Wednesday, November 7
Oh Lucy. Lucy, Lucy, Lucy....
I look at that photo of you on the left, and ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.... You are perfection. The curls. The toothy smile. The little hands clasped. The sparkle in your eyes. You are the light of my days, and I feel such joy in being your mama.
But then there's that photo on the right. In just the last few weeks, the sunny, easy-going Lucy has been replaced more and more with.... Well, with THAT Lucy. The Monster 18-Month Old.
Where before, if I needed to tell you "no", to deflect your attention from something (a toy at the store, something special of Noah's, anything breakable or dangerous, etc.), you were so easily swayed and redirected to something else. It was so simple.
Now? Oh, girl. You have learned what "no" means, and you get ANGRY when it is said to you. The growly scream you've begun to perfect is so. loud. And persistent. You will FIGHT for that thing like mad.
Where before, you'd be so chill and pleasant when we went out in public, happy to ride in the cart/be carried around/ hang out near mom and dad.
Now? You have to wriggle free. You have to have anything you see that catches your eye. You have to try to do things yourself. And you get LOUD when that doesn't happen.
Where before, if Noah wasn't quite sharing as well as he should, I could hand you something else, most ANYTHING else, and you'd be content.
Now? You KNOW he's got something better than you and you holler at him and at me and try your darndest to wrest it away from him. And scream. And bawl.
I think I am starting to lose my mind.
I've been so spoiled. My baby girl has been so sweet. It's been AGES since I've had to work on hard discipline with EITHER of my kiddos. Noah is pretty easily communicated with when he needs to be taught things, and if we keep him fed and rested, he's not a stinker about anything. Really--- if we can keep him from saying "poop" too much, he's basically awesome.
So to now face the monster 18-month-old issues, which I know are COMPLETELY normal and should be expected, I feel really unprepared and rusty and stressed out. I just don't remember how to help facilitate Lucy's new independence... How to direct it and encourage positive structure and how to get a thick skin when I'm in public and totally embarrassed by her screeching anger at not getting what she wants.
Seriously.... I am RUSTY. Can any of you other mamas of toddlers/veteran mamas who've had toddlers in the past/childcare types offer any insights? Reassurances? Advice? Even war stories? At the very least, if I feel like I'm not alone, I might get through this.
My memory of Noah at this age is that he was REALLY tough from 15 months old until about 20 months. Then he eased into a lovely phase after that where he understood boundaries a bit more, was able to communicate a bit better, and wasn't so VOCAL in his anger. We were lucky in that he had his "terrible two's" early and was pretty lovely during his 2's.
So can I hope that this will be short-lived with Lucy? That her formerly pleasant demeanor will ease back in sooner than later?
Is the key going to be ME? And my consistency in how I handle her reactions?
(I suspect that's the secret: me. And what I decide to do to help her manage her reactions.)
Help, if you can. If you have thoughts on what I need to start doing/change/work on, I'm ready. My sweet Lucy deserves a well-prepared mama ready to help her tackle all of these new skills/emotions/awarenesses she's developing.
Because despite being at my wit's end more and more these days, I sure love that stinker. And I want to be her best mama.
Posted by Emily S. at 9:15 AM