I have been working on a post entitled “5 Things I Want to NOT do with Child #2.” I thought I would turn it into a series and begin on a more positive note, hence this post is first.
^^Our baby girl!!
Over the past 17-months Geoff and I have learned a lot on this journey called parenthood. Some have been lessons learned from great accomplishments and others from complete failures. All great lessons and I am beyond grateful that our first child is so easy-going, resilient, and patient with us (… and I am glad they don’t have a memory of anything prior the age of 3 or 4).
So, without further adieu, what are the “Things I Want to CONTINUE to do with Child #2”:
- Always tell her how much we love her and how much her Father in Heaven loves her. When I pray with Taden each night I ask God to help him feel and know how much he is loved by Geoff and I and also by God. We have so much love towards that little boy, so much I can’t even begin to describe. I only hope he feels of that love each day and knows how special he is to us and, more importantly, also to his Father in Heaven.
- Takes lots and lots and lots of pictures! I received a super-cool DSLR camera the Christmas after Taden was born. Since then my love for photography has grown and grown. I am still quite the amateur and have a lot to learn. I have discovered, though, it is not always the quality of the picture, but the memories that are connected and felt with them. I love keeping up with this blog as it encourages me to take pictures of my children and helps me keep a journal of our happenings. (and I hope a few of you also enjoy my stories, rants and pictures)
- Smile and laugh often. Tate is a very cheerful, happy, smiley kid. I believe each of us is born with our own personalities and traits. I know we have been incredibly blessed with a cheerful child, who loves to give us hugs and kisses and works hard each day to make us “clap” for him and tell him “good job.” He wakes up each day happy, talking to himself and ready to make me smile all day. He is just so pleasant to be around. Like I said, I believe most of his personality he came with, but I also have to believe that at least a portion of his cheerfulness is from Geoff and I. We both are very positive people, who are constantly laughing and smiling and trying to look on the bright side of things. I do think part of his happiness is attributed to Geoff and I’s personalities and the way we act around him and I hope to always work hard to create a positive, cheerful home that cultivates these attributes in my children.
- Read books early on and often. Taden l-o-v-e-s books. Like LOVES books. He loves books so much I used different children’s books as the theme for his birthday party, see recap here. I would say I find him 2-3 times a day curled up on the couch, by himself, flipping through a book and at least 4-5 times a day he is pulling on me with a book in hand to read. Ever since Tate was weeks old I have read to him. In the beginning it was so hard holding a newborn and a big book, trying to flip pages, but I did it. Then came the frustrating period where he would just flip the pages and wouldn’t let you read a word of the book. Through both of the periods of awkward reading or not ‘reading’ at all I was close to giving up, but I stuck with it. We have spent hours and hours, which I would imagine would equal days and days at this point, reading. I have to think some of those times are attributed to his love for books and reading (we finally read now!!).
- Through all the crying and whining, remain calm. One thing I have learned over the past year and half is that children have great senses, especially when it comes to sensing our frustrations. Like most children, Tate is not a fan of the changing table. Sometimes I can distract him with a toy or a book, but other times all I get is a screaming, whining baby/toddler. I have found if I get frustrated with him and tell him sternly to “sit still” or to “stop moving” all I get is a more hysterical child. But, if I remain calm and begin to sing a song to him, within 10 seconds he stops crying. This method truly has works 10 times out of 10. Sometimes it takes a few seconds and those few seconds require patience, but they are worth the wait. Children sense our frustration. They don’t always understand what is going on around them (i.e. why I am having my clothes taken off and this cold wipe on my butt), but they do understand when mom or dad is happy. When I remain calm and happy, that is reflected back into Tate’s attitude.
As I said in the beginning, Geoff and I have learned a lot on our short journey as parents. Most of what we have learned is “what not to do” but some things we have learned I like to count as small successes. Our children are amazing gifts from God. I am so grateful for my calling as a mother and pray each day I can do my best on this journey of parenthood.
Look for next week’s post of “Things I Want to NOT do With Child #2.” Glad I could leave you on a positive note to start your weekend!! Enjoy some pictures of Tate when he was a newborn as I sit here in awe remembering he was once that small.
^^Love this picture of my boys.
^^Our family of three, soon to be four!!
Taden’s newborn pictures were taken by Erin Michelle Photography.