Thursday, August 5, 2010

Piley Bot

Silas Park...

Siley Pie...

Siley Pot...

Piley Bot.

The evolution of a nonsensical nickname.

Amen.


I spend my days searching these big eyes. I'm clue hunting, is what I'm doing. Who are you, really? What do you think of all of this? Of us?

He's a mystery, this one. Numbers one and two arrived at more impressionable ages. Let's just say "impressionable" isn't the word that springs to mind with Siley. He is given to irrational fits of toddler angst, far beyond the scope of that which I've experienced before. (And I've experienced his sister, just for the record, so that's saying something.)

For roughly 60% of his day, he believes that his world is unjust.

I wrote the following yesterday in an email to friends,

"And in between cleaning, I'm lamenting the sad state of my perennials (I want to send them all to the guillotine) and putting Silas in time-out and deflecting Silas's hitting and ignoring Silas's screaming and telling Silas to NOT drag his wooden high-chair around the house like a pull-toy and telling Silas to NOT play with the fan and suggesting to Silas that he NOT stick a mechanical pencil into an electrical outlet.
I'm plum. Wore. Out."

He slays me daily with his infinite cuteness. And his smell! He is the best smelling baby this side of the equator.

But beyond the cuteness and the heart-bursting, always and no-matter-what love I hold for him, there is also the drama. Oh Law, the drama.

I have to remind myself, as I have always had to do, that this stage will pass. I remember knowing with all certainty that Calvin would be trucking off to Kindergarten with a new backpack, 2 glue sticks, a 16-count box of Crayolas and a pacifier.

Sure enough, school starts next week and the pacie is but a hazy memory.

I lament that we have to spend so much time redirecting, correcting, negotiating, when all I want us to do is wrap up in the ugly blue blanket and rub our noses together. I worry sometimes that he thinks his flights got mixed up and he accidentally ended up at boot camp, where even the other smallish inmates are pretty bossy.

About a month ago I began a new routine with him. Each night, we sit in the rocking chair and I say, "Silas, Mommy needs to tell you something." Brown eyes locked, I continue, "Mommy and Daddy will never leave you." The first several times I said this, he burst into tears. Now, he just sort of whimpers. I finish by saying, "We will always be your Mommy and Daddy. We will always love you and take care of you." Every single night, I get to the end and he laughs. And then? We rub our noses together.

I know these long-day stretches will soon veer off to quieter back-roads. I know in one year, six months, things will be easier. Or at least, they will be different.

What I have to remind myself is that I don't want to miss a single moment of this. I don't want to take my eyes off of him while he learns to trust that our boundaries spell out love. I want to catch every one of the moments that he looks up at me all sparkly eyed, his little overbite charming me to the ends of the earth.

He is learning this week to hold our hand when we walk somewhere. For now, we're focusing on walking hands-clasped from the kitchen to the living room. Toddler steps. It's fascinating, the things a little person can not know. He does not want to give up any control. He must feel safest when he's calling the shots. He has protested this with every known form of baby ammo. But we are not giving up and I could swear I felt his tiny fingers hold back today - just a little.

The day will come when he will run to me and grab my hand without even thinking about it. He'll do it because it's second nature to him. Because of all the hands in the world, ours are the ones he wants most. We make him feel safe.

The day will come.

48 comments:

  1. That's what I miss most about my children (being 22 and 20 now) are the little handholds... My son when he was unsure, didn't grab my leg like some toddlers. Since he was usually looking at whatever made him anxious, he would be standing next to me and have that little hand reaching up and down my forearm until he found my hand. I really miss those days...

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  2. I'm so glad you are relishing in him Shabby-I know how hard it's been for you. Law, it's exhausting. You'd a good mama. God knew he needed you, and that you needed him. Job well done. Now, go have some salza and hit up on your stool.

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  3. Thanks for posting this...it really hits my heart to focus on even the small things that happen every day. Oh and I chuckled about "boot camp".

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  4. Your bedtime ritual is precious and so necessary. You are one wise mama.

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  5. Oh what a sweetie! He is just too cute for words and I'm convinced this is why God makes babies and little people so adorable.. to balance out these stages. I love that you have that special moment with him before bed- it makes my heart heart.. in a good way!

