We are suffering from full on toddler in our house. The word MINE is spoken more often than ever before. Where the kid was always pretty easy-going she will now throw a full on, kicking, screaming, ‘NO MOMMY NO’ tantrum for what seem to be the smallest things.
She fights when you want her to put on her shoes, when you want her to clean up her toys, when you want her to get in her car seat. Last night when she didn’t want to go to bed she threw a book at my face.
I love this kid, and I know that this is a perfectly normal stage. She’s realized that she can do things for herself, that she is her own human being. Most of the time she’s her perfectly lovely self. Sometimes she pats us on the back and asks if we’re okay – “Okay mommy?” – and she gives great hugs and kisses. She sings to herself and her vocabulary is growing every day. My heart leaps a little when she strings three or four words together.
I breathe deeply and I let her get it out of her system and I make sure she doesn’t hurt herself. I stay calm.
But sometimes I just can’t. Sometimes it’s one slap or kick too much and I need to get away from her. Sometimes I feel like I hate her. But she’s mine.
They have an incredible sense of timing, don’t they? Amy told me about this draft last night (Friday) but I didn’t get around to reading it until now – about noon on Saturday. In between? Kid slept a full 12 hours last night, woke up in a wonderful mood and she and I had a great morning playing and tidying up the house while Mommy slept. This morning she was the delightful, happy and amazing little girl that melts our hearts and causes us to swell with pride.
We’ve long since figured out that sleep is the biggest factor in whether or not our kid is a total jerk. This week we wore the blame a bit – late night at the hockey game followed by a disrupted week of hotel stays and car rides. But more often than not, her sleep disruptions come out of nowhere.
We’re getting a better sense of when she’s had enough and we do our best to get her down for naps or into bed for the night when we see the signs. We know that if we don’t start the bedtime process by about 5:30 pm she doesn’t go down easily. But even when we’re on our game, sometimes she isn’t playing along.
She’s going to be a toddler for awhile. We haven’t even officially hit the terrible twos yet. But it’s a lot more tolerable when we’ve all had our sleep. This week, none of us did.