Love without words. That sums up my two-year old (almost three) daughter Shiloh in three words.
Love without words.
|Love Without Words|
This post is huge. I didn’t mean for it to be that way. It just happened. I hope you will make some time to read the entire thing. It would mean the world to me!
Let me just say that homeschooling with a toddler can be very challenging. And I felt like I should share about our particular situation because you may be going through it & maybe, just maybe, it will help to know that someone else is going through it alongside you.
Shiloh is a challenge. A challenge that is making me grow in so many ways that I never thought imaginable.
Shiloh didn’t sleep in a bed for 2 years. Make sure you read that right. She didn’t sleep. Not, she didn’t sleep through the night. She just didn’t sleep. Unless you were holding her, and she was swaddled as tightly as you could, and walking her, and singing to her, and you were her mommy. Daddy tried. A lot. But it was Mommy who did the trick. Naps were the same way, except she would let me sit down during those. She needs lots of touch.
She didn’t walk until 18 months. Didn’t even crawl until she was 11 months.
I’ve read articles that say a 2 year-old should be able to say at least 25 basic words. My little girl at 2 months shy of her 3rd birthday says: mah, dah, Rees (Rissa), Ma (Emma), Duh (Jaida), Hey-yo (hello), bye!, nose, bah (for cup), miyo (milk), ‘mon (C’mon), men (Amen), rama (Grandma), Papa (for both Nana and Papa) and no, no, no. And all, but the names, have been in the last six months.
People tell us it’s because of the multi-cultural setting she lives in. She understands everything. She can follow directions with no problems. She’s not spoiled. She’s not manipulative.
Does that help mama on a bad day to know that?
On a bad day, when she can’t communicate to me what is making her so frustrated, mama usually just wants to cry because I want so badly to know what is going on inside her beautiful, little mind.
At almost three years-old one of us still needs to lay down with her at nap time and bed time just to get her to sleep. She loves to pet my arms & face while she drifts into dreamland. When she wakes up at night, she wants the same thing. She does not like to be alone.
Shiloh can’t tell me if she’s hungry. And even if she could she inherited some terrible teeth that are already almost non-existent. So she will only eat certain foods. And she’s allergic to milk protein. (In a country that doesn’t cater to allergies at all.)
I bet you’re exhausted just thinking about all of that.
So, what’s a mama to do?
I drink a lot of coffee…lol!
I take time for myself during nap time. Because it’s the only peace that I’m going to have been 7am and midnight (or later.)
During school-time I delegate. Each of the girls takes a turn with her. Giving her one-on-one time while I’m able to work either at my computer to create new materials for my kids or have one-on-one time with the other girls.
When she has a complete breakdown and we can’t calm her down, the girls change to reading time. Because it’s very hard to concentrate on finding prime factors when your little sister is screaming her head off and throwing all your school materials on the floor (despite the fact that mom calmed her down 30 seconds ago.)
And there are days, like yesterday, when we’ve tried: holding on my lap, reading, watching a video, playing with the girls, gentle restraint (helping her not to hurt herself while letting the emotion out), walking ‘away’. And when it just doesn’t work placing her safely in her bed within eyes-view to let her scream it out.
We accept the fact that she will not be potty-trained by 3 years-old like all the other girls were. I’ve been told it will happen.
We talk to her. A lot. About everything. Because when she finally does decide to talk, she’s going to have a huge vocabulary.
We celebrate the little things.
A couple weeks ago, she said a friend’s name for the first time. She’s only said it once, but she did say it!
I love that she is completely ecstatic to see someone even if they’ve only been in another room for less than two minutes.
She greets with a huge Hey-yo!!! and fantastic hugs. And then more hugs. And more hugs. It’s quite the event!
She loves everyone. But she does have her favorites. Especially our friends that visit our home regularly. She scans crowds for them and runs to them, holding her arms out for them to pick her up. To her they are there just for her.
The soft touch of her hands can melt away any stress.
Shiloh is love without words.
She can’t communicate yet in a way that most people accept as ‘right’, but she lets us know her love for us, her love for her friends, and her love for every person with her actions. The only way she knows how.
Maybe you have a little one like this in your life…
Let me encourage you, to keep looking for the good things. The little things they are doing that can erase all the frustration.
What do you do when you are challenged beyond what you think you can handle?