Somehow, in the space of the last couple of months, Ellis went from a baby whose needs were pretty basic (mostly milk sleep, and love...he's never cared about a dirty diaper) to a baby who thinks that he needs a whole lot of other things.  I think I can hear him saying "I need to play with that electrical outlet, mommy!" or "Just let me crawl off the edge of the bed, I'll be fine!" The shrieks and the screams tell me that he's growing into an independent little boy.


Before becoming a mom, I had all these ideas about parenting.  I think most people do.  I dreamed of the perfect angel Ellis would be, and how my child would never be like those kids.  How even when he did throw the inevitable fit here and there, this mom would have it perfectly under control and know the exact words to say that were guaranteed to placate my child.  It sounds easy enough, according to the books.  Love and logic.  Good parenting in, good child out. 

And now I laugh at that.  It's more of a scared kind of laugh because let's get real here: I'm terrified of tantrums.  Meltdowns, "big emotions", whatever you want to call it.  Especially at this age where Ellis can't communicate his every single need to us, it's distressing when he is totally out of sorts and I have no idea what to do.  It makes me feel like a bad mom, that I'm a failure at knowing my child well, and that I don't see anyone else's kids acting like that.  {Don't get all stressed out for me, I know that none of those things are really true.} 

And now I realize that this parenting thing is bigger than Reuben and I.  It's bigger than any parenting book advice or magic words.  I knew that we didn't have all the answers to start with, that we couldn't do it without God's wisdom, but I didn't plan on feeling so utterly lost without it.  I think that's how God wants us to feel: lost without Him, totally dependent on his grace. His power made perfect in my weakness.  I guess I'm not a hopeless case after all.

And in case I put Ellis in a bad light, we found the source of his recent fussiness: a tooth!  I recently found that one had cut through his top gum (where I hadn't been looking, since they usually get bottom teeth first).  Mystery solved!    

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