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Jen, Kristen, and Patience

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The One Year Old Crazy

Posted by Patience on January 14, 2010 at 8:55 PM in Babiesbehavior
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As dreamy as this child is, she has been making me a little crazy lately. The push and pull of toddlerhood has me watching the clock starting mid-afternoon waiting for Jorge to stroll through the door so I can hand her off.

The crazy parts:

She wants me to hold her 90% of the day, but then she wants to be down, she's not sure which.
She has spent a serious amount of time perfecting her dumping skills. Especially when I'm cleaning up.
Some days I feel like I a spending my days with a foreign national as she talks all day so intently, sure I should know what she is saying.
She wants to nurse when she's bored, and twiddle, which sends me totally overboard, the twiddling, not the nursing.
She's got a tiny violent streak, the hitting thing is new for me as a parent.
She shares almost all her food with the dog and is obsessed with placing his food in his water bowl.
She climbs on every table known to man.
She is just old enough to give Lucy a run for her money and start the occasional girl fight.

Just when I'm almost exasperated...

She leans over and gives me a giant open mouth kiss, or hurls her entire body on top of me to hug me.
She starts to dance like nobody's business, this kid has some serious moves.
She brings a book to me and forces herself into my lap.
She leans in to let the dog lick her.
She finds a new game to play with one of her siblings and has a special laugh reserved for this level of fun.
She entices me to chase her and loves to be surprised.
She claps her hands wildly and cheers when Jorge walks through the door.
She "talks" to me all day long, like her best girlfriend.
She loves to get her coat on and always cooperates.
She looks right into my camera and shows me all of herself with the greatest confidence.

I realize after four kids, I am still learning. They continue to teach me over and over again that you can be all the things. Tired, happy, exasperated, proud, angry, loving, sometimes all at the same time. Just when I think I'm the only parent going crazy, I head back to read up on child development to discover, once again, that all of these things are completely normal. For some reason I forget every time, or maybe it is because each child is so different and I need a reminder.

So now when it's 4:00pm and she has cleared every single last book from the bookshelf, I smile and sigh.

Is there an age or stage that drives you a little crazy? Feel free to confess or give words of wisdom in the comments.


Jess writes...

You made it to #4 before having a hitter? Teach me, oh wise one! I feel you on the twiddling, though!

I think every age brings both new highs and lows for me. I find three-year-olds particularly difficult to live with, though. Why does everybody talk about the terrible twos and nobody warns you about threenagers? They tax my patience to its limits and really test my belief that I don't need to parent by fear (theirs or my own). Fortunately, their creativity also blossoms at that age, which makes up for the stress.

Jen writes...

That photo is stunning

PatienceAuthor Profile Page writes...

Thank you Jen! The light was pretty dreamy that day...the baby isn't bad either. ;)

Amy writes...

Ah...3s 1/2 way between "Hey this autonomy is kind of cool" and "Oh, my gosh I'm autonomous!" Exciting and frightening all at once. I've heard so many parents comment about how the 3s are so much more difficult than the 2s. Toddlers, I just set up their safe space and move out of the way...Lol.

Amber writes...

My son is 17 months, and when he is upset he lies down on the floor and looks at me with exasperation. I know that in about 3 weeks he will lie down, look at me with exasperation, and kick and scream. That last bit, when it starts, is what drives me truly crazy.

Karen writes...

Another vote for twiddling drives me crazy! I have a 16 month old, and the same things are going on in our home and my relationship with him. I'm about to dustbuster a whole lot of granola out of my sofa-- I know I don't need to explain further here! I know that his push and pull is the beginning of the end of his babyhood, so I'm just trying to enjoy every minute that I can. He is so delicious :) But I'm still tired and often exasperated.

I remember reading somewhere that parents of toddlers and preschoolers deal with a conflict of some sort every 5 minutes, or something like that. Anyone with "working conditions" like that would be understandably tired and fed up at times. So I think one of the best things to do for your toddler is to have grace and understanding for yourself!

kate writes...

easy, grandmama. your comment is unwarranted and unkind.

let me tell you something. Patience is the LEAST self-indulgent, self-pitying person I know. she has spent her entire life giving selflessly to others. she has more love in her heart than you will ever understand.

and here is the kicker, if you said that to her face - she would STILL be nice and kind to you. That is my sister. Pure Kindness.

i find the internet so perplexing sometimes. it is astounding how thoughtless and mean people can be under the protection of anonymity. dude, this is PBS - the land of sesame street. you don't have to agree but you can still be nice about it.

BenAlabaster writes...

Haha, I have one like that - 16 months old. I'd love to know what she's talking about non-stop.

We decided at 15 months that with her boredom with her toys and there's only so much interaction 2 parents can provide so we sent her to day-care. The day-care by us is more like school than your average daycare and she gets to play with other kids all day long, has crafts and activities, can play outside or inside... she doesn't even stop to say goodbye when we drop her off as she's off to play with her friends - we're chopped liver.

Weekends though can be hell, she wants up, she wants down, she wants to play, she wants to do her own thing, she wants to eat until you give her food and you realise that she didn't actually want to eat, she just wanted to throw it all on the floor. She wants juice until you realise that she just wanted to paint with it. She's a mystery - I can't wait until she learns words and can tell me what she wants.

She'll cooperate to put her coat on and loves to go outside, but the second you put her in her car seat, she wants out.

A walking contradiction. Headstrong and fiercely independent, but ridiculously needy at times. And just when you think you can't take it any more and you're so mad at her you could curse the ground she walks on, she does the cutest things to make you melt and laugh at her.

Parenthood is the most valuable, satisfying, trying, frustrating and rewarding and emotional time of your life and I wouldn't trade it for the world.

Great post and great picture!

Jackie writes...

I love what you sisters are doing. It's wonderful to have a place to vent and of course (brag a little ). Love your photo Patience. There are truly no real teachers for parenting, however what you are doing helps lots of young Mom's out there. There was no such thing when I was raising mine. Treasure these moments with your little ones.....the time goes sooooo fast. I miss those days very much. I'm the Mom of 7, all grown now.

Sara writes...

The twiddling! Oh my god the twiddling! We're still having the boredom nursing and the insanity inducing twiddling going on around here at age 2, and yes, the twiddling puts me over the edge. In my less than stellar parenting moments I have been known to say "hand! hand!" until he removes his hand from my nipple.

Age 2 is proving to be quite the challenge- whether this is the worst or a mere shadow of what's to come I have no clue. On our recent visit to see his grandparents in Puerto Rico, he repeatedly called his grandmother stupid. Every time he saw her. Yes, the transition into 2? Kicking my butt.

Dim Geo writes...

This photo is stunning!!!!

barkoff review writes...

The baby is really looking cute, also the photo is nicely taken.

Alext writes...

It doesn't get any less crazy I'm afraid

irenew writes...

wow, baby is so cute, wishing him good luck for future.

Admin of irenew bracelet site.

Bark Off writes...

OMG that is a cute one!

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