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  6. what a sweetie! We have that trouble with the hand golding too.... when he wants something, sure he will grab my hand.... but when we are walking down the street... well, let's just say that a leash isn't out of the question :)
    Your little guy will love and trust you just like your Calvin and Ruby :)

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  7. yes. you should link up. because all of your posts are prose, and perfectly imperfect. i would be honored, friend. (he is SOOO cute :))

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  8. I would have to say ... its the Garber in him...:LOL He is so related to my Ethan :)

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  9. You are such great parents. I can't imagine the patience that would take. His issues being so much more than just the terrible two's. But oh how blessed he is to have you to whisper sweet somethings in his ear night after night. He will be just fine...holding your hand in no time.

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  10. I really enjoy reading your stories of this little boy and your family becoming strong and trusting. Trust for him will be learned and tested and tested again. One day it will be there implicitly for him and then he will relax and let go of the control he seems to need right now.

    It must take a lot of energy to nurture this on a day to day basis and he is a very lucky boy to have you and your husband and sister and brother.

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  11. It will come! I love the words you whisper to him each night. He is such a lucky boy!!

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  12. He is SOOOO cute!!!! Serious.

    If it makes you feel any better, you've just described my 2 yr old to a TEE!! We're in it together, girl - I could have written that same email and I echo so much of what you shared.

    Keep on keeping on, it'll be worth it!

    I think God makes the rascal types like we've got even cuter for their own well being - HA!

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  13. Mother's hold their children's hands for a moment..... their hearts forever!!

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  14. I love the image of those words and the nose rubbing and how important that message is to him. And to you too I bet. I can't know what you are going through as I'm sure it's so much more complicated than any toddler stage I ever experienced. I do know that he is one of the 3 luckiest little people I've ever heard of.

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  15. *big sigh*
    So well written Shannon. And yes, it does get better. My Monkey sounds so very similar to your Silas. So unbelievably headstrong, stubborn, loud, a constant tropical cyclone. It is REALLY hard work raising these types. Exhausting!
    He is going to be such a beautiful, loving and very smart person!
    Ky x

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  16. OH it is so good of you to write about your feelings.
    I love, love, love your bedtime routine. YOur secure boundaries and love, great wisdom.

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  17. lip quivering...you made me cry tonight! Sister, I am walking this road with you, and you are right...this too shall change. You will wake up one morning and think, hey when did the fit throwing stop. How did I gain that inch of loving control. It will happen! I so know the feeling of not wanting to miss any of those happy, big, brown eye moments. I have my computer sitting on my counter with a constant picture screen saver of my kids. Sometimes I just stop and think, where did the time go. When did my little man grow out of that chubby baby stage, crawling was a blink of an eye, my little dude is so busy now, how did I miss all of that. Each moment of each day slowly smooths by us without much notice until one day we stop and look. It is those moments that make me sad, question, and whistfully remember. I will be praying for you as you endure this time with grace and love. I so know that you both will come out of this stage with flying colors! Thanks again for another amazing post. I love being a mom, and you help remind me of that! : )

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  18. So sweet... I just love your nightly routine. *tears, sigh...*

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  19. Law, you a good writer, Minny!

    (I couldn't help it. This comment doesn't specifically relate to this blog - although the statement is beyond true. I just can't stop thinking about that darn book :))!

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  20. He is such a lucky boy... and all your love and patience will draw him closer and closer every day! ;)

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  21. Well spoken (or written actually).

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  22. I love how you're loving him like Christ loves us. I love how you're teaching him to hold your hand, even for short trips in the house.

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  23. I bet he's thinking the same things about you as you are about him ;)

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  24. Oh, my sweet sister in adopting internationally through Bethany--I get this post. And I am ever-so-slowly learning that when God set his eye on my son in a remote village on the other side of the planet, He had intention for all of us in bringing us into our family. We were called to bring him near to the gospel and teach him the love of Christ, and our son teaches us that we must cling to Christ and not rely on our own wisdom and understanding, and not even on popular Christian parenting books, sometimes. Blessings to you, sister. Cling!

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  25. Ah - love that you tell him that every night.

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  26. I'm newish to your blog. But am always uplifted after reading it! Thanks for encouraging me today in my own journey of motherhood..raising my 6 year old,5 year old, and 11 month old. Lord knows we all need seasons to pass so that something new and fresh can be "tackled" or enjoyed. A good reminder that this too shall pass, but enjoy it all the same!

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  27. It's good to know I'm not the only pebble on the beach... all worn out... trying to maintain the boundries - all because we love them so, sooooo much.

    You're doing great! Now, if I can only reassure myself of the same. This too will pass (the feeling worn out)... and the day will come (when all is nothing but reward).

