We had breakfast with Bodhi yesterday, followed by music time. I have a pinched nerve in my neck, which is why Ian’s rocking his jammies. I was trying to move as little as possible, which is still a lot with a toddler. Moving’s really not optional.
So it’s been challenging days around here. Today has actually been much better, but I want to be honest about my experience so you don’t think it’s all rainbows and unicorn farts in the hiz.
Ian gets frustrated easily (think he got this lovely trait from moi). He screams and throws himself on the ground and pounds his forehead. He does this when a toy is not performing to his satisfaction or I try to redirect him when he’s doing something he should not. We sometimes have whole afternoons of this. He also hits other kids and will not share of his own volition, or when asked to. I know I know I KNOW he’s 18 months but I swear to you I see other 18 month olds share and they do not hit. Consequently said toddlers are his closest friends, which makes Ian the lone perpetrator.
We have also played with a couple kiddos whom I would describe as “aggressive” and I don’t like them. Who would I think as I watch my son’s water bottle go sailing through the air for the fifth time today?
This makes me feel:
Angry. Ashamed. Scared: That I am doing something wrong. That no one will want to play with us. That he will always be like this. That he will get kicked out of preschool and school and stab me when I’m asleep when he’s 9.
I know. I am calming down and seeking help. These are just the feelings I’m having.
What do I do when these things happen? I say no and I explain why. I explain hands are not for hitting and feet are not for kicking people and teeth are not for biting people and we don’t throw toys or food or sand, only balls. If it happens repeatedly I tell him we are going to leave if it happens and again and then I follow through and we leave. He does not seem to get it and has never said I’m sorry.
We’re not doing time-outs because I’ve read that he’s too young to understand the concept and the best/only thing to do is distract and redirect.
On the really hard days, I fantasize about daycare and him learning these social lessons from someone with more patience than me. Then we have a day like today, where we took a roadtrip to Pasadena with Bodhi and sang songs from Glee and the boys read books to each other, and I can’t imagine missing this time. I acknowledge that walking through the super tough moments make the peaceful and happy moments that much sweeter. And I guess what doesn’t kill me really does make me stronger…