On Mothering My Toddler: So Fun, So Tired

I haven't done an update on Sawyer or mothering in several months, so I thought today, on the Sunday morning where he woke me up at 5 am and then started "ho ho hoing" after I nicely allowed him the very rare treat of coming back to bed with me, would probably be the most appropriate. It is currently 5:56. On a Sunday morning. He is a playing with a train and just tried to plug the Christmas tree in by himself. Oh wait, now he's doing laps around our downstairs and yelling demonic gibberish that only a twenty-month-old can. It's 5:57. In the morning. Ohmygod.

I'm going to go pour myself a gallon of coffee. I'll be right back. 

Truth be told, I like this age the best so far, although I am well aware I say that at each stage. Everything is new, fun, and an opportunity to learn. A paper towel roll, a square of wrapping paper with animals on it, an old ice cube tray, you name it. He's starting to attempt talking more and more which is great. I will forever and always keep the video of him saying "banana" and watch it when I'm having a bad day. His array of animals sounds also float my boat. He loves to help me in the kitchen and when he sees that I'm bringing out the mixer he tries to drag his high chair over so he can watch (and I always let him and give him measuring cups to "help" with). His dance moves are pretty epic, his cautious walk has turned into a run, and he is desperately trying to figure out how to jump. The dogs are a constant source of joy for him, whether he's watching them play or trying to de-tail poor Cordie. He won't sit still to watch anything on TV for more than five minutes, but he will sit in front of this God-awful YouTube video that features fire engines pulling out the station one and after another for seventeen minutes (it's over forty... why? Who the hell was like "yeah, let's make a compilation video of freaking fire trucks? And why have 3.1 million views occurred? All toddler parents?). He loves to stroll around the neighborhood, holding my hand, and trying to walk on anything that resembles a balance beam. He charms strangers in Starbucks and still adores the book Mr. Tiger Goes Wild. And did I mention the joy that garbage trucks, airplanes, motorcycles, suburbans, bicycles, golf carts, the vacuum and basically anything else that might go "vroom vroom" brings? And when we're home on weekends he naps for at least two hours every afternoon. Thank you sir, thank you. His happiness is contagious and his giggle is out of control. 

But let's keep it real. It's not all high-pitched adorable meowing and afternoon slumbers. He's a toddler and does typical toddler things. He will not stop going and going and everything takes me twenty-three times longer to do because of it. Over the last year he has teethed three weeks out of every four, which has made for some really inconsistent sleep for the two of us. He is attempting to throw fits, although I think we've already made some progress at nipping them in the bud (or it's just the calm before the storm). He is fantastic at making messes, although I must give credit where credit is due and commend his enthusiasm for helping me clean up. Sometimes he smacks me in the face (although it's usually followed by a hug). He can be a really picky eater and sometimes throws his cup and fork on the floor which makes me irrationally angry (sometimes I have to step out of the room and take a deep breath because, for some reason, profanity in front of your child is discouraged). He isn't always a fan of riding in the car, but in his defense, he's still rear-facing and that shit has to be pretty boring. He gets frustrated quickly because his brain thinks his hands should be more capable than they are and that "ehhh! ehhh!" should be an all-telling form of communication that sometimes his parents just can't translate into sense. He will put himself on time out if it means he can play in the dog water for just ten seconds before getting caught. He'll even tell himself "no-no-no," but keep doing it. It's not that I want him to be devastated, I'd just like an effective way of reprimanding him.   

And for me? I'm tired, I'm in love, I'm challenged, and I'm always a contender in the FitBit challenges because I never get to sit the hell down. I feel like I'm one of the few that maybe doesn't really miss the baby stage; I loved his chubby cheeks, gummy smile, and go-with-the-flow attitude, but this toddler business is simply more fun. There are days where things go beautifully and days where I count the minutes to both of our bedtimes. There are many days where I'd consider having a second child, and probably more that I tend to think he might be our one and only (and even more where I'd wish people would stop asking and not offer veiled hints of judgement when I honestly say we're not sure). Truth be told, I miss having time to do what I love. Some may call that selfish, but I call it human. While a great deal of my identity is tied up in being a mom these days, that's not all of me and I sometimes resent the fact that I have to neglect those other, important, parts. A second child would set the clock back and I'd have to give up so much of of my body, mind, and sanity that that first year demands. Luckily it's a question that doesn't have to be answered for, realistically, years. 

So that's it, the good, the bad, and me. I know I'm forgetting a ton, but that's pretty par for the course these days. Now excuse me while I go have another cup of coffee and save my child from pulling the Christmas stockings and their extremely heavy metal hangers on his head. 

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I loved this post. (I'm behind in your blog if you can't tell). I can relate to everything you said here and was nodding my head the whole time I was reading. I agree - I love this toddler stage so much more than the baby stage. This simple fact makes me a bit terrified to have another child…the thought, like you mention, of going backwards and starting over from the newborn stage is scary and exhausting. On rough days, I always "joke" that he will be an only child. I try to look at what I picture our future looking like though…I truly feel I don't want an only child when my kid is older. And I try and remind myself that these early years, while they feel long, are actually quite fleeting. But ya, we're at a point where I get a lot more free time to myself and the selfish part of me doesn't know if she's ready to give that up yet.

    And oh dear lord, the "ehhhh ehhhh" has got to be the worst noise ever, lol.