After 2-5 stories have been read, this goes on:
Nate: “Lay down here ima”
Me: “Nati, you need to go to sleep”
Nate: “Please ima”
Nate: “I loe you ima”
Me: “I love you too Nati” (As my heart explodes into ten trillion pieces)
I really want him to independanty go to bed but I really don’t all at the same time.
Imagine talking to your parents and explaining your deepest feelings and fears just to have them respond with a dumbfounded look on their faces.
They ask you questions like “what was that?” or look at eachother and ask “what does he/she mean?”.
That would probably be the most frustrating feeling.
This can cause hurt feelings and potentially a fight.
Now think about your two year old.
They have finally developed all of the skill sets to conquor their universe.
The stairs are no longer a journey but a quick few steps.
They’re communication skills, just like their flavor palate, are now developed enough to point out the things they like and the things that they don’t like.
Once in awhile they get really tired and irratble because of that nap that they fought off.
Since they are new to the art of speaking and are very comfortable with the language of crying this now becomes their default response when they are too tired to think.
Here comes the famous tantrum.
It’ a tornado of emotions, screams, yelps, tears and on occassion a stop, drop and roll motion.
It also usually happens in a very public place.
INSERT EMBARRASSMENT HERE.
Nate is not a huge tantrum guy.
For that reason exactly, when he goes into tantrum mode it is exteme.
The first time it happened we were at a mall that is chock full of everyone that I would rather avoid when in these types of situations.
He was very young and insisted on walking alone even though he fell after a few steps.
The moment I tried to put him into the stroller he went into full meltdown mode and there was nothing stopping him.
Rather than try to argue or bargain with him I just let him get his frustration out.
He noticed that his behaviour was not affecting me and slowly began to unwind.
It was in that moment that I realized he wasn’t crying because he was being a brat, he was crying because he was having a hard time communicating his feelings.
As adults we verbalise most everything and the things we don’t say we show through our facial expressions.
This has become second nature to us and we forget that it’s a skill set that takes time to develop.
To toddlers this is a brand new skill that is extremely elaborate. Like with all new endeavors, they face challenges and set backs. Different facial expressions to convey different messages.
Different vocal tones to explain our emotions.
This is all really complicated stuff so it’s no wonder that they lose it once in awhile.
If you ask a dentist to explain the theory of relativitey they would probably feel frustrated too because it’s something foreign to them.
So next time your toddler has a Rambo style meltdown at the mall, ask yourself what they are trying to tell you rather than getting annoyed and yelling.
Adam recently sent me an email with a link to an article.
This particular article discusses something so important that I felt the need to share it with you.
The author, Filicity Hannah, discusses how dismissive adults can be with toddlers and young children.
She points out that although as adults we don’t think that toddlers understand social cues, in reality they do.
For example, when Nate comes up to one of my friends and starts to talk about how the firetruck went weeeyou weeeyou weeyou and down the street to save a cat, he wants to be heard.
In many cases as adults our response will be “WOW” and we simply turn away and continue with whatever it is that we are doing.
Although we would assume that a two year old has no concept of condescension, we are in fact wrong.
By dismissing their story we have hurt and offended them.
Felicity points out that she too is responsible for this type of behaviour and how it can one day nip her in the butt.
She mentions that if we behave this way with our children when they are young, they are less likely to confide in us once they are older and their problems are bigger.
This article made me realize that I too am reponsible for this kind of belittling behaviour. I am often busy with chores, emails, phone calls or other insignificant things while Nate is telling me his exciting story and my response is “WOW, really?”.
The funny thing is that I am always concerned with how my children will turn out.
Will they be kind, honest and respectful?
That all depends on how I communicate with them.
Thanks to my sweet and smart husband Adam for the “hint, hint” “nudge, nudge”.
Here is a link to the original article:
Sleep time in this house is golden.
There is a routine that is put in place right from the first day that our boys came home from the hospital.
It goes a little something like this:
Eat, bath time, massage, get dressed, story, sleep.
This worked beautifully until Nate turned 2.
Not 18 months.
Not 23 months.
I swear I think that on the night of his second birthday the sleep rebellion had commenced.
We do all of the things that we have always done.
We don’t have the television on in the evening.
We don’t do anything stimulating other than the 5-10 stories that we read to him; we both agree that this is excessive but he loves it and we love him so why not?
We make sure that he is pretty much asleep and then we sneak out of his room.
Within SECONDS he shoots up and we hear the pitter patter of his little feet running to the stairway.
Nate: “aba.” (Other word for dad)
Adam: “Go to bed Nati.”
Nate: “Abaaa… Why aba?”
Adam: “Nati you have to go to bed so that you won’t be tired tomorrow.”
Nate: “Come up Aba!”
Then Adam goes upstairs and lays in bed with him until he falls asleep.
This worked up until very recently.
Now Nate doesn’t want Adam to leave at all so he keeps him there hostage.
He jumps around.
On occasion he’s even hit him pretty hard in the nether region.
Adam inevitably loses his cool and leaves the room.
This automatically resets the process and this goes on for a good two hours.
It’s what I call toddler terrorism.
Adam has to be there until Nate falls into the deepest sleep possible and only then can he sneak out.
Don’t be fooled, in a couple of hours Nate “sleep walks” into our room and snuggles up to Adam.
There is no escaping it and we are officially out of ideas.
Nate had his first dentist appointment today.
I was a little anxious about it but was immediately relieved as we walked into what I like to call the Tooth Fairy’s House.
As soon as we entered the office everyone greeted us with warmth and kindness.
The dental assistant, Shelby, was an absolute doll.
She turned on his favorite movie Madagascar or as Nate refers to it “Alex the Lion”, and just got straight to work in the most gentle fashion that is humanly possible.
Nate was totally in his element;
He had his jam on, a cute girl all up in his grill and mummy at an arms length.
All was going fabulously until the male dentist arrived.
All of the sudden Nate lost all interest in this visit and was clawing his way out of the chair; the dentist is amazing by the way.
It’s just that Nate loves the attention of women so he was like “peace out, see you when this guy leaves!”.
Right at that moment Shelby swooped right back in and Nate became relaxed once again and gave her his famous smirk.
I swear my two year old has more game than most grown men I know.
The appointment was awesome but Adam and I are in big trouble with our little Don Juan!
There is nothing in this world that can prepare you for being a parent.
You’re either waiting to make more money or waiting for the right time.
Waiting for everyone you know to get on the baby train or for that last big hurrah.
Guess what, life doesn’t end when you have children.
You know what else changes, your perspective.
You realize that now you are more driven than ever to make money.
You wish that you would have had them sooner so that you’d have more time with them.
You now know that it’s not about your friends having kids; you’ll still have friends and you’ll meet new ones with kids.
What “hurrah” meant before kids and what it means to you once you’re a parent are two very different things.
So in reality the whole last hurrah thing is a big HOOHA!
It’s so challenging yet so rewarding.
There is no amount of planning that can prepare you for that.
As I lay next to Nate and sing twinkle, twinkle little star, all I can do is take in the moment.
I sing to him and he chimes in.
Then he asks me to tickle his back and I realize that these are truly the most important moments with my big boy.
One day he won’t allow me to enter his room so today I relish in these close and heart warming experiences.
Being a mother is so much more than just running errands, disciplining and routines.
It’s about nurturing your child’s imagination.
Being there for all the little moments that make them giggle.
It’s about listening even when you don’t quite understand all of the words and smiling brightly so that they know they are being heard.
As I write this I get emotional at the idea that one day I won’t get to relish in these magical times.
So today I will breathe in every little moment and hold my breath as long as I possibly can.