I don’t know why my life feels so busy lately. At night, when I usually write I’m exhausted. I’ve been sleeping more…. like 10-12 hrs a night.
One reason could be because P has been a handful. Terrible twos are nothing compared to the attitude 3 brings. Her defiance is shocking. I know she’s teething hard but I don’t understand why. All her teeth are in. Are there more? Now? When she’s teething it’s as if her brain has shorted. You can talk to her but she’s someplace else…on the moon perhaps. And most often she likes to run around crazy. Again, it’s as if she has ADD and I can only imagine she doesn’t want to sit still because she’ll feel the pain. Yet, if you ask her if her teeth hurt she’ll say no while she has almost her entire hand in her mouth.
Everyday is taking a lot of patience. I repeat myself 8-10 times EVERY SINGLE time I need her to do something. Sometimes she’ll just look at me and not move. Other times she says “no”, crosses her arms and puts on a pout. It makes me laugh, quite frankly, and I have to suppress it. Laughing only makes it worse.
Funny thing is I talk to some parents about this and they don’t understand why I’m complaining. That’s their child’s normal behavior. It gives me perspective that P is really very good. I just miss my little person who I now carry conversations with. In her usual state we can disagree about something but we talk through it. Right now it’s just a blank stare or a no. We’ve gone back to when she was one.
I have to put my anger and frustration aside. I know if I’m soft and kind with her she’s better. She gets that I’m trying to comfort her and she softens up. But Jesus! The strength it takes to be the kind person and see the bigger picture in this scenario is huge. Sometimes the more I forbid or put my foot down the worse it gets. To get her to do what is needed, I need to be empathetic and kind and then she’ll move mountains for me. Her personality is tough like that and I love it. When she’s older she won’t let anyone stop her. She’s strong willed. But right now it’s killing me. Actually, what’s killing me is knowing when and how to set limits while still being kind and soft. That’s the exhausting part.
When we were traveling in India years ago a friend gave me some insight to dealing with kids. He said that often we try to squash a character trait in a child because it doesn’t suit us. However, if you take yourself (the parent) out of the picture and think of the child as an adult in the world, that same trait is actually a great one to have. Persistence for example. When a toddler keeps going back for the same forbidden object over and over is incredibly annoying. However, change the scenario and the persistence to go after something they’ve been told they can not have but really want (a dream, a job) and persistence is a fabulous trait to have. The trick is to redirect the child in another manner. By changing the focus the trait is intact and you can guide the child to the desired behavior or another behavior. Apparently it’s one of the big parenting philosophies in India.
But alas, philosophies are always easier to talk about than to implement. My sanity is kept with the thought that this to shall pass.