This is the update I know so many of you are waiting on- the “How Is The Toddler Adapting,” post. I’ll be honest, I hesitate to type this. You think my birth stories are terrifying? My recovery stories are great birth control? Ha! This may be worse. I was thinking of holding off, seeing if things get better, but since when have I been one to color things rosy and unrealistic around here?
So yeah, it’s not been fun. I don’t have much time to go into detail because I type this while Kendall tears apart his room during his mandatory “rest” time in which I lock him in there and thank God we’ve bolted all furniture to the walls. Why? Because he’s decided not to nap. AWESOME. And not just not to nap, but to fight any and all needed sleep with every ounce of his being. So much so, that it sort of confuses me why he doesn’t need *more* sleep from wearing himself out with all the anti-sleep antics.
Also? He doesn’t want to eat.
Take that back.
He doesn’t want to eat anything other than fruit and candy and the occaisional piece of bread << but THAT he wants a lot of. He never stops grazing and asking for “snacks.” NEVER.
But, the worst are the incessant tantrums, the horrific screaming, the defiance, the non-stop negotiating.
And I know what you might be thinking. He’s adjusting. He needs more positive attention, ignore the negative. He needs structure. He needs love.
I assure you, we are doing everything in our power to provide all of that, to do all of that, to not LOSE OUR EVER LOVING MINDS. We are trying. We really, really are.
And that’s what makes it so much worse. I’m seriously watching episodes of Super Nanny looking for genuine help, not just pointing and laughing and judging and wondering how those parents could ever let their kids act that way. I feel like I’ve tried everything.
The good news is he doesn’t lash out toward Leyna. He’s never been aggressive with her, though he’s not overly affectionate with her, either. He’s still pretty meh about her, I guess. It’s possible he doesn’t quite grasp that she’s here to stay yet. (I sort of wonder how much of this has to do with his adjustment to our new family dynamic and how much has to do with his age. Many of my friends with kids the same age who don’t have new babies tell me they’re experiencing similar, mind-numbing struggles.)
He’s a sweet kid, he is. He tells me he loves me, unsolicited, all the time now, and he’s amazingly… big… and grown up now. I love him with all my heart, but at the same time, right now, I’m more frustrated with him than I can ever remember being. And remember, he had COLIC.
My anxiety before having Leyna was so misplaced. I was terrified of bringing her home because how would I deal with HER? How would I devote all my attention to her when she’s fussy and not sleeping and doing all the things Kendall did as a newborn? Turns out, she’s not the one that needs all the attention and time. It’s him. It’s STILL him.
I don’t know if it’s because I’m a more confident mother to a newborn this time around, if she’s just a much easier baby, or if she gets neglected more than I’d like to admit, but she doesn’t get close to the amount of time and attention Kendall did as a newborn and still does. I can’t let myself feel guilty about that right now, though. I don’t have time for guilt.
I know (hope) it’s going to get better. So many of you have told me this much, and I really appreciate all the words of support. I HAVE to believe this.
It’s like going through colic with him all over again. I keep having to remind myself, “This, too, shall pass.” And though I can’t treat him with gripe water anymore and white noise doesn’t seem to help, I have contemplated getting a swaddle blanket in his size. Oh yeah, they make them.
You say straight jacket, I say swaddle. Po-TA-to, Po-TAH-to.
Kendall is 2 years and nearly 9 months and Leyna is 4 weeks old.