Its been a while between musings. Well – not actually between musings but between writing them out. I think posts every day, almost. I just don’t seem to get to the keyboard with them…. annnnnyyyy way…. today is different.
I’ve had a rough few weeks with the little miss. She’s just at that age where she is starting to realise her ability to want to do things – and be frustrated by her inability to actually do them. She’s also discovered her mighty temper and impressive lung capacity and is utilising them both frequently. Awesome.
Its so hard to remain calm and loving when your toddler throws a massive fit because you say no – or smacks you fair in the face and then looks for your reaction – or gives you a filthy look as she dumps the food you just prepared for her unceremoniously on the floor.
Its even harder, in these moments, to feel that our little ones love us at all. And that leads to sadness and/or anger: “I love you SO much, but I don’t think you love me at all. I’m just a food machine and a bum wiper to you. When will you start to love me?”
And I think this feeling of missing love stems from us [me] following the logic of an adult: I don’t smack people I love because I don’t want to hurt them. Physically or emotionally. I don’t throw food on the floor, even if I don’t like it – even if I HATE it – because I don’t want to a] hurt the cook’s feelings or b] be a messy pig. Nor do I lose my shit when I get told ‘No’ to something I want. Well, not often anyway *wink wink*
So when LLC does these kind of things I take it personally – its human nature and I’m only human. It makes me feel unappreciated, unloved, unimportant. Its really been wearing me down emotionally and I wasn’t even aware of what it was that was bothering me so much, so I had no idea how to combat it. I just knew that lately, for the first time since LLC was 8mths old, I was having those feelings again of not liking being a parent at all.
[For those who have never felt that way – I’m so jealous of you and hold onto that. For those who have – you hear me, right?]
Today though, I had an epiphany. It happened suddenly and unexpectedly – as, I suppose, does with an epiphany….that’s probably almost the exact definition… annnyyywayyy –
Picking LLC up from daycare, she spotted me across the play area and a smile lit up her face. “Bubbles!” she exclaimed, pointing at the soap bubbles floating around in the air, then ran for me. Like, Olympic sprinter ran. Well – toddler style Olympic sprinter hehehe. I held my arms open and she launched herself into me and we fit together perfectly. Best hugs ever, I thought to myself in that moment.
A little while later we were visiting my in-laws and LLC was so reluctant to stray too far from my side which is unlike her – but I knew it was because she didn’t want me to leave her behind again; she’d just gotten me back so no letting mamma out of her sight!
Then she had a little tantrum with her grandfather – straight away she looked to me and came sprinting for another big cuddle. And it hit me – this is her love.
For her – loving me is needing me and my arms, my hugs and kisses, to soothe her hurt. No-one else will do [not even her dad, sometimes]. She has no idea of the consequences of her little toddler actions – her tantrums, hitting, etc., because she doesn’t do those things to hurt me, or even because she’s mad at me; she does them because she’s trying to figure out action and reaction. What happens when I do this?
She does them because she’s not able to express her anger or frustration properly so she get overwhelmed and screams and cries.
She does them because she is still operating on basic emotions – don’t like it, push it away. Like it, hold it close.
She has no knowledge of the power she has over me, the power she has to hurt me and she simply doesn’t do anything maliciously.
I know, in time, she will develop the ability and desire, sadly, to hurt me on purpose. She will use cruel words and thoughtless actions. But she will also be on a more equal communication level and so we will work through that in a very different way.
For now, I need to remind myself every day to accept LLC for who she currently is and what her current level of development is. No more pushing my adult logic and explanation onto her. Accept her love in its raw, basic, blunt and powerful form.
Remember that she tests me so much because she trusts me so much. I am her guide in this life and its a privilege as well as a burden. Do my best to help her as she learns more and more every day. Love her, deliberately, bluntly and openly. She’s my LLC.
Meanwhile, the above does not mean I will react much better when my darling child smacks me in the nose and then stares at me innocently when I tell her ‘No.’
I’m only human, after all.