As a parent of a growing toddler, I am able to experience a whole new world of ups and downs in parenting. Rain is so cute and adorable when she's well-behaved and / or sleeping. Hehe. But it's a whole different ball game when she's wide awake, impatient, and is persistent in playing with something that is not a toy. All of a sudden, in those moments, they're not as adorable anymore haha! (Don't make me feel guilty about saying this! I know you know what I'm talking about hahaha)
I'm sure I speak for a lot of other moms when I say that it feels like our toddlers are doing all of these things to intentionally piss us off or are trying to test our our patience. Most especially for work-at-home-moms that are trying to hold the household floor all by themselves. When moms like us are multi-tasking (laundry, cooking for a hungry baby, trying to calm a baby down while smelling your already burning lunch, and working). For us multi-tasking WAHMs, the effect of a toddler throwing a tantrum is magnified 10 times when you have all these other things on your mind.
As I mentioned in like one or two posts already, I've been reading this book SuperBaby by Dr. Jenn Berman and once again I want to share a certain section of the book that I think all of us moms should always remember during times of tantrums:
"In the first few years of his life, your child's higher, more rational brain is so unfinished that his lower, more primitive, emotional brain is in charge. This explains a lot of his actions. At this stage, your child's emotions and impulse will drive many of his actions and overwhelm him frequently. He cannot help it. Keep this in mind when you see outbursts, screaming, and tantrums. Your child is NOT trying to be difficult; he just doesn't have the ability to be rational yet. Sometimes, even when he knows he is not allowed to do something, he is unable to stop himself because his primal brain is in charge. It is important for parents to help children manage big emotional responses."
-SuperBaby by Dr. Jenn Berman (Page 45)
This is one of those Aha moments for me. This explains a lot. All of a sudden I felt guilty for getting mad at Rain for always wanting to fiddle with the DVD player, when it's just right there in front of her sitting pretty, tempting her to play with it. Or for the times she would hit me. Maybe she was overstimulated and didn't know how to handle it. I should always remember to read her cues so I can try to understand her more instead of snapping at her instantly.
Like for instance, when she just can't stop the urge to reach for that electric socket, instead of just saying "no!" , it's best to just take her out of that situation so she won't be tempted anymore. Put her in a different room, or put a permanent block to the socket so she can't see it anymore. Or when she's crying because she tripped or fell, instead of saying "You're okay. Stop crying!", a mom should empathize and say "I know it hurts that's why you're crying. I'll kiss it so it will feel better" or something to that effect. Or when she's crying in a public noisy place, analyze the environment she's in because she might be feeling overstimulated in that place. So carry her and take her in a quiet place. Just something to calm her senses, instead of snapping at her in front of other people.
It's just logical to think that babies really don't know how to rationalize yet. Nor do they know how to plan all these things just for the sake of annoying us. Though sometimes it might feel like it. Though I know it's easier said than done, I should always remember to be extra extra patient when she throws tantrums It's hard but I have to keep these things in mind. By the way, she is turning two in three months. Uh-oh. You know what they say about terrible twos. But to borrow one of my favorite mommy bloggers' term, I should think of it as the Terrific Twos instead (Thanks Denise of Bebengisms!) and look forward to a terrific journey to toddler-hood with lots more to learn. 'Coz Rain and I still have a loooong way to go!