Addison used to be the “easy” one.
She would wake up with a smile on her face, jumping up and down in her crib, chanting, “Mommy” or “Daddy.” I couldn’t wait to pick her up and snuggle her and give her a hug and a kiss.
But, we’ve hit some sort of a rough patch.
Is it her teeth? Is the medicine for her seemingly non-stop ear infections not working again? Is she growing? Or has she just been in a bad mood for a week? Am I missing something? Or is this just a phase?
My gut says she’s testing us.
I’m guessing it’s a behavioral milestone that you can’t read about in one of those parenting manuals you wish existed but would never have time to read. I suspect she’s trying to communicate and working so hard on learning her words that she’s just plain frustrated.
I realize using the adjective “easy” isn’t exactly the right thing to say as her mom, but I’m not perfect either.
Brianna, on the other hand, was a super easy baby. Great sleeper, sweet temperament, very chatty. However, when she turned three, things shifted. She was no longer the “easy” one. She’s stubborn. She is also smart, sensitive, sassy and opinionated. I couldn’t possibly love her anymore. That being said, 3 is a challenge. She often laughs when I ask her to do something and seems to work in slow motion, especially when we need to get anywhere. Frankly she’s not the best listener and sometimes only responds to me raising my voice. (I know, I’m not proud, but it’s the truth) She’s moody too. Sometimes, if I ask her to do something she doesn’t want to, she’ll say, “I don’t like you.” (Well, the feeling is mutual at that moment, my love!) Perhaps one of the biggest challenges, she’s a lot like me, so we just clash sometimes. However, she’s been pretty amazing this past week and I’ve told her so!
So, did my daughters have some sort of secret meeting deciding to switch places for a bit? Addison says (if she could) “hey, I’ve been pretty agreeable lately, how about I just start whining more?” Brianna responds by saying, “sure, you’ve got a deal, I’ll behave for a while.”
Even Brianna keeps asking me, “why is Addison crying?” Sadly, mama doesn’t always know.
I know part of my frustration is that I can’t always “fix” it when my girls aren’t happy. When I have any inkling my children might be sick, I’m at the doctor. ( In fact, I seriously thought about leaving a sleeping bag at the pediatrician’s office this past winter!) They had a lot of colds, coughs and ear infections.
So, when there doesn’t seem to be anything physically wrong, I can’t help but be frustrated because no medicine is going to make her feel better. Part of growing up I guess. Her, as a little girl, and me as her Type A, frazzled mom!
In the meantime, I’m just trying to manage the whining when I can’t pick her up that second or crying when I have to leave the room to do the laundry or make dinner or God forbid, go to the bathroom! I’ve been trying so hard to get to the bottom of her crankiness by encouraging her to use her words and show me what she needs. When all else fails, I let her have her tantrum (even on the floor of a department store the other day) and am there with a big hug and a kiss when it’s all over. As I get ready to publish this blog, my girls are giggling and happy. Of course; mommy guilt anyone?!! Seriously though, nothing makes me happier than when they are content!
A friend of mine recently said to me: “I can’t complain, I have two beautiful daughters… it’s normal to feel frustrated and not everyday is wonderful.” I couldn’t have said it better myself. I’m so blessed, but sometimes I just need to vent and writing is therapeutic for me!