Last week, Kaylee had her first temper tantrum. I am not sure what set her off, but it ended with her screaming and crying for about 20 minutes in her crib when she was supposed to be taking her nap. I tried to console her, but it just seemed to make things worse, so I left her alone. Finally she quieted down and fell asleep. About 30 minutes later she began to cry. But her cry was different, it was no longer angry and frustrated, it was just sad. So, I picked her up from her crib, sat down and rocked her. She never fell back to sleep while I held her, but she was relaxed and content and so was I. After a while I told her it was time to return to her bed and sleep. She did so without protest. Luckily, for that whole time I rocked her, no one else needed me and I could devote all that time to Kaylee,which is probably exactly what she needed.
As I was rocking her I was reminded of something a patient once told me. "Children need to be held for such a short period of time before they are ready to move on. We need to be thankful for every moment we can hold them."
With three very young children, Eric and I do a lot of holding and since they out number us, many times one of us is holding two children. I no longer lift weights, I lift babies. The endurance of my left bicep is pretty amazing! Some days it seems like all we do is rotate which child we are holding. Sometimes when we take them for a walk all they want to do is get out of the stroller and be carried. And sometimes they just need to be rocked.
I am looking forward to the days when they are all older and we can get out of the house for longer periods of time without having to return for lunch or nap time. When everyone can put on their own shoes and coats and it doesn't take 15 minutes just to get to the car, and another 5 to get everyone buckled into a car seat. When we can go to amusement parks and on waterslides, take them to the movies, let them try a fun run, or take them camping. We are just not ready yet. So, for now, we will hold them, whenever they need us, until they are ready for the world.