Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Things They Don't Tell You

Everyone talks about how exhausting the first few months of an infant's life are for the parents. There is no doubt that everyone is right - it is exhausting. However, they forget to mention that after an all to brief respite, the Toddler Years set in, bringing a whole new level of tiredness with them.

I adore my child, but she is absolutely exhausting. She is constant motion, constant questions, and non-stop interaction all day long. By the end of the day my house looks remarkably like a tornado ripped through a toy store, I'm covered in food from being used as a napkin (or worse - a Kleenex), and I have to wonder how one tiny person has managed to make me say "no" or "don't touch that" or "don't put that in your mouth" 749 times. I feel my sunny personality slipping away :)

It's hard to stay positive when you spend your entire day correcting someone, and I work really hard to "catch" her being good - just so I have something to praise her for.

She's a smart little bug, and is capable of understanding a remarkable amount of what is going on around her. A few days ago I asked her to go find her bowl (which she had run off with - again) so we could have dinner. She toddled off and reappeared a few minutes later holding her bowl out to me.

If I had any doubts it was just a fluke, yesterday I put a cute barrette in her hair. By the time we were ready to leave, it was gone. I asked her where her barrette was, mostly in exasperation, and not really expecting an answer. She walked over to the bench, picked it up and handed it to me, babbling the whole time.

Her obvious understanding of what I'm saying leads to more frustration on my part with the constant "no's" I find myself saying. She obviously knows she's not supposed to play in the dog food, so why does she make a beeline for it every day? I guess we have reached the testing phase of our relationship - she tests everything again and again and again. Some say it's a sign of healthy attachment. I'll have to trust them, because I'm too mentally drained to come up with my own answers.


efficiondave said...

Don't worry, it will get harder, much harder. :-)

But it will also get easier.

I'm amazed at how quickly I can go from frustrated, to so proud, to dumbfounded, to soothed, to...

I used to be a mellow, level-headed, patient person... and still am most the time, but I've definitely reacted in ways that I'm not so proud.

Enjoy the ride! Definitely a roller coaster.

sheryl said...

Well Karen I know you love her to pieces but it sounds like you don't ever get a break from her? Don't you watch her while you are working from home?

Maybe it would be worthwhile to think about having her at some kind of daycare a couple of days a week? She could interact with other kids all day. Plus it would allow you some downtime too.