Tantrums & Accidents

not grown

Photo from my Instagram feed

Here, we are moving completely into the toddler years.
She is testing boundaries, with a gleam in her eye.
She is learning how to climb. She is pondering jumping.
And I am holding my breath, biting my tongue from saying no.
When I can.

She is failing. She is falling off of the couch, off of the swings.
She is stumbling over her growing feet. She has yet to learn
how to brace her fall. She sprawls and splats, pauses
and needs comfort. In a big way.

Everything is big – big experiences and big emotions.
When she loves something, she repeats it over and over again.
Nora go to museum. Nora scoop and scoop AND SCOOP the water.
When she wants something, she wants it now and often.
I have to say no, for safety or for time constraints or for a break
from reading the same book twenty-five time.
She doesn’t take it well.

Some nights, all we do is cry. She screams and whimpers,
whines and sobs. I hold my breath and hold it together,
try not to cry with her. It’s all I can do to say,”Pick yourself up and dust yourself off,”
or, “I’m sorry. You sound frustrated, but the answer is still no.”

In all of this, the tripping and the screaming,
the physical and emotional testing, there is beauty.

For every time (or two) that she melts down,
there is one where she redirects easily.
For each thump-pause-WAIL,
there is a moment where she learns
to climb the slide, from the bottom to the top,
holding on to the railing and hoisting herself to landing.

This is where we’ll live, for the rest of her life,
in this place of beauty, as she stretches toward her independence,
as she grows into the person she is already becoming.


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