The few weeks leading up to Toddlerhood are the calm before the storm. If only I had a glimpse on what to expect, well, actually, I probably wouldn’t want to know. Nope, I’d rather still walk into it full of naivete. Because just like the rest of motherhood, you don’t really know until you know, and even then, we probably (definitely) still don’t know. You know?
Anyway, every child is different, that I know, but I’m only going to speak from experience about my own little tornado, I mean toddler!
My daughter is just about 1 and a half. And, she’s gotta a lot to prove to the world, apparently. She’s filled to the brim with sass, has an infectious smile, is the most beautiful girl ever, and can clear a room when she’s dealing with difficult emotions (aka, a tantrum).
Her most recent internal struggle was just a few nights ago. Everything was easy peasy one minute, and the next thing I know we’re both crying on the couch trying to make sense of what happened.
So, let’s rewind. I had decided it was time for us to leave the park (my first mistake), and immediately Jade showed her extreme disapproval. We almost made it all the way home when she insisted she absolutely had to walk the rest of the way. I put her down (mistake number two). She dramactically threw herself onto our neighbor’s lawn and shrieked. I picked her back up and carried her inside. Once we were within our own walls, I put her down so she would stop kicking. I explained to her to that it was not nice to be physical.
The next half hour was kind of a blur. Lots of picking up and putting down my angry toddler. I tried everything we’ve done before. I let her try to work it out herself. I tried the whispering method. I tried distractions. I tried singing. I tried snacks. But nope. This thing was FULL ON.
I took a seat on the couch. I watched this little tornado of emotions bang on the front door and scream and choke on her tears. My heart hurt seeing her be so frustrated. I just started to shhhhhhhh. She turned around to look at me….and she was quiet! So, I continued to shhh. She walked over and laid on the couch next to me. I rubbed her belly and kept shhhh’ing. It wasn’t until she looked up at me and touched my tears that I realized I was crying softly.
Just like that, the situation diffused. I almost couldn’t believe it because yes, I tried, but it wasn’t something I had thought to do– I just acted out of instinct, maternal instinct, if you will.
Wanna know what’s crazier than this story? How different the next day was. I’m talking sitting still for pigtails, saying please and thank you, laughing all day long, cuddling. I mean, it was all sugar no spice!
Mama, if you’re reading this, there’s something I want you to know. You are a strong goddess warrior badass. I’m not afraid to say some days are just gonna suck. Some days are gonna suck real bad. But hang in there, because not every day is going to beat you down. Some days you’re going to do all the right things! You’re going to feel that this whole journey through motherhood is a breeze. Hang on to that. Let that feeling be enough to carry you through the mediocre days and the rough ones. Especially the rough ones.
Sending you a big ol hug and a deep breath.