What a roller-coaster ride it can be. Of course, being pregnant doesn't help with roller-coasters of any description. Yesterday I found myself thinking, "What a little terror!" as he tried to bite his cousin's legs as she came down the stairs. Yes, we've got a biter on our hands. How did this happen?
Then a little while later thinking, "What a little monkey!" as he danced wildly around the living room with more energy in five minutes than I seem to have all day.
Then, of course, thinking, "What a little angel," when I felt his little body relax and finally fall asleep in my arms for his nap.
Now I know that there is a whole range of normal toddler behavior, from mild to wild, and Isaac is no extreme case of wildness, though he definitely leans in that direction. The thing that is easy for me to understand in my head but that doesn't always get through emotionally is that everything that he does is normal, it's to be expected. The toddlers and who seem to have a natural respect for rules, and whose parents don't need to childproof, they are the exception. My Isaac, who runs away when he's called, and doesn't like staying in the cart at the store, and who opens the fridge and pours milk all over the floor, is normal. Did I ever really expect to have one of those mild, well-behaved toddlers? Yes, I suppose I did. After all, Sean and I are both law abiding citizens. Is it so far fetched to imagine we might have a docile child? Maybe not. But, as it turns out, Isaac is not that child, and it's much better to work on loving the child you have than to waste your time thinking about the child you don't have.
Something else that I know in theory but that is sometimes hard to remember: it's not personal with toddlers.
It's not personal.
Toddlers are never malicious. They may be testing their boundaries, trying to get attention, or, with a young toddler like Isaac, just experimenting (what happens when I pinch Mommy? Oh, I wonder if she'll make that same squeak if I do it again), but they are not out to hurt anyone. It's original sin, ungoverned by self-control or reason, making it's presence felt. Of course I know this; it only makes sense.
However, when that little person whom you love with every fiber of your being, looks you right in the eye, shouts, "No!" and then tries to bite your hand so that you'll let go of his arm, it can be hard not to take it personally. You think, "I'm his Mommy, doesn't he love me? Why won't he just LISTEN to me for heaven's sake?"
It's not personal. I think I should write that down and tape it up somewhere where I'll see it often. Do you think I could write it on the inside of my eyelids?
|Caught in the act!|
|Fleeing the scene of the crime.|