You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘toddlerhood’ tag.

In response to my first post of the year, Kate of Infertile Myrtle reminded me, “Don’t let this blog cause you any sort of grief, . . . don’t feel like you owe anybody anything, remember, this blog is for you, not us.” She is right. I let so much in life cause me needless grief. I spend way too many hours attempting to work myself out of some self-created debt to others; worried what they think of me and what that must say about me.

Yesterday, as I lay in attempted repose in savasana at the end of my favorite yoga class, I found myself worrying if I was doing it correctly.  Are my shoulders in the right place? Is my face peaceful? Is my lower back arched too high? After all, the teacher had adjusted me twice before in previous classes, pulling my legs so that my lower back rested on the floor.

For heaven’s sake, can’t I even relax without beating myself up?

Kate’s words came to mind.  I reminded myself that this yoga was for  me.  Not anyone else. This was my savasana.  I need to take control of my life and stop living it for others.  I think that I’ll find it a lot more sustainable, peaceful, productive and creative – not to
mention a lot more enjoyable and fulfilling – if I silence the internal critic and empower myself to live for me.

Thanks, Kate.  Feel free to remind me of this. . . and often.

POST EDIT – Sorry for all of the re-posts.  I used Word Press’s application for my mobile device, and that was a MISTAKE.  It renamed my post and removed every hard return and inserted new ones.

Advertisements

The New Year has ushered in a New Bear.  Although she is about four months from officially entering those “Terrible” or “Terrific Twos” (depending on your viewpoint), she’s always been an overachiever.

The disruption brought by successive holidays has caused Bear to refuse to fall asleep at night or at nap time.  She refuses to have her diaper changed.  She refuses to go to daycare in the morning, and she refuses to leave daycare at night.

On Monday evening, I arrived at daycare to pick her up, and I heard a teacher ask Bear if she was ready to go with Mommy.  I heard Bear quickly respond, “No.”  After I signed her out in her classroom, I walked next door where she was darting back and forth between a plastic swing and a slide.  She did her best to completely ignore my presence as she climbed to the top of the slide, slid quickly down, and ran to the swing.  The teacher observing all of this just shrugged her shoulders at the situation that clearly was about to unfold.

After watching Bear run the “circuit” a few times, I announced that it was time to go home and scooped her into my arms.  She stiffened, arched her back, and immediately swung her arms around to grab my hair.  A loud wail filled the room.  Carrying her back to her classroom, I held her on my lap and did my best to slip her arms into her coat.  She fought me and wound up on the floor with my hand beneath her head to cushion the impact of the carpet below.

Indignantly, I carried her to the car.  The swift chill of the air outside softened her resolve, and she pushed her body closer to mine.  Once I got her into and buckled into her car seat, she became silent.

On the way home, I called my husband to tell him about Bear’s reaction.  From the backseat, Bear began mumbling quietly – under her breath – as though she was saying something that she didn’t want me to hear.  Her grumbling continued and her words became a little louder and a little clearer, and her tone was pointed.

“No, Mommy.  No.  No, Mommy.  No.”

She would mumble something intelligible and then repeat her tirade of “No, Mommy.  No.”  She was chastising me, I think.  By the time we reached home, my transgressions had been forgotten, at least until bedtime when the battle began once more.

I am afraid that it may be a long road to three.

This increase in tantrums means Bear is asserting her newly realized individual self, I suppose.  She is leaving babyhood and becoming a little girl.  This afternoon, she discovered a soft baby doll in the bottom of her toy chest.  I showed her how to rock it, but she had no interest.  Then I retrieved one of her old receiving blankets and pulled out a nearby footstool and showed her how to put the baby to bed.  She spent half an hour folding the blanket, rearranging it, and adjusting baby, until she looked up at me and said something.  I asked her to repeat it.  “Bwinky.”  “A binky?” I asked.  “Yes.  Bwinky.”  So, I searched for a binky.  It had never been used except the handful of times Bear shot it out of her newborn mouth until we got the idea that she didn’t want a binky.   I am amused that her baby does want a binky.

We have also spent hours building towers with her new Christmas blocks and playing mail carrier with “pretend” mail.  She loves to dance with me throughout the house on silly mornings, and she picks up my purse, which is nearly as big as she is, and says, “Bye bye.”

It may be a glorious road to three, too.

When I picked Bear up from daycare on Monday of this week, one of the high school girls who helps out there after school looked at me and said, “She was hitting kids today.  A lot.”

We have had several occasions when I’ve received “Incident Reports” upon picking Bear up from daycare, and each time, I think, “Oh no.  My child caused an Incident.”  Every time, however, I am strangely relieved to learn that Bear has been the incident victim instead.  Bear must have learned to fight back this week, because surely any hitting from my sweet, innocent little girl would only be in self-defense.

On Monday night, my husband and I talked with Bear about how it was not nice to hit other kids and how she didn’t like when they hit her.  She quietly listened to us with big eyes, seemingly absorbing the meaning of our words.  The next morning, I asked Bear, “Do you promise not to hit anyone at school today?”  She replied with a definitive “yes.”

When I picked Bear up from daycare, I asked if Bear had hit anyone.  “Oh no,” replied the high school girl.  Before I could congratulate Bear, she added, “She scratched someone instead.”

I am going to have to expand the terms of our agreement next time.

Contrary to my promise to do so, I haven’t updated my blog in a few weeks.  But, don’t worry.  It isn’t because I haven’t been writing.

I wrote a short story that, while still a work in progress, is a good first start and perhaps, something that I’ll submit somewhere someday.  I need more defined goals, don’t I?

