While rereading the post I wrote about the process of finding lost toys, my thoughts became more clear about one thing: remembering the successes of the past can really help us get through the uncertainties of the present.
When M lost his Lego piece and I almost lost my mind, remembering all the times I did get so angry about missing Angry Birds in the past calmed me down. I remembered that we (usually) did find what was missing. I realised that as his collection of something grows, the whole (usually) becomes more important than its parts, so one missing piece isn’t such a catastrophe.
I remembered that we got through these small multiple crises in the past, and I knew we would manage it today.
It’s like that with a lot of things.
I remember worrying that the kids would be in nappies forever. You see, I was that crazy parent who didn’t bother with ‘potty training.’ I held the belief that kids do things when they are ready. But no matter how strongly we hold a belief, even when it is borne out by our own personal past experience and that of our friends/family, it is normal and natural to have wobbles.
We had potties scattered around the house. The kids knew what they were for. There was no pressure, no agenda. Just lots of f’ing potties littering our scenic vistas.
And one day, it happened. S said, ‘No more nappies! I’ll use the potty from now on.’ Even at two, she sounded very sure of herself. And she was right to trust herself. That very first day she had one or two accidents on the floor, until she managed to figure out about timing things right.
Three weeks later, he did the same thing.
Neither one ever had an accident beyond the first day, we never had months of fighting and bribes over bodily functions, they learned to trust their own bodies in their own time. I was the one who had to catch up, carrying spare under garments everywhere we went for months, despite the fact that I never needed them.
Now when I worry about things like reading, thinking, will it ever happen? I remember those two smaller versions of themselves, who even when so young managed to figure out something so complex. They waited until they were exactly ready, and then it just happened. No muss, no fuss.
So much of their learning has happened like this. When they have a need, when they are truly ready, when they are joyfully at play, it just happens. Using scissors like a pro, tracing, writing a name.
I store up each little victory like a squirrel storing nuts for harder, colder times. A sort of protection, a fallback, a way to bolster myself when I wonder and wobble and wonder some more.
My collections of acorns is growing.