I often say that Noah has humbled me. And he certainly has. Before Noah was born, I will admit that I sometimes judged my friends' parenting. (I am sorry, Friends. I promise it wasn't malicious.) I was basically the last of all of my friends to become a mother, so I had many years to observe and critique. When their kids didn't nap well, I thought it was Mom's fault. (If you were just consistent with him, he would nap.) When their kids refused to eat a variety of nutritious foods, I thought it was Mom's fault. (If you just introduced him to vegetables sooner and insisted that he eat them, he would.) The list goes on. Every problematic behavior displayed by a child would have an easy fix, if Mom were just consistent.
Well, you know what the old Proverb says: "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall" (16:18). I now have a son who takes 30-minute naps and refuses to eat anything but white bread and bananas. I swear I am consistent with him. I have read all the books and done my darndest to make him sleep, eat, and behave well. I will continue to do my best, but despite all of my efforts, he does in fact have a mind and will of his own (shocker!).
He certainly demonstrated that strong-willed nature when I tried to put him in his Halloween costume earlier this week. Every time I put the old man glasses on him, he had a complete and total meltdown. I tried several days in a row, thinking that he would get used to the idea. But no such luck. Noah was NOT going to wear the costume that his mother had dreamed up for him.
I would be lying if I said that I wasn't absurdly disappointed. My resulting disappointment was totally disproportionate to the cause. I mean, honestly, it's a Halloween costume. No one cares!
But what about the cute photo shoot that I had planned? What about the awesome blog post I was already writing in my head?
SERIOUSLY, RACHEL, NO ONE CARES. Not the grandparents (who would think he was darling in a paper sack) and not my friends (who would see a photo of him in his costume, no matter how adorable it was, and think "That's cute!" and move on with their day). We live in a very strange culture today where every move our children make is Instagrammed, Facebooked, and blogged, and I don't know about every one else out there, but for me, it is sometimes distracting from the most important part of mothering: being with my son. When I am worried about getting a perfect photo of him to broadcast to the world, I often end up frustrated and grumpy with him. It is quite ridiculous.
And so, after giving myself this pep talk, and realizing that it mattered more that he was happy on Halloween than that he was perfectly costumed, I pulled out my nephew's old ninja outfit and slapped it on Noah. Though the costume was a little big for him, I will admit, he looked stinkin' adorable after all. It turns out he doesn't need his mama's help in order to shine.
|Who needs throwing stars when you can use crusty snow as a weapon?|
|A little ninja and his sensei|
Are they cute or what?!
|A moment of meditation before pursuing his enemy|
|"I will defeat this ghost with my ninja broom-wielding skills!"|
|We tried a little Japanese-inspired facial hair, but decided it wasn't really Noah's style. :)|
|"This is so much more fun than wearing those bulky glasses, Mom!"|
|I wish this photo weren't blurry, but he is one speedy little ninja! |
I'm lucky I got him in the photo at all!
Happy (belated) Halloween everyone!