when i first had bella, i felt like i had entered the part of my life i was made for. infancy came so naturally. i never wavered, never questioned. honestly, i wasn't as tired as i expected to be, though i wasn't running any marathons. it felt so right.
|look at that sweet face! that 5 month old was perfect.|
then bella turned one.
she has always been active, doing everything early and then running with it to the extreme. but toddler hood presented a whole new ballgame. when bella was around 15 months, i started slipping. i forgot stuff. i was tired all of a sudden, even though she was finally sleeping 11 hours through the night. i couldn't handle everything. i started to break. i just felt overwhelmed and out of my element.
|i know baby, i'm crying too.|
bella would get herself into trouble, but was too young, seemingly to effectively discipline with timeouts and reasoning (ever try to reason with a one year old? it simply feels ridiculous. like trying to reason with your toilet which, by the way, also is ridiculous.). she would run into the street with reckless abandon. diaper changes became nightmares, especially in public, where she would flail wildly and scream as though i were branding her. putting on clothes? forget it. i may as well have laid a searing hot chain link vest on her skin. and that's not the worst of it. everything was a fight-getting into her car seat, getting out of her car seat, getting into her stroller, getting out of her stroller. when i put her oatmeal in the microwave, she would crumple to the floor, weeping as though her heart was breaking. 90 seconds of pure agonizing hunger that she could not overcome and would surely lead to her death.
to say she was a drama queen is quite an understatement.
at 18 months, i think we are finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. she listens a little better. i tell her no or to go do something and she actually does it, most of the time with a smile on her face. she brings me diapers and lays on the ground for a change. she picks out her clothes and actually lets me put them on, though now getting them off seems to key her in that it's almost bed time.
i'm not naive enough to believe that the terrible toddler days are over. i know we still have plenty ahead of us. but i hope that they will be fewer and farther between. she is getting better at calmly communicating what she wants, although she forgets a lot and resorts to screaming.
mostly though, i feel like i'm gaining back some control. i never understood how kids could grow up to be such sassy, bossy people. but i'm pretty sure that somewhere around 18 months, their parents probably had a nervous breakdown and never recovered. fortunately, i think my resolve is a little stronger than hers, and i will hopefully come out on the other side victorious.
we shall see...........