Everyone thinks her child is special (and yes, every child is special). Many parents think that their child is "advanced." They think their child is oh-so-freaking-perfect. And then that oh-so-freaking-perfect child becomes a TODDLER. And that's when the said perfect child stops shitting rainbows, and instead...paints the walls with their own shit and says, "Hey look! A rainbow!"
Toddlers press buttons we didn't even know we had as parents. It's amazing how someone who has only been on this earth for 26 months can have the power to bring an educated, rational grown woman to the verge of absolute rage in less than sixty seconds.
*deep yoga breath
*this too shall pass
*the days are long, but the years are short
*(insert mantra of choice to get through the episode)
How can a small child, 3 feet tall, have this ability? I was seriously asking myself this question the other day, and I realized the answer: toddlers are irrational wild little animals so when we try to make sense of their actions, it infuriates us because we cannot predict what will happen from one minute to the next. There is no rhyme or reason to half of the shit they do, and for a parent who is trying her best to respond to her child's needs, this can be infuriating.
One minute, we can be having so much fun laughing and playing outside, and then all of the sudden: Wham. Tears. A meltdown. Over what, you ask? I wouldn't let him hold the axe in the shed. I know. Shittiest parent ever.
And he's had other irrational meltdowns as well:
I cut his PB and banana sandwich, "Nooo! Put it back together!" Tears. So I pretended to put it back together and instantly the world was a better place again.
I used the wrong almond milk, "Nooo, that one!"
I wore my bathrobe, "Nooo! Take it OFF! OFFF!" Tears. (This always happens. He hates my bathrobe. And socks or slippers. Therefore, I always walk around my house freezing cold in the winter. Sigh.)
So I was beginning to think that maybe my child was regressing intellectually (he never used to have irrational meltdowns, only rational ones regarding typical stuff like putting on his snowsuit) so I asked some friends, "Do your toddlers freak out over weird shit?"
And here are some golden gems I received as answers:
"But the cat needs her food cooked in the oven!"
"No Gracie, you can't wear your life jacket in the carseat!" — Gracie, 2.5 years
"No Mommy, that's not my cup. I want Ainsley's cup!"
"I can't find my superpowers!" While she is in hysterics her mother has to list super powers until she finds one that is acceptable, then she stops crying — Brynn, age 2
"Nooo, my boobies mommy! Not Leo's!" — said by toddler when baby brother is being fed by Mommy
"Daddy looked at me!" Followed by meltdown. —Elizabeth, 2 years
"You can't ride the cat/bunny/goat/dog (insert other small animal)!" Followed by meltdown. — Stella, 2 years
"Nooo! Hair down mommy!" Freaks out as mom tries to put hair in ponytail. —Elodie, 2.5 years
She freaked out because I put on my beige bra instead of my black one. — Kylie, 2 years
She freaks out because the puppy is licking her. Then she freaks out cuz the puppy won't lick her. She freaks out because I didn't let her get in the carseat herself. She freaks out because I wouldn't put her in the carseat...
"I want milk from the bottom of the jug!" — Kenzie, 2 years
Honestly, these toddler years can be trying, but they are also funny as hell. It's so awesome watching these wild little animals develop. Yes, they can press our buttons, and yes, they might make us cry from frustration from time to time (or daily) but at the end of the day, when your toddler is having an irrational meltdown, the best advice I can offer is this:
Grab some popcorn, sit back, and enjoy the show. The best comedic writers in the industry couldn't dream this shit up!