It’s only 12:36pm, but let me tell you. We have had A DAY.
Nathan is on nights for work, so he sleeps during the day while Drake and I try to play quietly. Drake loves to scream and laugh loud, so I figured we would head down to MacDonald Island to play in their indoor playground.
I have everything ready to go, except Drake will not come to me to get his boots or coat on. This is very typical for the stage he’s in. He just wants to be chased and not follow direction…I mean, he is only 1. Finally after some tears, we are ready to go. I load him up into the truck and we head downtown.
After playing for over an hour at the park, nap time is approaching and I start to pack up our things. As soon as Drake spies his boots and coat, the meltdown of the century commences.
I have heard of the “terrible twos” my whole life, but I thought that that really happened once they were actually 2…NOT BEFORE. What kind of unfair universe am I living in???
Kicking, crying, screaming, wanting up, flailing to be put down, you name it, he’s doing it.
I hate when these massive tantrums happen in public. You can’t help but feel like everyone is watching, and I hate the looks I get from other parents who are wondering why I’m not shushing my child. I usually just let him feel his feelings and ride the wave until he calms right down. He eventually starts laughing and rolling all over the floor, which is my cue to get him up and venture off to the vehicle.
Once we reach the truck, another tantrum starts. I’m feeling less patient because I had JUST dealt with a huge fit, so I buckle him in tight, completely ignore the screaming, and then climb into my seat.
The drive was the most peaceful part of my day so far.
We pull into the garage and the crying starts again. “Drake, we’re home! Let’s go get a snack and then get ready for nap” I say as I’m feeling very impatient. He looks at me and tries to kick off his boots while i’m unbuckling him.
In a moment of frustration I say, “WHY are you SO irritating?”
He doesn’t look at me, but instead looks toward the ground, his lower lip quivering and tears welling up in his eyes. He leans his head right onto my shoulder and silent tears fall onto his cheeks.
He is only 22 months, but I’m telling you – he did not listen to one single thing I said today except for that.
I pulled him in extra close as I apologized and told him I loved him. Tears now streaming down from my eyes feeling like the worst mother in the world, and all he does is hug me. He ran to the living room, found his bunny, and used his bunny’s ears to wipe my tears.
Mama, if you’re reading this and feeling like everyone else has it together, except for you – you’re wrong. We’re all struggling to be the best that we can be, but let me tell you 1 thing I’ve learned. Don’t ever get mad at your babies and then put them right to bed. Even though it was nap time for us, I kept him up a little longer, hugged him a little tighter, and made sure he knew I loved him before putting him down.
Why am I relating this experience back to sleep? Well – have you ever had anyone say “I’m so mad at you” or “we need to talk” and you get this intense knot in your stomach and even though you may have been tired, you can’t seem to settle down until either you talk it through or find a solution?
Our children react similarly. If they know we’re angry, sad, or disappointed with them, they won’t be able to sleep well either.
Children are SO forgiving, and even in my moment of frustration this afternoon, Drake ran to get his bunny to comfort me. Let’s all try to be a little more loving, a little more patient, and a little more understanding. They are just tiny, innocent humans.