Toddlers and Second Toddlers

I'm a little sleepy right now.  I messed up my night of sleep with a 5am "parenting panic."  Please, please someone comment that you've had at least one of these, so I can know I am not alone in my craziness.

Parenting panics hit me about 2-5 times a year.  Let me describe what my parenting panics entails.  Basically, I wake up from a dead sleep somewhere in between 3am and 6am in panic mode about one of my kiddos, convinced that there is something I'm getting wrong parenting wise.  I lay there unable to go back to sleep.  Sometimes I'll pray.  Sometimes I wake up my husband.  (Please feel sorry for him.  5am parenting convos.  Isn't he the lucky one?)  Most of the time I snoop on their electronics.  I check their phone or computer history.  I feel bad for doing it, that I am am not trusting them more.  Then I try to remind myself that a good parent would monitor their internet, right?  Usually I feel better about 30 min. to an hour later.  I go back to sleep.  The end.

My kids ages are really spread out.  My oldest is 16 years old and my youngest is 4.  I've been told that the teenage years are just the second toddlerhood.  It's true, but yet it's not completely true.  And it is so hard to navigate the when and where of giving freedom and setting down rules.  It is fuzzy for me, and I like black and white.

Yesterday I did something I don't usually do.  I bought fruit snacks.  Back when my oldest was a toddler, I thought I was good at reading food labels because I had been to Weight Watchers, and I bought fruit snacks all the time.  Now I know those things are just candy.  But yesterday my 4 year old's eyes lit up at the store and I said, "Yes, but you can only have one pack a day."

We get home and he throws his 4 year old fit over the fact that he only gets one pack.  We talk it over again, and he finally understands that he is only getting one pack a day.

I wish you could see him run in first thing this morning, one sock, wet pull-up, hair standing up like he's all electrical current, running and yelling, "I want a fruit snack."

He knew he could have one today, and he was going to blow his wad first rattle out of the sack.  I had to laugh.

Right now my 16 year old is at her public high school, and when she gets home, we are going to have a "parenting pow wow."  (Anyone have those?  Come on, I know you guys do.)

This parenting pow wow is going to start with me admitting I was wrong.  We had a parenting pow wow Monday in which we told our girl that we thought she was old enough to take responsibility for her online class that she is taking to make sure she graduates on time.

Really what was going on was I was tired of doling out reminders to do her online class the same way I am doling out those fruit snacks, one pack a day.

We tried giving her freedom (because I wanted my freedom,) and my 5am parenting panic was me realizing she wasn't ready for it.  That I had handed it off because I was tired of being the watchdog, but she's 16 and still needs a her mom to nag her into doing the right thing.  Ugh.  But I hate being the nag.

Having a teenager is hard.  I would wish for them to stay 4, but that age is hard too.  (I need to tell you my 1am scissor scare story from last week.)

You can also feel sorry for my middle child, because he hasn't even been mentioned.

I kid, but, honestly, I married a middle child, 
and they are the best.  I'm an oldest, and usually I'm 
more sick of myself than Jan is of Marcia.

Parenting is a real job, but you don't get to go home from it.  Right now I need to remind myself about GRACE.  Because I need some grace now.  I need some grace at 5am, and I'm going to need extra grace at my afterschool parenting pow wow today.

I have Psalm 145 marked in my Bible as one of my goto parenting scriptures.  I love that verse four says, "One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts." ESV

It is our main job as parents to commend the Lord and make sure that our children, the next generation, will also commend the Lord and declare His mighty acts.

Gosh, that's it?  Easy peasy.  Um.  Not.

So I am thankful that Psalm 145 verses 8 and 9 say, "The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.  The Lord is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made." ESV

Thank you, God, for your grace and mercy.  Boy, do I need it.  Help me to be more like you, Lord, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

Enjoy this song from the Parenthood series finale last night.  I've loved this song forever.  James and I played it during our slide show at our wedding.  If you don't think Bob Dylan is the best songwriter ever, I will strongly disagree with you until my dying day.