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  28. Oh you have me again! My hormones are out of control and I could cry. That day will most certainly come. You are amazing parents and I can't imagine how tired you are some days, but you are doing a great job of keeping at it and letting him know you are his and you will always protect and love him.

    To make you feel a bit better, my nearly 3 year old son wears me out daily & still refuses to hold my hand anywhere we go. It's a daily stuggle with him to convince him that anything we suggest is right. I keep telling myself one day he'll come around!

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  29. i love your routine with him every night. because everyone needs to know they have a safety net. even big people. and...everyone needs to know their boundaries. even little people. xoxo

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  30. I am a lil in tears reading this as usual when you write its as if im in your kitchen and we are having a conversation with a cool glass of peach kool-aid and watching kids play.
    Lately I have have been having a similar situation with my younger son who was sent to live with his dad two yrs ago of course he is 16 now. It was a hard choice to make but out of love I made it because I prayed on it and it was best for him and his brother. They needed male guidance something I couldn't supply. I know that he feels that I abandoned him but I didnt. I did it from such a place of love and thinking about how it would impact his future. Any how he is off at basketball camp and I text him nightly and repeat that very statement you make to your Siley Poo. I say "Kevin I love you and everything I do,I do because I love you." I will keep telling him ,like you .
    Sometimes win I least expect it and feel exhausted from loving him so hard guess what he sends a smiley face! Baby steps are something huh? lol Thank you as usual you inspire me.(teary eyed )Gotta love blog land its been my saving grace at times.

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  31. *Tears* You are so blessed to have Silas, and he is so blessed to have you (& Cory)! You are amazing and I know you give all the credit to the One who gives you wisdom and strength!

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  32. Thank you for the tears and memories. I imagine that him coming home at 18 mo. makes all of this adjusting so much different. I appreciated the advice of what you tell him every night, have tucked it away for the maybe some day we adopt a toddler. Praying for your endurance.

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  33. beautiful post! my 4th is 2 and is completely unlike the first 3 - doesn't listen, throws tantrums and honestly, it's a first for me. frustrating as all get out but he's so stinking cute and loving it just erases all the negative stuff :)

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  34. Oh girl, how I know your struggles, as we have one of those on our hands too...I take more deep breaths then 10 yoga classes a day...but you are right this is all a phase, and soon it will be something else, and we will miss them dragging their high chairs through the house because they won't be in them anymore...hang in there and happy weekend!
    {p.s. been reading your posts, but no time to comment, so sorry love...keep on writing I love it!}

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  35. i adore 'there will come a day' posts, but this one especially.

    ps sadly, while you ditched the pacifier, you probably had to come to terms with mr c carting 12(!) glue sticks to school instead of a reasonable 2. (what the world are they doing these days in kindergarten? constructing actual-scale replicas of the hubble with antibacterial wipes and glue sticks?) oy vey.

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  36. Oh man, that kid's so cute. I love getting lost in my little boy's eyes! They're as deep as lakes. :)

    You are a great Mama, by the way. :)

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  37. He's adorable! Funny how nick names evolve!

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  38. This is beautiful and your children are incredibly blessed. I can't imagine how difficult day in and day out of boundary pushing is (although I actually do hope to someday understand it as weird as that sounds ;)), but it sounds like you know that it will pass. But I'm sending you a virtual hug anyway! :)

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  39. ...we teach our children the word "no" because we know that is how they first learn to obey our Lord...as you teach this precious one to hold your hand...you are teaching him to one day hold the hand of Jesus...and that will be his supreme security...

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  40. I love reading your blog. You inspire me to be the best Mother I can. Bless you!

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  41. Your family story is such a beautiful one. I love reading about your experiences. Our daughter is also adopted. It's amazing the feeling of boundless love I have for her and for her birth mother. My heart aches with the enormity of my feelings pretty much daily...the gratitude and the love.

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  42. Ahh...we continue to walk a similar road, yet you put it into words so wondefully.

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  43. First time visitor. I loved, loved, loved this post. The time flies by so quickly. hard to imagine "this too shall pass" but it does and then we miss it. Isn't that funny? Enjoy each moment as it comes and remind yourself (as often as needed) that it's all a part of growing and exploring their world - and of course, this too shall pass.

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  44. I had one of those days today and mine is 4! I kept thinking are we going backwards? Are you two?
    I love the special message you give your adorable one each night, I'm sure he does too.

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