You see, it was a loss. We all face loss and there are many different kinds of loss throughout life. I began to think a little more on things. I lost a grandparent when I was in fourth grade. That is the first loss I can really remember. Sure, I am sure I lost toys and the like. But that seemed kind of different. That's when I realized something. Loss, depending on how old you are can take on a totally different meaning.
My oldest, nearly four now, had been acting out in a different way. Some would chalk it up age, language, emotions, changes...which I do agree with when I think about it. Then, I began to think on it differently. I began to think on it from a different perspective. The perspective of loss. It made me realize, in the past 18 months he has face a lot of loss. While sometimes handling it well, sometimes not so much in the moment, and sometimes the proverbial "shit hitting the fan" in the moment he has faced a lot in that short time.
Some of it comes with age and change, but broken out, it's a lot. Let's run through the list.
We moved...yeah, great! Definitely exciting and he handle it well, loves the new room and bigger yard. However, he lost what he knew of the old house and familiarity as well as the ability to continue to go to some of the places we had been going easily. Overall, a great change, but still the change was him loosing what he knew for the unknown.
We added to the family...we knew we wanted to grow our family. We brought home his brother. That in itself had a lot of loaded weight to it. He now had to share mom and dad. I couldn't, at first lift him like I could before because of my c-sec. Then his brother grew and began to move. So T's space got less and less his, and more and more ours. (Including that bedroom he loved so much). There became no just T space if A was awake. It happens, I know. But still, a lot of small losses as we adjusted to a new normal and routine of another kiddo.
No more diapers!!! Yeah, potty trained. I can't believe how long he can go between peeing now. I am pretty sure his bladder is bigger than a lot of adults I know. Any-who, on the positive side, yeah no more diapers. However, on the loss side, he lost diapers. Happens as kids get older, but sometimes I think, at first, he wouldn't have minded the extra him time and attention during diaper changes. Now, he uses the bathroom as a quiet him space perusing books before bedtime.
Nuks...ufda. Love hate relationship with the nuks. I wasn't looking forward to the day we had to work through giving them up, but knew it was fast approaching. And how unfair his brother got to have one and he didn't. It was a dentist visit where they suggested that by age four for him to be done. We had started planning ways to transition off, and then he said if I get rid of them today can we go pick out a toy and stuffed animal. So, we went with it. While maybe not the best way of doing things, especially for him and his personality, we went with it. Well, four months later we are done with them. Have been since that day. While every now and then he asks for one, they are getting further from his mind. Makes me dread having to do the transition with his brother. Either way, a loss, especially when dealing with a comfort object.
His bed. Don't worry, he still has a bed, it's a twin one. But he did have his crib. He loved his crib and never seemed to want out. In fact, I am sure he would have stayed longer had we not needed it for his brother. He never had an issue with making the switch. He has enjoyed the big bed since it arrived, despite it staying on the floor for over a year. It didn't take long to make the switch. He picked out sheets, we put them on the bed with a pillow and put it next to his crib. Let him decide which one he wanted to use. He picked bed and that was that. The next day the crib came out because he found it fun to stand on the rails and jump off onto his bed. So, while fun and exciting, still a loss.
Toys. Toys galore and they are everywhere. Same with stuffed animals. But, now the kids have all the toys accessible. Nothing is off limits to the younger brother like they once were. Let me tell you, even after working with kids and dealing with sharing, nothing compares to siblings and sharing. But it is a lesson we are all working on and learning. But there is nothing that A won't get into, onto, or try out for himself to be like brother. So we face toy issues and loss a lot and on most days.
Most of that stuff happens with life and transitions. We face different seasons of our lives. We have to sometimes face loss to make room for what is to come next. Even if the loss is a part of life, the transition, or a good thing (especially in the long run) it is still not easy to have to face something every couple of months.
Growing up is hard to do. We need our parents to help us through it all. But we also need to remember to look at it from the perspective of the kid. It may not seem like a big deal to us, but in the eyes of the child it can be too big to know how to handle. What seems like a paper cut to us, seems like a much deeper wound to heal and fix to them. So, how are we going to handle loss to help our kiddos handle it? Sometimes we just need to change up the perspective in order to get a better and deeper understanding. Loss happens. Good or bad. We face it and so do our kids. Their loss is sometimes more on a simplistic plain that we need to get down on their level to understand.
It 's also why sometimes kids start acting in different ways with behaviors that are much less desirable. We have to face the fact that these changes are going to happen, but we also need to face the fact that sometimes there is a deeper meaning and more understanding needed to figure out the behavior. We can't always chalk it up to age, or because other's judgements of the how kids should be, or changes.
Life happens, change happens, loss happens, but through it all growth happens. So how are we going to take this and let the growth happen? Look deeper, look beyond the initial behavior, and look at what all is going on around you. Step out of the box and moment, step back and observe. Learn and grow. Your kids are doing this every day, maybe its time that us parents do it more. Maybe it's time to start growing with our kids.