A month is a long time for a 2yo boy to be constantly restricted to a car seat, surrounded by his jabbering siblings, sleeping on hotel and bedroom floors, and being generally dragged this way and that.
But such a month also seems to have contained the magic formula for transforming said 2yo boy from a toddler into a child.
What happened to my boy? He’s still in diapers (my fault) and still loves his milk in a bottle (his comfort), but suddenly he’s not “The Baby” anymore. He owns more language than ever before, and is expressing himself like crazy. Holding conversations, even. Asking questions and waiting for answers. Making jokes. Suggesting fun activities or resolutions to problems. And get this…he’s even fussing less. A LOT less. The temper that seemed to run this family has lightened, and we’re all breathing a little easier.
He filled me with dread the second day of our month-long trip. All day he cried: “MY ROOOOOOM! MY ROOM IS GONE! MY BEDDDDDDD! MY BED IS GONE! LUCY (our puppy) IS GONE! I WANNA GO HOOOOOOOOOOOME!” It was loud, aggravating, and absolutely heart-breaking. I never expected his homesickness. I worried it would last the entire trip. But somehow by day three (and by “somehow,” I mean in answer to a pouring-out of prayers), he had resolved himself to go with the flow, which has never been his strong suit. Don’t get me wrong, every few days his patience would wane and a spark would flare, but that was usually in response to too little sleep and over-stimulation. For the majority of our trip, he was pretty relaxed and well-behaved.
Now that we’re home, his new-found maturity is seeming to stick. Or maybe it’s the new way I’m looking at him; once you know what someone is capable of, you begin to expect it from them. For months before our trip, I spent so much time on eggshells, waiting for the next outburst, next refused nap, next frustrated meltdown (his AND/OR mine). These past few days at home have been almost glorious – today I even took him to Walmart and we both left the store happy and smiling.
It’s like I’ve been breathing with only one lung for so long, and now I’m able to take a chestful of air. Here’s hoping it lasts.