At breakfast this morning, I promised Deaglan that if he ate his cinnamon toast he could have some Pez candy afterwards. In my defense, it was either send him to daycare on an empty stomach or a sugar high.
And yesterday when he refused to come out of the jungle gym at McDonald's playland, feeling completely defeated I coaxed him out by lying that I had seen Gramma and Grampa out in the parking lot. Sorry Bill and Fran but I tried everything else from threats to bribes. I probably should have let him play first and get the sundae afterwards.
I find letting go to be the most difficult part of parenting. Letting go of ideals - the kind of parent you swore you'd be before you actually had kids; letting go of judgements - the I can't believe they let their kids do that kind of thinking and the hardest letting go - letting go of your kids when they are ready to break away from you bit by bit.
If you've read even two posts from this blog, you know that until recently, Deaglan was the centre of my universe. And with the addition of his brother in our lives, the relationship between my first boy and I has shifted in a way that has sometimes left me heartbroken.
I know as a fairly well-read person that all the changes are normal given the new family dynamic as well as his stage in development. Like how he lets me know that he doesn't want to see me at the end of his visits with his grandparents every Saturday or that he seems just as content having Shaune read to him before bed when that used to be 'our' thing. I'm trying to take all of these changes in stride, trying to keep my ego out of it.
I've been telling myself that even though some of these changes feel really really uncomfortable, I accept them. That there is a larger story unfolding here. The story of our lives. The story of my life, and of their lives.
Oh and while I'm making a very good case for why I will definitely NOT get mother-of-the-year award, you should also know that last week when he bolted away from me at the park - me with a three week old in the stroller and still aching from the c-section - and I finally caught up with him, I instilled a fear of "the bad man" in him that makes me cringe with shame everytime I think back on it.