Parenting a two year old comes with the usual challenges, mostly which stem from the little person (who thinks they are big) wanting to have independence. Yet, they still struggle with needing total dependence upon you as a parent. Because of Erin's AML and her hospital stays, she has developed some strong coping skills that have helped get her through her challenges. But, once we come home from the hospital we have to start all over with how to raise Erin.
There are rules that we have at the hospital and there are rules that we have at home. For instance, throwing all the food off her plate is only acceptable in the hospital. But at home it's totally off limits. We don't count, reprimand, or put her in "time out" when she's at Primary Children's, but at home we do. I'm sure it's so confusing for her to transition back home. The hard part, is that once we get her back into our home routine, she is ready to be admitted back into Primary Children's. It's a vicious cycle. Sometimes I wonder if it's really worth it.
The first day that Erin comes home is always the worst. I know that sounds crazy. We look forward to bringing her home, we love having her home. But, she is always a basket case. For example, we sat down for dinner Saturday evening and just before the prayer on the food, our three year old son started wiggling and standing up on his chair. Erin stood up in her chair, pointed her finger at him and shouted, "Sit down Caleb." Well, we all know who is the boss at this house. Well, we're on day 3 of having Erin home and we're now down to just a few finger pointing scoldings (and other tantrums) a day from her.
Sometimes I think about how different life is when a parent has only a two year old at home and no siblings for that two year to interact with. Well, Erin is like that. Sometimes she's an only child, and then sometimes, she's the third child. Where is the balance? I'm still trying to find it.
I am so thankful that Cecily and Caleb are able to transition well to having Erin home. They do such a good job. So many times they have to wait longer for things they need, or they have to take the brunt of Erin's tantrums. They are always so patient and loving with her. So often we have seen both Cecily and Caleb willingly give up something to make Erin happy. We can really feel how the Spirit is helping us to have less contention here at home while we go through these awkward transitions. I wouldn't wish this upon anyone. It's like emotional whiplash, but it keeps us on our toes.