Raising children is a fine line between harnessing demons and treating them as humans. It’s a difficult job. I’m so glad I’m done.
See, I despise toddlers. I despised my own and I despise other people’s toddlers. Even when toddlers do the cutest things, more often than not, I’ve had to wrestle with them the way I wrestled with my own inner demons. Though I haven’t developed a taste for wine, I understand why Moms need the tonic.
Here is an interesting article that may throw Moms of Toddlers a lifeline.
I like infants. They can’t get away from me and they can’t say “no.” I love to hold them and soothe them and kiss their soft little faces. I miss that.
But I don’t miss the “Terrible Twos” or the “Fighting Fours.” I don’t miss changing diapers or potty training. I don’t miss the biting, slapping, and kicking. I don’t miss the calls from the daycare teacher about how my child went “thug” for no particular reason. Or broke an arm in an attempt to fly from the top of a jungle gym. Or ate something, like trash. Or threw up everywhere.
I have lots of war stories. Lots.
I also don’t miss the sass. I trained that shit right out of my children, but it was a hard road. Corner time was a common event and the “Ritual of the Spoon” was applied, though sparingly. My oldest still loses his keys, but not to my house.
Each toddler was handed over to my now ex-husband. He loves toddlers. Unless they are doing something from the above two paragraphs. *sigh* I always played “bad cop.” But the child had to be completely out of hand.
My ex and I were pleased about the infant-toddler-adolescent arrangement.
Once they exit the toddler years, about ten or eleven. No, seriously, the baby doctors have this all wrong. About ten or eleven, then I like the child again. They’re funny and full of strangely accurate observations. Everything is interesting to them.
At this time, I became the warrior mother. Navigating them through middle school and high school was very rewarding, even though both were dismal students.
I also taught them the art of critical thinking. My children read and absorb information even as adults. My heart swells when one of my sons argues with me about the validity of world events and societal practices. I love it when they have their own opinions based on their own experiences and research.
I don’t have my hand up their asses so they parrot what I or society says.
It takes a community to raise a child. I believe that because otherwise, both of my children would be scarred for life. I didn’t inflict myself on my toddlers, even as ill as I was, but I could also hand them over to those who had no children or had a child who needed new friends.
And now I reap the benefits. My “bad cop” turned into bad-ass-defender of my children’s autonomy and safety. Both report that they feel loved and liked by me, that they always have.
So yeah, I despised my toddlers and I despise yours. Though I loved and continue to love my children, toddlers are savages. But mine survived and most likely yours will too if they don’t dance in the middle of a busy street because you had to go the bathroom and he escaped his play pen and crawled backward down the stairs at 10 months.
I’m not sure I have recovered from the “Dancing In the Streets” saga. I have a heart arrhythmia now.
©2018. I.O. Kirkwood. All rights reserved for text. Image may be subject to copyright.