We have had rather an eventful weekend. I think it is part of the parent life to experience bouts of both laughter and tears during one day. There is nothing more beautiful than a child’s laugh, and nothing more heartbreaking when they are crying. All we can do is endeavour to do better next time.
We have been looking for a nice jungle gym for Nicky. (Any advice?) I’m looking for a swing that will hold his little body, the larger ones he just falls out of and I think I might have put him off swings now! We have also been looking at slides. DH also has been looking at little metal cars as the little plastic ones tend to break.
In any case I went last Monday to Toys R Us and took some pictures and priced things. Nicky didn’t seem to be that interested in the jungle gym. He liked the cars though. I literally had to drag him out crying, tearing him away from a big car he was pushing around the shop. R1500 though, people, and that’s a lot! (about $150)
So on Saturday after we had had our breakfast we went back there to look around. Nicky seemed captivated by the bicycles this time, but DH was looking at the cars. He got a few of the little metal ones and then decided to get a nice big truck for Nicky which also had another car:
Well that was it. He was so enthralled with his new cars he played and played with them and refused to nap until 2pm! (He normally goes to sleep around 11am). And of course the car had to be in the bed with us.
After a nice long nap he was up again. We had to go out to DH’s work and also drop his camera off at zoo lake so off we went. I think he only took a little car with this time.
The ducks were quite friendly at zoo lake so we had a look at them and took some pictures. The calm peaceful lake makes quite a nice backdrop even though there are some noisy park goers playing their music loudly around.
That night we went to sleep with the car which I managed to extract out of his arms eventually as he fell asleep.
Mistake. Big mistake.
When we got to church he refused to be separated from this truck. Normally it wouldn’t be an issue for him to take a toy along, but this truck makes noises and I really didn’t want to deal with that.
He cried and cried. I actually, for the first time, really used the “cry room” for crying. He was devastated to leave his truck behind.
Eventually I got him to stop crying by holding him and calming him down and also letting him walk outside a bit. (No, he didn’t want boobie! Too angry with me for that!)
I sighed a big sigh of relief when they called for baby bible class to go. But even then I was stressed out as he flung a ping pong ball in all directions…
I think when your child cries for so long it really does something to you. It is like a horrible cloud hangs over you, even after the time has passed.
I think that is why it is so hard. Knowing that your child is so sad and yet you’re trying to enforce what is necessary and helping them deal with the emotional disappointment.
The cloud hung over me that day.
Later in the evening, after he had had a good sleep, he laughed and laughed as I played dropping a ball on him and he kicked it back. Such a happy boy.
But he sure can get upset too!
It was also reassuring to get this developmental update for 22 months from Babycentre:
Does your toddler insist on climbing into his own car seat or pull things out of your hand? He’ll fight harder now than ever to explore the world on his own terms. Strong opinions and rigidity are hallmarks of toddlerhood. You can avoid a tug of war by respecting your toddler’s preferences and giving in on the little things. Letting him choose which jam to use on toast or which pyjamas to wear to bed will give him the sense of control he craves. The secret is to give him only options that are acceptable to you. That doesn’t mean you should become a pushover to prevent tantrums. It’s important that you make it clear that some things — like behaviours that affect safety — are not up for negotiation.
Ah. It all makes sense now. He definitely has a surer idea of what he wants and gets very distressed if he doesn’t get it. Ah well. I guess I should have just picked another truck to choose from…
The one was on the persistent child and highlighted how important it is for a child to be persistent, even though it drives you mad, because persistence is essential for accomplishing tasks in life.
The other was on toddlers.
This can be a maddening time for parents, or it can be a wonderful time, watching your child blossom into a person in her own right. How difficult the phase from 15 to 36 months is depends mostly on the parent’s attitude. Your child’s rebellion will be inversely proportional to the freedom she’s given to do her developmental work.
I think that picture with the ducks kind of sums up the situation for me. It’s not just about creating the right environment and choices for my child, but also being able to calm down, find my peace and see the bigger picture. Too often I fall back into the trap of being a people pleaser and forget about enjoying what Nicky is learning.
I think crying really becomes hard when I don’t seek that peace and also don’t attempt to learn from the experience, or find alternative solutions.
When I just enjoy the moment more and seek the joy he has brought me, then we can just laugh together.
Here is a video of my joyful little boy kicking: