Thursday, April 2, 2015

Prisoner of (Toddler) War

As I sneak a piece of pancake from my two year old's plate I feel a slight panic. Is he going to notice?  If he does notice, will he care?  Will this turn into a major meltdown or am I safe?  WHY AM I EVEN TESTING FATE LIKE THIS?

Years before I was a parent myself, a good friend of mine told me how she once peeled an orange for her husband and as she started to hand a piece to him, she went into a state of pure panic as she realized she hadn't first asked if he wanted it peeled and pulled apart. As you have probably guessed - she lived with a toddler at the time.  That story was a glimpse into how volatile the little buggers could be for me.

Of course I didn't really, fully understand this until I had a toddler of my own.  Lately we have been dealing with the emotions that turning two seems to bring.  Those BIG emotions.  FrenchFry (2 year old) is actually probably pretty laid back for a toddler - he's always been a generally happy baby/kid - but that doesn't mean that we don't have regular meltdowns these days.

Some days (or really just part of the day in most cases) it seems like my toddler is a ticking time bomb, and I just don't know what might set him off.  I'm careful not to use certain words (for example: "yogurt," unless I'm prepared to let him slurp down four more Gogurts in one sitting) or make any sudden movements.... yes - sometimes just innocently moving your fork can set them off - WHY DID YOU MOVE THAT FORK?!?! <SOB>.

Sometimes you are the parent who has been there for the lead up to the "verge of a meltdown"...   maybe you just talked the toddler down from a scary, BIG emotions place and are carefully walking on eggshells... making sure not to trigger him and then your partner walks in.... and, of course, they say the EXACT wrong thing for that exact moment, like: "Oh look!  Breakfast time!"


Ugh...  Meltdown City (Population: 1 Cranky French Fry).

Sometimes I wonder if we parents have a form of Stockholm Syndrome. Or maybe it's that biological imperative that keeps us falling back to feelings of good will for our little captors.  That or the cuteness... there is definitely an evolutionary reason that babies and young children are so darn cute.

That cuteness will get you every time!  (Just don't take one of those pancake pieces.)

Being the parent of a toddler takes a lot of patience.  It's also immensely rewarding.  All of these big emotions (that are sometimes hard to handle or even understand) are also why we get so many good hugs and snuggle time during this phase.  I can't get enough of his super awesome two year old snuggles.  It's amazing to watch your child's brain develop right before your eyes (well, not literally... that would be pretty weird).

My two year old blows my mind every day with what he learns, the things he says and the big feelings he has - negative or positive.  Though sometimes it's hard not to get a little shell shocked by all of these BIG emotions flying around when you have a toddler in your home.

Still... the cuteness... and those snuggles...

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