I Wish

  We are just starting the process of potty training Fire- not by our choice but at the encouragement of his pre-school teachers.  As with sky, Ms Carmen thinks that Fire is ready and since she spends all day with him, we're letting her go ahead with it.  Unlike Sky's potty training, we're not pushing it at home.  I should have stood my ground and waited to potty train her like I wanted to.  We were still in the process of attaching and going through her terrible twos at the same time, what was I thinking trying to add potty training to it?  It became our battleground and I hated it.  Unfortunately, by the time we got deep enough for it to be that battle, we felt that we had to stand our ground.  And we did eventually win, but at such a cost that the relief in the house when Sky did decide to use the toilet was so overwhelming that it felt like a giant weight had been lifted. 
  I wish. I wish I'd trusted my instincts more with Sky, at least when it came to potty training.  I wish I'd been easier on her about a lot of things.  I laugh a lot more about things now and when Fire acts out, throwing, hitting, spitting, and shouting "No!", I take it much more in stride.  We were so strict with Sky and just didn't know how normal that was.  I always thought it seemed so purposeful and called it defiance.  Not that Sky hasn't always seemed older than her age and more self-aware than Fire, but now I'm questioning how much of that was her just being two and how much of that I caused with my behavior.
  I wish.  I wish I hadn't had such high expectations of her and taken her behavior so personally.  I wish I had been more understanding of her and babied her longer.  I feel like I made so many mistakes with her.  Believe me, we have let go of many of the expectations that we held over her, and over ourselves, and we're trying harder to just be.  Sky is fine, really perfectly normal, despite my pushing, strictness, and anger.  But I look at pictures of her when she first came home and want to kick myself for not babying her more, not loving on her as much as I should have, not letting her have her way when it really didn't matter.
  I wish there were more ways to make it up to her.  I'm trying to go easier on things that don't really matter.  I'm trying not to nag her and to find better ways to correct behaviors that we want to change.  I'm trying not to push her to grow up too fast and to not expect more from her than I should.  Old habits are falling away but I still wish...


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