Do you have a favorite time of day? Walking into Will's room to pick him up from his crib in the morning or after one of his naps is mine. Usually, he's jumping. Sometimes, he's chomping. But as soon as he sees me, a huge smile spreads across that rosie-cheeked face, and everything is so right in our little world. Mama and baby together again. My heart swells as I pick him up, and we dance around the room for a bit before assessing the diaper situation. The peculiar thing is, though, that right before I walk in, when I first hear him on the monitor, I always hope that he isn't really awake, just transitioning to his next sleep cycle and settling in for another thirty minutes or so.
The feeling is similar to when Will plays with my eyelashes, so sweet and intimate and uncomfortable. Or when he wants to feed me his food, so considerate and communal and slimy. Or when he is into e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g all day long. I love that he is so curious and active and determined. I don't want to quash those traits, but at the same time, I don't want him to run (crawl) wild. Being consistent and following through with boundaries has become more and more challenging for me. Just when I think Will knows and respects a boundary, he goes and tests it again, and I feel like a failure as a parent.
Luckily, I have a great partner in Jason, many great parental role models in my family, and the best example in my Father. Because of His example, I know that providing discipline and limits and consequences are an important part of loving Will. I know that it is important to tell Will over and over "not for baby" and pick him up when he doesn't listen and heads for dog bowls/fireplace/dog toys and not give into his crying. I know it's important, and I know God will provide me with the strength and patience and motivation to follow through.
Also, I know this is probably just the beginning, and most of all, I know that disciplining William is a truly a privilege. And mercifully, Will is more parts sweet and silly than frustrating. I mean, just look. Those cheeks. That perpetual motion. That mullet. Those cheeks!