Prompt for December 26: Advice. What was the best piece of advice you received in 2012? Does that advice still ring true for you?
When Kate got her first tooth last January, she howled and fussed and cried for what seemed like weeks. I’d had it. Then one of my mommy friends said, don’t worry, it will pass.
And it did. Then Kate learned to crawl and walk but was still too young to voice what she wanted. So frustrated that her mind and body weren’t in sync, she’d throw all out tantrums with full on feet kicking and fist pounding. I thought she’d never grow out of it and would be this wailing, incorrehent 22 pound ball of furry for the rest of my life. And my mommy friends said, don’t worry, it’s only temporary.
She was right. Now Kate, walks, runs, and never stops talking. She learns new words and phrases everyday to add to her growing aresenal of vocabulary. So now she can tell me she wants “gulk” (a.k.a. milk), cracker, monkey, park, etc… But while she can express her preferences, she is still too young to understand that mommy’s busy right now, so we can’t play right this very second. This, if not struck down immediately with top-notch distraction techniques results in full on Todder Rage.
Oh, the Toddler Rage, a stage I’d like to move through as quickly as possible as patience is running thin around here.
I called my mom after a particularly awful tantrum filled day. I told her it felt like this stage in Kate’s life would last forever. It was never going to end. She was going to yell demands at me in her toddler language and proceed to launch a full scale meltdown when her demands are not met for the foreseable future.
My mom laughed. And said it sounded liked Kate is behaving just as she should. Normal toddler. That everything is as it should be.
At the time, I didn’t want to hear that. I wanted an end date to this Toddler Rage. How long until she speaks in full paragraphs, understands the concept of patience, and dresses herself?
It took some time to accept, but, sure enough, everyday is an improvement. Just a few minutes ago, I asked her to “please wait” and then I would get her some Cheerios. And she repeated back to me “wait wait.” And then she actually waited. Improvement!
I am exactly where I am supposed to be. Right now, I am a mother to a toddler. And all the toddler triumphs and challenges are part and parcel to this period of my life.
And so it goes, ebbing and flowing. When I feel frustration setting in, I imagine the word temporary, hanging out there is space in front of me, reminding me not to despair because behind every tantrum and every seeminly forever situation, the tide is changing, and something new is on the horizon.