I look at parenting as a journey. Sometimes it traveling the calm waters of the Danube in a staffed houseboat. Sometimes it is hiking in the rain across a bumpy trail in the mountains of Spain. Sometimes it is having your passport taken by security guards on a Greek ferry while in the open sea. (The last one did actually happen to me).
All of that is part of the journey. The easier times allow you to rest and recuperate for the challenges that may lie ahead. The hard times can push you to the edge, but hopefully, hopefully you will emerge from the other side wiser. Stronger. Better prepared for the next mountain or rain storm or large man walking away with your passport because your friends took all the tickets with them when they went two decks below.
My biggest challenge right now, beside the boy's sleep habits which is still testing my patience and ability to function after a night of interrupted sleep, is providing guidance to the girl on her behaviour. I feel like almost every moment right now is a teaching moment. When she acts in a way that I would prefer she didn't (hitting, pushing, yelling, not listening to my question for the fifth time, etc) I feel like that is a moment for me to step in and guide her to make a better choice in her words or actions.
How do we treat our friends? How do we talk to our brother? How do we take care of our toys?
I feel like this time right now is key. She is looking to me. Waiting to see what she can and can not do. Or get away with, depending how you look at it. She will ask me things over and over to see if the answer is the same as it was last time. To see if the line I drew in the sand is still there and how much she can nudge it.
This is tiring. I feel like I need to keep all my wits about me. It's like being at a meeting with a client who you know has a hidden agenda but you aren't sure what.
Every day we start again. More teaching moments. More chances for her to discover that the delicate balance between her desires and respecting others. More opportunities for me to be impressed with her readiness to learn and her maturity. More moments for me to be thankful that I get to be the one to guide her.
Even through the rainstorms.