Tonight I rocked my 18 month old to sleep. Three times. He's getting a cold and has a cough (again) and has a pretty bad runny nose. The combo makes for a grumpy kiddo. Heck, that combo makes for a grumpy adult!
I just left his room for the third time and came straight to my computer because I had to get down what I experienced. I realized as I was rocking him to sleep, again, that he finds comfort in me. His momma. Normally he puts his head on my shoulder turned away from me and we rock until he's ready to sleep - this all started about 6 weeks ago, by the way, but tonight he turned his head in towards my neck and cuddled in good. I left with snot and slobber all over my neck and chest, but I know he was looking for a little more than our usual cuddle tonight so I just rinsed it off knowing there is a high chance for more snot on my neck later tonight.
I also realized that I was humming the same song I used to sing to him when he was REALLY little (Godspeed by the Dixie Chicks), in the days before the words "I love you" were something I could say. I wrote an entire post about singing "I love you" because I couldn't say it. You can read that here. Anyway, I was rocking, I was humming, he was cuddling and then his fussing stopped, his breathing slowed and he lifted his head to look at me for just a brief moment as if he recognized the tune he was hearing. Then back to the shoulder he went and I continue to rock and hum and cuddle.
Most of the time these days he looks for comfort from his dad. At first I was hurt by this, but I realize kids go through stages and he wasn't purposefully trying to snub me by picking dad over mom. Tonight Jason is out so when I heard the fussing I went straight in. He grabbed onto me and held on tight until I lifted him all the way out of his crib and settled into his glider. It felt pretty nice to know that I was what he needed or wanted, or at minimum was a suitable substitute for his usual pick.
Gregory and I have come a long way. As I sat in that glider, I remembered back to the days when that would have been unbearable to me. Sitting in the dark with a fussy little one was like agony; a slow torture session that I avoided at all cost. I still have to remind myself that its not that bad. I still have to remind myself that once I get in his room the anxiety I feel when I hear his cries will dissipate and I'll be what he needs me to be and I'll do a pretty good job at it. I'm not sure why I still get anxiety but I do. Anyway, back to my point. We've come a long way. I've come a long way. I still struggle to give myself credit for all the work that I've done to get to this point, but I did it. I went through the really tough stuff to get to the point I'm at.
I'm going through more tough stuff - several different tough situations, and I know that I'll get through those the same way I got through this. With hard work and lots of pain. Whether its going through weight loss or other issues I'm facing, the one thing PPD taught me is that working through the sucky part of life will earn you reward for your hard work.
Gregory and I are getting better. We aren't all the way healed yet because I'm not all the way healed yet. He is 18 months old which means the "terrible twos" or as a sociology professor I once had said the "terrific two's" I think we'll have rough roads ahead. He's starting to push his boundaries, he's exploring his world more than he ever has and openly shares his dislike of being told what to do or his dislike of options he's given. He's starting to throw tantrums when he doesn't get what he wants or when something needs to be taken away. These moments are the hardest for me because I am still a vulnerable momma and his tears make me feel like I'm a bad mom, not a mom teaching boundaries and safety.
Nights like tonight, when I get to be the one to rock him and sing to him reminds me that he still needs me, he still wants me, he still loves me. He's just being an 18 month old. He's doing a really good job at being 18 months old and he should get credit for that! :)