Toddlers. Lets not sugar coat this. They can be little shits. I mean god bless them and their tiny overactive and developing brains but jeeeeez they are hard work. It’s like having a drunk best friend follow you round 24 hours a day and if they don’t get their own way they lose their tiny mind and you are the sole responsibility to calm them down and bring them out of their
drunken rage whilst stopping them cause destruction wherever they go. Maybe it’s the naivety of being a first time Mum? Not knowing what’s ahead of you? Or maybe I just had a dreamy newborn baby and was totally oblivious? But boy oh boy did the toddler phase hit me like a sack of spuds. Don’t get me wrong, this age Evie is at now is incredible. She’s beyond hysterical, so loving, cheeky and she really is my best friend but in the same breath she’s demanding, easily irritable and desperate to get her own way. Like I said Eves was a pretty chilled newborn; no colic, no reflux, slept through the night from 6 weeks old, rarely did a poo explosion, threw up for the first time at the grand old age of 13 months (roll your eyes all you want, it’s the hand of cards I was dealt and I bloody well ran with it but yes I’m aware if we have a second child it is going to be Saint Lucifer himself). In all honesty (can I say this without be mobbed?) I found becoming a mother surprisingly natural . . I know I didn’t have much to contend with in the beginning, she was chilled AF, slept like a dream and fed 4 hourly like clockwork. But I mean even among the overwhelming ‘oh maaa god I have a baby’ moments I felt surprisingly confident with her. Surprising being the key word because I’d never had confidence in myself before. I’m sure this is part of the reason why the toddler phase has whacked me over the head and slammed me right back down to earth with a bang. I swear to god before Evie started walking she never cried unless she was hungry or tired. Now the kid cries if you try to help her put her shoes on.
I realise I’m probably making her sound like she’s the Tasmanian devil, I promise she’s not. But what she is, is a toddler and toddlers are 100 miles an hour. I wouldn’t say I’ve found it ‘difficult’ so to speak, although there are difficult times, but I’ve found the transition from baby to toddler a bit of a shock more than anything. I spent my whole pregnancy being scared of becoming a mother because of what people tell you to expect when you are going to have a baby, the way they ‘prepare you’ and a lot of people put the fear into you when actually I had nothing to be afraid of. I’m not one for really ‘going with the flow’, (pre Evie I was actually quite neurotic and obsessive) but that’s exactly what I did when she was born and it is what worked best for us. Before you give birth you are given endless amounts of information in leaflets, books and apps on what you should and shouldn’t do, how to prepare yourself for birth, how to raise your child, what they should eat blah blah blah. However no one prepares you for the day they start to have tantrums over biscuits, the refusal of holding your hand, the ‘I’m not eating anything’ phases or the I’m going to break your sunglasses escapades that all come with the transition to toddler. I’m sure there are plenty of parents out there who don’t have to contend with these demands as much as I do but at the same time I know there are so many parents who do! And that is exactly why I am writing this blog post because if there is one things that keeps my sanity in tact it’s knowing other people are going through the same thing (and that my daughter isn’t the only one to throw a wobbler over not being allowed to eat pennies *eye roll*)
It was after a particularly testing *said through gritted teeth* day with her last week I rang my Mum and I was like “HI. HELP ME HUN”. Although she did offer me some advice and calmed me down she also reminded me that she didn’t have to deal with any of this because I was basically a dream child (her words not mine!). Which then got us talking; Evie is full of beans, she lights up any room, loves being the centre of attention, she’s so strong willed and she is honestly beyond hysterical and I suppose you don’t have a personality like that without the attitude and sass to go alongside it. She’s fiery. Just like her mother. So this whole ‘teaching her what no means’ phase was never going to be a walk in the park. This past week I’ve rang my Mum more times than I’d like to admit and asked ‘why does she hate me!?’ because sometimes that’s what it feels like especially when Danny comes home from work and she’ll run in to his arms shouting ‘daaaa-deeee’ and showers him with kisses and only minutes before she has been yelling at me because I wouldn’t let her run out the front door *what an awful mother I am for not letting you play in the road* But it turns out, she doesn’t hate me (phew), she’s just testing her boundaries, she’s learning new things every day, she’s trying to figure out how to express her emotions and her little brain is developing every.single.day. So to summarise, my god this age can be testing, consuming, exhausting but it is also so so special, it’s rewarding, it’s so much fun and every day that she learns something new it fills my heart with more love than I thought possible. You see thing with motherhood is once you think you’ve got something sussed, figured it out, found your own rhythm it throws something new and unexpected at you that shakes up everything you thought you knew. Because how else would it keep us on our toes?!