11 December 2014

oh, the toddler

I think this is maybe the nature of life with a toddler, but sometimes I feel sick of it. So much defiance. Almost every moment feels like a battle unless we are ignoring each other! He follows maybe one out of one hundred verbal requests, and even that percentage seems generous right now. It is getting harder for me to just pick him up and force him to go where I want him to go, and he doesn't listen even afterI allot him freedom to do as he wishes. Every time I get him out of his car seat, he tries to go downstairs to his grandma's whether she is home or not. He thinks it is funny to run away from me and then it is a game of chase in his mind. I feel like maybe I should just avoid taking him anywhere, but that seems bleak, too.

Sometimes he does things that hurt me and then laughs when I say ouch or reprimand him. He does not seem to eat real food but asks for juice and milk and sugary things instead. He constantly requests to watch TV, and I let him every day because it is easier for me, but I always feel guilty. He says "stop it" and "don't" to me constantly, and everyone else. He is quite the bossy little man.

I know it's a combination of factors that lead me to my impatience with this stage, but I wonder if part of it is this evolutionary mechanism to turn my heart toward the more helpless and dependent being who is gestating inside of me and away from the older child. I mean, there are wild mammals who basically forsake their young as soon as they are weaned (still working on the weaning thing). Is that a thing for humans? I hear people say sometimes that they can't imagine their hearts expanding to love two children because their love for their first is so great, but for me it feels sort of like I can't imagine my heart expanding to continue love my older child, and I would rather kick him out and force him to make his way on his own.

But then there are moments where he is so unbearably cute and amazing and I feel so guilty for not appreciating him more.


Rachel // Maybe Matilda said...

This right here is exactly how Forrest ended up in daycare, even though I was and am a stay-at-home mom, which might lead one to believe that daycare would not be necessary. I think daycare is the only thing that kept him alive for quite a few months there.

He'll get better. He really will. And I totally feel you on the reverse 'can I love the second child as much as the first?' thing--I felt the same way. I was positive I would love Darcy lots and lots, but the more pressing question was if I could manage to love (and like) Forrest when he was being a complete monster.

janelle said...

I so hear you - and love your honesty. I worried my way around that guilt vortex for a solid year before I realized that kids go through unlikable stages and it's okay to love him and still really dislike his behaviour ... and to be frustrated with his utter lack of response to instruction. I'm typing this holding brand new baby #3, while my 2 year old and 3 year old sleep. I adore my baby's inability to defy me, contrasted with their daily boundary-pushing - I know his turn will come ;) - and it's okay to enjoy some things about each stage while hating others.
One thing that surprised me when #2 was born was the huge awesomeness of seeing #1 fall in love with #2. It was amazing to see him deepen and become slightly less self-absorbed.
Good luck transitioning to 2 - I am looking forward to your posts.

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