While this day is considered a celebration of spring with beautiful flowers and festivals and the fact that Ivy is 19 months old today, I’m thinking of the alternate and less beautiful connotation about May Day. The one where you’re screaming bloody murder and sending distress calls for help. Ya, that one. That’s how I’ve been feeling lately with this not-so-sweet-anymore 19 month old. May Day! May Day! HEEEEELP!
It all started this month. I had been warned. Once they hit the 18-19 month range, get ready. And were those people right! The terrible two’s are a real thing! But wait, she’s only 19 months, she’s only 23 lbs (53%) and 32.5 inches (63%) long! Uh oh. How could such a little thing move mountains? And not in a good way with the cute saying on the poster, I’m meaning the bad way, the one where she GETS HER WAY. So does this mean the terrible two’s are longer for us?! Oh gosh. Ivy’s theme song right now is DEFINITELY “Miss Independent,” by Kelly Clarkson. “Miss Independent, Miss Self-Sufficient, Miss Keep Your Distance, Miss Unafraid, Miss Out of My Way.” YEP. #helpme
I have to blame Mickey. He made me do it. Hearing her say “Mickey, Mickey, Mickey, Mickey” x 10 million over and over again is just toooo much for this low tolerant mom to bear. Throughout the day, she’s fine and I can distract her, but at dinner, she’s gotten into this habit of wanting it when she eats. And while I love to blame Mickey, it’s our fault too. I started playing tv for her when I would be packing my lunch for work and she’d be eating her breakfast, and possibly maybe daycare does it too? And maybe even grandma? Well, too many variables to control there, either way, she’s learned that when she eats, she gets to watch tv. And MAN, was that the wrong thing to do! I don’t mind it at breakfast, but at dinner, I like that to be family time and our down time together. It’s the only time John really gets to see her since he’s out the door early and home late. So now that this whole MICKEY obsession has happened, parenting is HARD!
I feel like the real type of parenting has begun. Since birth, Ivy’s been so well behaved and pretty easy. She goes to bed easy, sleeps her 12 hours, barely ever complains or cries, oh those sweet days. I just had to ensure she was fed, loved, and had a clean diaper. But NOW, the real parenting has begun. She’s testing us to see our limits, to see what she can get away with, to see what (annoying) behavior will get her her way. And it’s TOUGH. Parenting is hard. And confusing.
In my recent Parents magazine issue, I read this article about “Understanding How Your Toddler Sees the World,” and these words resonated with me, “A toddler’s brain hasn’t yet developed executive function — the ability to focus, exhibit control, and listen to reason. In other words, there’s no conductor in the orchestra of her mind.” Therefore, those outbursts, or I WANT I WANT I WANT, are normal, I suppose, as she has no self-control, but that doesn’t make parenting any easier. It just gives me a reason to justify giving her what she wants. Like when she HAS TO HAVE her blankie, hedgehog, and cupcake toy all while swinging. How many things can you hold at once?!
I have been feeling like a failure lately. Both times she has done this at dinner, we have eventually given in. We last about what seems like forever, in which it is actually probably 5-10 minutes of her crying and repeatedly saying Mickey, and then we give in. I KNOW we are not supposed to do that. But I’m sitting there, looking at my crying temperamental toddler, as she glances back and forth at John, then me, then John, then me, seeing who the HELL is going to turn on Mickey for her(!), when I recognize that she’s also not eating her dinner. So, either she cries through dinner and we ignore it and she doesn’t eat, or we (freaking) turn on Mickey, don’t have a nice family dinner (but really, those were out the window a long time ago anyways…), but she stops crying and actually eats her food. I’ve gone Mickey and food route both times. I can’t see my child crying AND hungry! So whatever. We have tried distracting, but that lasts about 1 minute. I know the more we turn on Mickey, the more she’s going to want it, but at some point in her life/age, I’ll be able to tell her no and she will understand, right? And maybe it won’t happen at every dinner. I don’t know, but I’m just hoping that “it’s the age” of her right now and we will have to conquer through it. I’m sure there are a million articles or parents that would tell me otherwise, but it’s all about picking your battles, am I right?
So this May Day, while I’m pulling my hair out at dinner tonight and sending distress calls, I’m going to take a breath, sit back, think about the real reason we have May Day and smell the pretty lilacs I got from my mother-in-law, and let’s face it, I’ll probably turn on Mickey.
Neon pink and purple glitter hair clips by Ryan and Wren