It's just after seven, and I've just put Toast to bed. We are both exhausted. Today my sweet, laid back and happy boy had a very hard afternoon. I, of course, also had a hard afternoon. I'm struggling with my feelings right now...and I'm having a very very hard time.
It began after nap time. T woke up in a rotten mood and cried for about fifteen minutes. I tried to snack him, snuggle him, lay down with him in our bed, rock him, put him back in the crib for more sleep. He just wanted to whine and cry, alternately..together..separately...it didn't matter. He wanted to whine and cry.
So we got out of the house, went to the park then to a neighbor's for a little while...and it was lovely. The day is beautiful. Came home, ate dinner...then had more of the same...whine and cry. After dinner we went out to the deck, I was going to browse a book and I brought out toys for Toast. He came to my lap, grabbed a handful of clothing (I cannot tell you how this irritates me) and started to cry. It was 6:15. He did not stop for the next 45 minutes.
My chest, stomach, back, breath..all of it...are so tight right now I cannot relax. I am afraid if I start to cry I will not stop. There is nothing that brought on a tantrum. There is nothing wrong. There is nothing out of the ordinary. Apparently it's just an overload of emotions that had to be released.
When this happens, when Toby melts down...and it's not often...he likes to grab...he takes his fist and grabs handfuls of my clothing and pulls on it. It's uncomfortable and irritating. If it were an adult I would probably lose control and yell stop it. If it persisted, I would probably smack the person or walk away. Everyone has their trigger, and I didn't know this was mine...it irritates me beyond belief. BUT being the bigger, stronger, smarter one, I have to keep myself in check...and I do. But it's so hard sometimes to remind myself to be calm, distract, speak, soothe.
Toast is very very determined and stubborn. If he doesn't get his way, he screams and cries. I think this is common in toddlers, yes? If he wants to do something, and can't, he whines, or screams, or cries. If he is headed for something he's not supposed to do, and is blocked...the same. But what am I supposed to do when we are sitting on the deck on a lovely evening, and he will not play. If I get down to pay attention, he will play on his own. If I sit aways away to do something else, he will stop and come be near me, pull, whine. I try very very hard to remind myself that he is telling me something important...that he wants mom and needs my attention. But sometimes I just want a moment. Is it his age? It just sounds like I'm so selfish. I just read what I wrote and I'm so ashamed. But how do kids learn to be independant? I don't expect it now...but what is the line...when do I help and when do I not? When do I assert my right to sit and read a damn book for five minutes.
This parenting thing is so difficult. It's such a struggle. Am I the first mom who just needs a little break now and then? I cannot believe people do this on their own. I cannot believe that people undertake this job, willingly, alone.