to his class and eat along with them.
I made sure Kensie was dressed up for the celebration.
Matt’s parents arrived on his birthday, the 19th. Here are Papa and Nana, meeting Kensie Jane for the first time. What an answer to prayer!
As part of the continued birthday celebration for the three year old, we all took Brennan to Shepplers for him to pick out a cowboy hat. Upon getting in the car to tell him what we were going to do, he added, “And boots?!” We kept telling him we were going to get a hat. And every time he added, “And boots.” A true cowboy has to have both, I guess. So that’s what he got <grin>.
Little girl had to try on a hat for fun.
I had to try on a cowgirl hat and boots, too.
On Saturday, we took advantage of our fully decked out cowboy and took him to a farm in Georgetown to ride horses. What a fantastic time we had! My momma drove into town for the rodeo haulin’ a big ol’ chocolate cake! We stayed out there for about four hours and took a picnic lunch. Matt and his dad rode, too, and so did yours truly. But I came to the realization that my son is braver than I.
Three different horses were saddled: Comanche (a pony), Big Mama, and Poncho. Brennan rode all three! Big ‘uns are his favorite, but he did trot on Comanche. Poncho was awesome and walked Brennan around slowly without any of us leading him, but Poncho also had a wild side that moved pretty darn fast when Papa and Matt were riding.
For the record, we kept trying to push Brennan’s hat back so he could see, but he liked it better the way it was.
Brennan even enjoyed leading them on his own.
Little Kensie girl in her boot tights from Nana.
This was a rare moment when Kensie smiled around the horses; otherwise, she broke out into a large grimace and started crying. Molly is the largest animal she’s comfortable being around, I suppose.
Our cowboy had a blast!
Brennan’s first birthday on the left; second birthday on the right.
And now, his third.
Our love spills over for this cowboy, “we-made-it” days and all!