Monday, January 27, 2014

Raising a Toddler- and How I will never be the same

Probably all of you are shaking your heads right now; especially those of you who have actual toddlers, or have had toddlers in your home, because you know that I have no such toddler in my home. So, that's correct. I have no human toddlers.  The truth of the matter is that I do actually have a real "toddler," but he's just short of nine months old. He has fur, and  he's a cat.

Nelson Rutherford Beene Davis Hunter

Over the last ten, eleven months I've been a single dweller.  Aside from my plant loves, I've really been responsible for keeping one person alive: that'd be me. While that seems to be a relatively easy task for most people, I sometimes get a little off task. (Really, I'm as boring as this current winter/polar vortex/snow/roads of death is long.) However, because I live alone I often find myself in precarious situations, well, because, I can do it myself.  

Nelson has changed everything. 

My friend brought him over, and he was this bitty thing. Cute and purring. He would hide under my couch because he was afraid. I hid in my bed because I was afraid. I prayed, "Oh God, (this is not a joke, I really prayed) please do not let me kill him. Please help me to keep him alive." He was new. Tiny. I had to feed him. Make sure he had his water. We did survive that weekend, and the week, and the weeks after that. For three months we've been partners in life. I'm fairly certain I'm in love.

It's been a learning experience.
Phrases you will hear often at my house:
Nelson, use your words.
Nelson, I'm gonna count to three....
Nelson, no you cannot eat anymore plastic. 

Blanche, my first love (who I hope is merely hibernating in winter, and not dead) was always there when I arrived home. Cheerfully green. But no words. Nelson though, especially at first could be heard outside my house, outside of two doors, mewing for me, unsure if I would come back for him. When I did arrive back home, he was at the door before I was hardly out of my car. 

1) Things are things. Love is love.
I am sentimental. There are things that I hold dear, and usually it is because they were a gift from someone. One reason why Blanche, and Solaris are so important to me is because they were bought and given to me by two of my great friends. There are other treasures that I have that I've had to put away, lock up safely because my little buddy could break them. How do we measure something's value? Is it based on its beauty? Or, what it cost? 
Truly, I can replace a couch.  (And hairbands (he eats them... ewwww.) And toilet paper. And paper towels.)
But what do you love? If you could live with only those* that you love, what would it be?
Nelson, despite his toddler-ish ways, is one of a kind. And, he's definitely a keeper (although, he's being really quiet in the other room right now, I'm sure it's bad news...) 

2) We all just need a little time.
I've always been people-y. Ironic that I now work from home and often go days and days (polar vortex anyone- I'm not edgy) without leaving the house and seeing anyone else. I adjust, as a result. I have learned how to be content (ish) on my own. I still need my people though. I recharge and renew when I'm with friends. There is something wonderful about being with people who are encouraging and uplifting. When you can walk away knowing you are a better person because of your friend- you can rest assured that person is a keeper. 
Nelson is not too proud to need a little time. He will often sit on my lap and sleep while I'm working all day, typing on my computer.  There's a difference though between that, and really spending a little time.  He doesn't want just one hand rubbing his head. He wants my attention. 
Where do you spend your time? 
Are the questions you asking, the questions that really matter?
Are you drifting off into games to get away when you should be elsewhere or are you investing a little time into what really matters?

3) Anger Management isn't just for the court ordered.
I've always considered myself patient. Screaming baby? Challenge accepted. Nerves calm? Absolutely. But Nelson has had this way of brining out a little something inside me. It was nearer to the beginning. He scared me, because I believe I scared him. As a result, I got scratched. I was so angry. Then I was angry at myself- for being angry. That's not who I want to be. I want to be slow to anger. 
If you know me, you know I love words, and words and words. Are all the words always necessary? 
Are there ones that should not be said? 
Are there ones that should not be thought? 
What is in you that needs to be rooted out?
Was there any reason for me to be angry that night? Nope. Did I need to learn something new? Yes. Sometimes "we" may feel like we are right, because... well, we're right. But is it worth it? Is the cause behind the anger really just? Or, are we just angry because it's our "right" to be? I don't want that to be the way it is in my case. 
I've come a long way with Nelson. I have learned to avoid situations that could get him into trouble. Paper towels all over the kitchen floor, literally ripped in pieces? No big deal. I've found a new hiding spot. While I talk with him all the time, we really cannot communicate with words (although sometimes I imagine he is talking to me). Instead of words, he measures my voice with how it sounds. 
I prayed that night too, that night so long ago when I was angry. I asked Nelson for forgiveness (he is purr-ty (heh) forgiving. I asked God to help me lose the attitude and to lose the anger. The thing is, if I can be angry with a little kitten, how will I respond to people? To my own kids? To my friends, family? Angry? That's just not who I want to be.

4) And Sometimes we just need a little fun.
Ain't that just the truth?

Later folks, 
Seriously, he's being way too quiet in there!

1 comment:

Robert Davis said...

Fun is good. And you is fun.
Love ya, Loqua!