Last weekend, I took Bear back to my hometown for the first time since March.  I am always amazed at how when I first arrive, my rural little hometown feels so foreign.  After half a day there, though, it begins to feel familiar again.  The first morning we spent there, I put Bear in her jogging stroller and took a twenty minute walk across town to visit my grandmother.  My hometown is flat with few trees in comparison to where I now live.  I reveled at how it was so quiet and peaceful that I could hear a car driving down the street three blocks away, and if I turned my head in time, I could clearly see it pass between houses.  As I walked, I could easily tell who was home, and even hear moms talking to small children inside their houses as I passed.  Sound carries easily there without the trees to soak it up and other sounds to drown it out.  On our walk back, I thought about how all of the familiar names on realty signs and inscribed into rocks in front of houses now belonged to my classmates rather than their parents.  Later, when we went downtown to shop, I was amazed how some people (mostly those from my parents’ generation) so enthusiastically welcomed me and how others (mostly those from my generation) looked at me like I was the prodigal son returning home and they were his brother.

On Sunday, Bear battled stomach issues that I am fairly certain can be traced to some mystery zucchini bread that a lady in a hometown clothing store gave to my grandmother with Alzheimer’s, who then gave to Bear while my back was turned.  There were a few exciting minutes that my aunt spent frantically digging pieces out of  my daughter’s mouth.  Bear spent most of the next day with some nasty diapers and had periods where she cried and beat on her tummy, crying “Owie!”  Her response reminded me why I work so hard to only give her food that I know will not cause her to react.

Yesterday, after several good days at daycare, Bear came down with a fever.  She also began using her new, favorite word “owie” indiscriminately, so while we knew that something was hurting her, it was impossible to tell what.   At first, she would pull up her pant legs and hit her knees and saying “Owie.”  Then, during diaper changes, she would say “owie.”  She would also open her mouth to say something, and a huge bubble of saliva would come out instead.  These symptoms, along with her fever, seemed concerning, so I called the pediatrician’s office and her allergist’s to see if he would call in a prescription for some compounded non-soy containing Tylenol-type medication.   Around 6:00 last night, Bear began acting strangely.  She couldn’t seem to keep her eyes open, and she was moaning softly.  This, of course, scared me, and I immediately took her to her pediatrician’s after-hours clinic.  By the time we arrived, her fever had reached 104.  Despite enduring a strep culture and a catheter to obtain a urine sample, we left without any answers. Her pediatrician promised that a high fever wouldn’t “boil her brains” but acted annoyed that her allergist wouldn’t let us give her generic painkillers that contained soy.  I was annoyed that he was annoyed, but mostly I was tired and sad that my daughter was still not well and that we didn’t have any way to help her.

Fortunately, Bear’s fever broke last night.  She has not felt well today, but the absence of the fever has greatly improved her spirits.  She seems hungry but doesn’t want to eat.  She continues to have strange drooling issues and to say “owie” when I change her diaper.  She has also started telling me that her hand hurts.  We think that she has Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease, but until blisters start forming, we won’t know for sure.  She seemed happy to take a nap, and for now, is sleeping peacefully, and I am still waiting for a call from the compounded pharmacy that someone has made a painkiller that my little girl can safely take.  However, I am hoping that we’ve passed through the worst.

This weekend, my daughter showed me that she can think outside of the box.

By thinking outside of the box, she found a comfortable place to sit when she needed to rest.

She embraced creativity when the whim struck her.

And, she found a step up when she needed help reaching her goal.

I can learn a lot from my daughter.

Is it strange that I care what Bear’s doctor thinks of me?

I have internalized this fear, since childhood most likely, that unless I have an illness with a tangible symptom that leaves no doubt to the observer that something is amiss, that doctors will think that I am making up my problems.  It doesn’t help that the primary issues that I have been afflicted with have few tangible signs:  migraines (oh, you have a headache, people will ask?), polycystic ovarian syndrome (for me, a diagnosis based on the exclusion of other causes), and during pregnancy, unexplained bleeding (that was, well, unexplained).

Poor Bear is now bearing the ill effects of my insecurity.  I have no doubt that the response I received from her pediatrician when I called last week about my concerns regarding her digestive issues would have irked anyone.  But, a small part of me wonders if I am dwelling unnecessarily on issues that are not that big of a deal – that other parents wouldn’t think twice about – and therefore, the doctor’s annoyance with me was justified.  This said, Bear is clearly uncomfortable.  She beat on her belly the other night, right before we found floaters in the tub and after refusing dinner.  She wakes up from deep sleep to pull her little legs up to her belly.  She has bowel movements all day long.  And, of course, she reacted quite spectacularly and frighteningly to soy milk.  My mothering instincts, fledgling though they may be, tell me that something is not right, even if the problem is something minor, like consuming too much  milk at one time.

I took Bear to a new pediatrician today.  This doctor actually saw her in the hospital after she was born.  He is famously laid-back and also famously personable, and he was very nice to Bear today.  He did not seem overly concerned about Bear’s trouble with milk, and despite my continual back-pedaling and apologizes, he ordered a blood test so we can uncover any food allergies that she might have.

Although, this test is not exact and will not answer the question of whether Bear is intolerant to certain foods, it is a starting point.  And, I appreciate that, even if I am completely wrong about the cause of Bear’s symptoms, at least the doctor was willing to suggest something constructive.  Now, if I can just let go of my concern that he thinks that I am going to be a problem parent so that my idiosyncracies don’t make me one.