I have to break the silence for I can no longer keep it inside- My daughter has officially arrived at the terrible twos.
Yes, she turned two in March but she has been a rock ‘n roll ray of sunshine until about a week ago.
Now? If she were a grownup I’d punch her in the throat (a grownup and not my child, of course. Just some random person. Okay, not really. I’m all talk.)
She isn’t sleeping. She isn’t eating. She is disobedient and sassy, and not the cute kind of sassy. This is outright smack-talking insubordination. And what, you ask, are Jacob and I doing about it?
He handles her undesirable outbursts much more gracefully than I do. I’m a mess when she refuses to lay down and go to sleep after two hours of laying down with her. I admit it- I have yelled at her. Last night she wanted my arm under her head. Then she didn’t. Then she changed her mind. And again. Ad nauseaum. I was losing my shit and yelled, “NO!” at her. She then burst into loud, hysterical sobs and I held her closely while whispering, “Mommy’s sorry, baby. I’m so, so sorry.” I started to cry. I failed. I’m supposed to maintain my composure, right? And who yells like that at a baby? At that moment I’m the one that deserved a throat punch.
Another hour rolled by and she was finally asleep. I went to my own room and fell asleep in my bed. Around 6am sassy-pants came into our room.
(Oh, did I not mention that before? She can not only open doors but UNLOCK them too. This, my friends, is a baby proofing emergency. WHAT IF SHE WALKS RIGHT OUT THE FRONT DOOR????)
So little peanut comes into our room at 6am. HI MOMMY! HI DADDY! My alarm won’t go off for another 45 minutes. Jacob usually wakes up around 8am and then wakes up the kid who is usually asleep til 9am if left alone. NOT TODAY.
She crawls in between us on the bed and I snuggle her. “Go to sleep, Avery.” Please. Pleeeeeeeease go to sleep. She squirms. She giggles. She plays peekaboo with herself. It’s HILARIOUS. To her.
I whimper from exhaustion and Jacob takes it as his cue to scoop her up and take her back to her room. By now it’s 6:45. My alarm is going off. Snooze. Five minutes go by. Snooze. I consider calling out to work but remember that I have a good work ethic so at 7am I get up. That 15 minutes that I missed by trying to sleep? That was my shower time which means that today I’m going to rock the grunge look. After quickly getting ready I tiptoe into Avery’s room where Jacob and Avery are both in her twin bed. He’s so tall that his feet dangle off the edge. I lean over to give them each a kiss goodbye and I see her eyes wide open. Jacob is asleep and stirs just long enough to reciprocate the smooch. I head off to work tired, dragging my ass, wishing I could just crawl back into bed.
While I’m at work, drained of not only energy but creativity, I call my mom and ask her to keep Avery overnight. She agrees! Of course she does. She’s GRANDMA. That translates into free babysitting. After a night away from the kid I get a full night’s rest and feel refreshed. We meet up at the mall for lunch and I can’t wait to see my little peanut. Did I need a break? Yes, YES YES YES. But I still missed her.
Tonight when we put her to bed Jacob and I both participated. I laid down with her while he read stories. It was perfect. She still refused to go to sleep at first but once we turned the lights off it didn’t take her long to pass out.
It won’t always be easy. It won’t always be ideal. Hell, it will SUCK some days. She’s a toddler; she’s learning and pushing her boundaries. And while I may not always handle it as gracefully as I should I just have to remember to breathe and not get pissed off at her. And if I do? Don’t yell at the frickin’ kid. What good does that do anyway?
So yeah. A parenting fail that ultimately turned into a lesson for me. WIN!