Having a toddler is one of the most frustrating experiences of my life. I love my 2 year old son Liam in a way I never thought possible. He is my first born. He is where my journey through motherhood began.
But some days, I want to lock myself in the bathroom and hide from the little guy. He hit the "terrible twos" starting at 12 months. And at almost two and a half, he is worse than he's ever been. He is stubborn, defiant, and destructive. Liam is like a little 3 foot tall teenager, without the curse words and back-talking. (Although, he certainly knows how to use the word "no.")
Here's a little taste of my day. First thing this morning, he kicked and screamed when I changed his diaper, which was exploding with poo. Why he would want to keep his poo diaper on is beyond me, but it seemed very important to him. Then he didn't want to change clothes, which was a necessity at that point. So he screamed and cried through that process. I then had to chase him down the hallway with a toothbrush and hold him down to brush his teeth. He seems to be cutting his molars, which has been going on for at least 2 weeks. So he wants nothing near his sensitive gums. But he also refuses to take Tylenol or Motrin to help with the pain. And when I tried to give it to him, he spit it out all over me, himself, and the carpet. So because it is his body, and he has a right to say no, he goes without medicine and deals with the teething pain.
Once dressed and ready, Liam, the baby, and I head to Gram's house to play in his giant playroom (which used to be my room). But Liam is in a rotten mood, so all he wants to do is destroy the train table and throw cars when they don't do what he wants them to do.
And because today is Thursday, Liam has speech therapy at 11am. When his "speech friends" arrive, Liam is initially excited for someone new to play with. But he quickly becomes frustrated when he realizes he has to "use his words" to get what he wants. That results in at least 3 tantrums before he finally gives in and says a few colors just to get stickers.
After speech, we head home for lunch and nap. But Liam is also a selective eater (SE), so even lunch is a struggle. He ends refusing to eat, but does drink a bottle of whole milk mixed with carnation (basically the only way he is able to maintain his weight). Then the naptime struggle begins. Thankfully, he finally falls asleep and naps for 2 hours.
Unfortunately, he wakes up fussy from nap. I try to remain upbeat and concerned, asking him what is bothering him. But he refuses to talk and won't even make eye contact. Seriously?!
The rest of the day feels like a blur. And then suddenly it's time for the bedtime routine. Liam wants to help me give the baby a bath, which sounds adorable in theory. But he spills an entire cup of bath water on himself and the floor. So my husband and I divide and concur. He takes baby to get dressed for bed. I clean up the mess in the bathroom and get Liam changed for bed.
I give Liam a hug and kiss goodnight, and go downstairs with the baby, leaving my husband to finish up storytime and get the boy to bed. On the baby monitor, I hear Liam say "momma momma" as he is falling asleep.
My heart melts. A full day of frustration dealing with this kid, and it all goes away when I hear him ask for me. Being a mom is such a roller coaster of emotion. It's no wonder I'm exhausted at the end of the day.
To all those moms out there dealing with toddlers, may the odds be ever in your favor! (Yes, this post requires The Hunger Games reference.)