The last month sure has kicked my butt! Between the holidays and sickness and parenting struggles and traveling, I haven't found the time to write anything. Hopefully it will settle down shortly.
S is growing by leaps and bounds lately. He's been crawling for a month and a half and has just started pulling himself up on things. I'm very curious to see when he starts walking. So far he's been on roughly the same track developmentally as his big brother, which means he might start walking in about 2 months. Only time will tell, though! He's got almost 4 teeth (and doesn't handle the teething process to well). Sleeping got worse again due to teething and sickness. This winter has been brutal in terms of colds and flu! I'm still so thankful that that is the only kind of sickness my kids (and us parents) have to deal with right now. It's a pain, but so much better than being in the hospital for anything, or dealing with a more serious illness!
Two really fun things about S right now are the way he giggles about things and talks to himself, and the way he expresses his love to all of us. He makes lots of little sounds all the time-humming and mumbling to himself when he's sleepy or eating or playing. He also has started doing a little giggle to himself or about the things other people are doing. Sometimes when he notices someone doing something, he just starts giggling. It's very cute! As a lovey-dovey little baby, he loves to get and give kisses. As he gets stronger it's gotten a little more painful, but also more cute. He'll grab the sides of my neck, pull my face to himself and "kiss" my mouth with his slobbery little mouth! Or, if he can't manage to find my mouth, my chin or jaw works, too. It's painful and wet, but still very sweet. He'll do it to other people too.
K is changing on what seems like a day to day basis as well. I'm becoming very aware of the fact that he'll be 5 in a few months! He's such a little boy now. All limbs and attitude, discovery and mischief. He says some of the funniest things and uses new words all the time. When I get frustrated, I usually say "dang it". The other day K got frustrated and said, "This is so dang it!" Gotta love the way they apply things!
The two biggest issues with him now are what to do about school next year and how to continue to mold his attitude (manners, listening, obeying, etc). The school issue I'm extremely split on. I've always planned to homeschool, especially in the beginning. I know boys are often treated unfairly in school since the educational system doesn't leave much room for running around and getting energy out or letting kids be more free with their creativity. K is a strong-willed, very active boy and while I would like to see how a trained teacher would reign him in, I also worry that he would be squelched. I also know my own weaknesses and what greater cause for guilt is there than the idea that you are teaching your child wrong-whether by giving in too much or not knowing what exactly he needs? I plan to visit the local school and get a better idea of what it is like and do some more research into a curriculum for homeschool, then make a decision. These next couple of months are a bit intimidating on that front.
Then there is the discipline issue. I still keep coming back to the routine thing in this area, like so many others. I try very hard to give some structure to our days: meal times, bedtime, time on the computer and in front of the TV, play time, etc, etc. I always feel I come up short. I don't know if it will get better once S is bigger and able to follow a similar routine. But I see so clearly how missing sleep, quiet time, meal time or play time windows end up with K acting out, getting snotty, or having some sort of tantrum. I just keep reminding myself to stay consistent and try again when I fail.
Whew, this parenting thing is just so dang complicated!
But I also try to remember to enjoy the little wonders of children: the cuddles and giggles, the trust and love they show us, watching them grow and learn, seeing the times they put what we've taught them into practice (he DOES listen!), seeing myself and my husband reflected in their personalities and faces. I'm never one to over romanticize things (usually the opposite, actually), but there are some truly amazing moments to be had as a parent!