Friday, September 3, 2010

toddlerland

Lots I want to post about; no time, no time. Which is mostly because I've been spending all my time helping Clark with his outfit changes. Seriously. We go through probably 8 different outfits by 10 am. It's currently the way he's attempting to assert 2-year-old control over his out of control world. I can't remember how Frances did it, though I do remember trying to come up with ways for her, things like letting her choose which sippy cup she wanted. Clark has come up with this all on his own and it's simply impossible (or at least unadvisable) to fight. His clothes, her clothes, doesn't matter. It even extends to pajamas. Last night Mitch put him down and when I got him up this morning he was wearing three shirts and two pairs of shorts over his onesie. We don't have air conditioning; he had to be hot, silly guy. 

Clark is the same age now as Frances was when she was tantrumming in full. There was a stretch months that were very loud and volatile, plus an enormously long couple of weeks when she tantrummed about once every 30 minutes. All day long. Sometimes the tantrums would last 20 minutes, which meant only 10 minutes or so of reprieve between. It was seriously exhausting. 

It's that age where they are so proud to be big (Clark tells us all the time, "I a BIG boy.") but also want to still be a baby. Being big is exciting and wonderful--to realize you have power and are ultimately separate--but they also are frustrated by how little actual power they have. After all, I make most decisions for him all day long: where we go, what he eats, when he eats, when he watches tv, when he gets his diaper changed, whether we get to go see the train in the grocery store though he begs and begs and begs. He wants to make some decisions. His clothes have taken the focus. 

But being separate can also be scary, all exposed and vulnerable in the big world. He's back in his crib now, wanted to be in it rather than the toddler bed, and he wants me to carry him everywhere, from room to room, up and down the stairs, to the car, through the parking lot, which is a problem since he's a full 30 pounds now. "Uppy! Uppy!" he says, and I try to explain that I will hold his hand but I can't carry him, and he loses his mind. It's not just the wail of not getting his way; it's a lament of deep sorrow, keening, stamping his feet, tears. Sometimes I just give in and pick him up, but my back is suffering for it. I can't do it much longer. 

I'm struggling with my headaches again, a thing that puts me out of commission on the blog completely. Hopefully they'll let up soon. I'm trying to post at least twice a week but clearly have not been meeting that goal lately. Yet! Next week Frances starts school! Four mornings a week! Clark starts the week after that--two mornings. Which means I'll have two whole mornings to myself!! It may be a whole new world. 

1 comment:

andrea said...

I look forward to reading you posts, really. You create a visual catalog of the experiences parents are challenged with....and more importantly you express perfectly what the child must be going through while they are challenging us to the brink.
I know I keep saying this but you are a fabulous writer.
I feel like I am reading a book and am waiting for the next chapter.

Love the new blog look too.

Joyful weekend to you... the weekend is divine here.