I like to wake up early before the kids get up so I can read quietly, maybe journal, and have my cup of coffee. On Saturday I found a book a bought a while ago and picked it up to read the first few pages. The book is called "Wild Things- the art of nurturing boys". I read the intro and put it down because the kids woke up and it was time to get moving.
On Sunday morning I woke up to start my little morning routine and as soon as I came down stairs to sit at my desk with my journal, I got this overwhelming sense of conviction of how I speak of Beckham. Let me back up to Saturday...Beckham was in time out a lot, Ben was frustrated, I was frustrated, Beckham was beating on Eliza a lot and just not listening. Amongst ourselves, Ben and I often say things like "geez why is Beckham being such a jerk...why is he so mean...why is he so defiant...he makes me so mad sometimes...he can be such a little shit." Yes, many of us can admit to calling our kids worse things when we're fed up with tantrums and such...and no I don't call him names to his face, but that doesn't matter. On Saturday was also when I read the intro to the Wild Things book...and this is what stuck out to me:
"Boys bear a unique image of our wild, playful, and imaginative Creator. How boys are nurtured directly affects who they will grow into as men. How boys are designed often requires a different approach from what we would take with girls, if they are to find their way and mature into noble men. Boys are (more than) a little squirrelly-but a whole lot of fun."
This little passage really made me think about the way I speak of Beckham to Ben and to other people, and even the thoughts I have to myself. We learn that the things we repeat over and over to ourselves, we begin to believe. If we repeat positive things over and over, then we slowly start to believe those positive things. Same goes for negative words. Repeating these negative statements about Beckham was effecting how I was treating Beckham and responding to him. I know he's a sweet boy, but once he did something that frustrated me, my attitude and my thoughts changed a little. I started to tell myself that he's being so terrible and that he's just doing these things to piss me off. And in reality, he's 2.5, he's not capable of doing these things with pure harmful intent. The way I respond to him and treat him now really will impact his development down the road. He may not remember one event, but if I keep it up then he will definitely start to remember how his mommy talked to him and treated him. I want those thoughts to be positive ones.
Every day isn't like this, and all toddlers have really bad days. Those bad days don't have to have such a strong emotional impact on me though, and I truly believe that if I replace the negative comments with more positive ones, then the way I respond to Beckham will change. Even the last two days have been different. He's still as happy, excitable, energetic, wild, lovable, explorative, emotional...but my words and my thoughts are changing. He feeds off of that, he's no dummy, he can sense when I am annoyed with him or when I am loving towards him. And saying kind things about him to others really does make me relate to him differently.
This is just the reality of parenting...these little humans that we created have the ability to make us more annoyed and upset than any other human on earth. But the responsibility I'm given with these specific humans is to raise them into kind and loving human beings, and if I can't see that their behavior does not define them and is not directed to specifically piss me off, well then I have a lot of work to do on myself. Their behavior is just that, behavior, typical of toddlers and little babies. And I can truly say that it has been making a difference this week, letting all of this sink in, and I'm no rockstar yet, I have so much work to keep doing on myself and my attitude, but little by little I am making progress.
I sure do love my little humans.