Monday, June 20, 2011

There's Something About Toddlerhood

Yesterday, I fell off of the Peaceful Parenting bandwagon.  I yelled at my 21 month old.  It was a long and tiring day and after nursing her several times and being used as a trampoline, a spring board, and a cuddly lovey most of the day, I was touched out.  She is at the stage where run-by nursing and on-demand EVERYTHING are the flavors of the moment.  My husband, bless him, is of little use when she wants MAMAMAMAMA.  So, I yelled at her.

I felt awful.  I berated myself.  I moved on.  I ran back up to the AP wagon and said, in my most humble and GENTLE in-door voice, "May I please get back on?"  Because I'm a good parent!  I am also human and I have 5 other children (and one 'grown' child) and a husband and all of the responsibilities that come along with that PLUS house hunting and physical therapy for my back and worrying about my aging grandmother and .....  My life is NOT low maintenance and stress free.  Somethings, sometimes, have to give.

Attachment parenting a child is a wonderful experience.  However, parenting a toddler sometimes falls outside of the 'attachment' zone.  There are days, hours, moments that I really do not want to be in the vicinity of the once lovely but now having a mini mervous breakdown little girl that calls me MAAAAAAMMMMAAA at the absolute top of her voice.  When toys are being flung at random around the room like a lawn sprinkler and the only sound I hear is the ear splitting scream of "MIIIIIIINNNNNEEEE" even when she stopped yelling it 3 minutes ago.   I want to run and hide when she grabs and paws at my shirt and my breast, demanding "ninny" right now and for the next hour or whenever she decides that I can put them away.  There are times I'd really love it to be just me, and maybe my husband, without her needing to 'hugga me' every 30 seconds when her sister takes her toy back that toddlerzilla so swiftly, and LOUDLY stold in the first place.

I really do not want to be attached to the octopus on speed, especially not when that octopus has my tender breast in her razor-loaded mouth!  I swear, she flails so fast and so much that her 4 appendages become 234 as she simultaneously hits, pokes, jabs, kicks, and bites me.  Just when I think I've got that kicking leg tied down, here comes the jabbing finger.  And there are 10 of those!  I feel outnumbered.

And a sling.  Bwahahahahaha.  I've never seen a funnier word.  I always suggest babywearing to green mamas struggling with their newly born cling-ons, but try putting Octotoddler into a sling.  The only thing you'll get out of that one is a busted lip and a contraption strapped to your back that is very reminiscent of a straight jacket.  The wrap is bad, the ring sling is useless, and the mai-tai becomes the hangman's noose when flail-o-toddler gets within 10 feet of it.  I've never in my life been more flustered that the few times I've actually gone out on a limb and prayed for her to go in the carrier and give me some peace.  Did I mention physical therapy on my back.  Yea.

Yet, there has to be something about toddlerhood.  Something that makes us go back and do it again (and in my case, again and again, and again...infinity!)  There has to be something redeeming about toddlers.  Some wonderous, magical thing.  It's the markers on the wall just after you've cleaned them?  No.  Oh, I know, it's the food fling fest and constant bathing afterwards?  Urm...well.  The screaming?  Demanding?  Melt-downs in public?  Innocently repeated curse words at grandma's?  The refusal to wear clothing, especially clothing appropriate to the season?  Help me out here.

Good thing humans don't eat their young and that those young are so cute and lovable.  Because she would have been served up on pasta LONG ago.  :)