The Sweet Spot

I’m crazy to admit this for risk of jinxing it, or turning up a positive pregnancy test…. but we’ve entered into that magical sweet spot with the kids right now where things  just seem to work. It snuck up on us…until one day about three weeks ago,  Erron and I realized we were breathing a little easier. Both kids can ride a bike now, at the same speed. We can go out to dinner and no one is crawling under the table, at least for not for very long. Shep now gets dressed with out drama (this is huge) and feeds the dog before school. He also learned how to make coffee on the Keurig so things are are looking good for me.  And this week,  Charlotte went to sleep without her five pacifiers and nobody died

To be clear:It’s not Dreamland. At three years old, Char is fully exercising her right to be impossible. Shep still throws out a predictable, “I hate you!” directed towards me or Sister at any given point in the day. What’s different is how quickly I get an apology afterwards.  Shep’s negative attitude shifts faster than it used to, thank God. Char is gaining independence every day, so I see the two  of them enjoying each other often, seeking one another out for companionship and help.  I still play referee constantly, but at 3 and 5, they are beginning to solve their individual problems often. Lately, Shep’s  frantic demands for lego crisis management are interrupted with a quick, “Nevermind! I figured it out!” before I even make it to his door.  Plus, right now they are totally FUN. We can have legitimate conversations in the car.  Most of it it revolves around poop, poopy diapers, poopy pants…but we are talking in sentences and there’s lots of laughter. My requirements for what makes things funny has been dulled to little boy potty humor yet sometimes Charlotte’s belly laugh makes it actually funny.  They say please, and thank you… to me, after I make them lunch, and without any prompting. It surprises me Every.Single.Time.

It’s so encouraging to recognize the consistency of these positive character traits after the phases of panic I’ve cycled through in the last year and half. I think when your kids are really little, you can’t help projecting their current behavior into the future, and sometimes, lots of times, that’s scary. I see their worst moments, and then I imagine them on a ten year old, a thirteen year old, a teenager… and I mentally freak out. I forget to project the good things I see. Especially when it comes to Shepherd. The possible impact of his accident tends to loom over me during tough parenting seasons. Weeks of meltdowns bring up waves of fear and guilt that make it hard for me to maintain perspective. Now that we have moved out of that phase, it’s easier to recognize how Shep genuinely doesn’t like to get in trouble at school and lots of close contact with those who do makes him a little nervous. I can appreciate his gift for inclusiveness and how quick he is to introduce me to his friends by name when I pick him up from school. Or how when he’s not punching his sister in the face in a moment of rage, he’s offering her help, asking her questions. Sometimes he even tells her she looks pretty.  When I project these qualities onto an older child, or a young adult, it’s an awesome feeling.  Add to the mix Char’s hilarious zest for life and right now we are living it up at the Weig house. (It’s worth noting that this morning the kids worked together to spread toilet paper all over the kitchen floor so I’m sure the spell is going to break soon.) They’ll probably turn back into pumpkins by the end of the week. But it sure is sweet while it lasts.

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