“NOOOO!!!” cried my two year old as I turned to leave the room. I had just stepped into the kitchen, still within five feet of where she sat playing with her blocks, but I guess that was just too far. If anyone was listening they would have thought I had just told her I was leaving to fly off to Disney Land without her or something! I guess I should be flattered – I didn’t realize I was so popular.
Toddlers are naturally emotional which can lead to many dramatic moments. Their brain isn’t fully developed yet to allow them to think rationally and their language skills aren’t developed enough either to allow them to convey their feelings as well as they would like. This makes communication very challenging at times! Even their most simple requests are subject to emotional outpourings. Asking for a drink can turn into a desperate plea that one would only expect from someone who had been walking the dessert for days without water. A request for a particular toy turns into an episode of longing as though the toy is essential to their ability to function.
Just the other day I was putting my daughter down for her nap. I had given her the usual line up of “night-night toys” and kissed her good night. As soon as I closed the door to her room she let out a loud cry, “Dolly! Dolly!!” I quickly ran back in, thinking she had dropped her dolly, only to find her holding it. It took me a little bit to figure out that she wanted her <span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>other</span> dolly… the one she had just gotten for her birthday! Based on her frantic cries one would have thought her dolly had just been snatched by the “dolly-bandit” or something.
Having multiple children poses a whole other set of challenging moments. Trying to seamlessly balance the routine of a toddler with the needs of an infant can be quite the undertaking, especially in the evenings around bed time. Just when I think I am close to mastering the evening routine, my daughter throws one of her tantrums and my infant goes on a growth spurt needing to eat every hour or so… and it always seems to occur on the nights my husband is working late!
The first time it happened my son was just two months old and my daughter was 21 months old. I was attempting to make dinner and my daughter was in one of her moods where she wanted my constant attention. Struggling to balance it all, my daughter grew increasingly aggravated with me. Eventually she got to the point where there was nothing I could do to calm her. The more I tried the more upset she got. All the while, the baby, who was already somewhat fussy, began to wail! It was all I could do to keep it together myself… At this point I knew it was time to call for back up! I made a frenzied call to my aunt who lives just a few minutes away, and was more than happy to help. It was only about ten minutes before she arrived, but it felt like the longest ten minutes of my life!
I ended up having to stick my daughter in her crib so that I could nurse the baby who was almost hyperventilating he was so upset. I felt terrible! It took a while, but eventually the baby had settled down and was nursing. As I sat there, listening to my daughters muffled sobs from the other room, I wept silently to myself. What a night! Eventually everything had calmed down and peace was restored in our home. When the baby was done eating I handed him off to my aunt as I made my way to my daughter. I held her tight as I rocked her telling her, “Mommy loves you and is so sorry…”
Each day brings a little something new, yesterday may have been a comedy and today is oh-so dramatic, but try to take a deep breath and remember – you are not alone! There is no manual for this… Every mother has her “moments”. Sure tomorrow might seem a littlescary, but that’s a whole other story… You are doing great!