Yesterday at daycare pickup, E ran around the room as I chased after him trying to get him to put his jacket on. Eventually a teacher grabbed him and helped me wrangle him into his coat. Today he happily let me put his jacket on, waved to his friends, and marched out of the building.
Yesterday it took me at least 15 minutes to get him in his car seat. There were tears and false starts and he grabbed on to whatever he could to prevent me from putting him in the car while making his body stiff so no matter what I tried, I couldn’t get him in his seat. Today I offered him a few puffs and he gladly sat quietly in his seat while I strapped him in.
Yesterday he screamed and cried at dinner and refused to eat the food he’d asked for. Every toy he touched caused a meltdown. I had to pick him up and drag him upstairs at the end of the day. Today he ate his dinner, and not only happily played with his train set, he helped me clean up some toys at one point. When I asked if it was almost time to go upstairs, he marched himself up the stairs by himself.
Yesterday changing his diaper and getting him in his PJs was a battle. There were more tears and screams and I had to pin him down at one point and it took me at least 10 minutes. Today he asked for bubbles and was still on the table as I got him changed.
Yesterday I didn’t have fun with my toddler. I was defeated and tired and overwhelmed. Having two seemed impossible. I felt like a failure. Today I had so much fun, I debated delaying bed time. There were giggles and smiles and it made my heart full. I’m still tired, but I’m smiling. I can’t wait until he wakes up tomorrow.
I document this for a few reasons. One, at the end of rough days like yesterday, I need to know that sometimes all it takes is a day for things to completely turn around. Not all days are going to be hard. Everything is temporary.
Two, it’s important to remember how hard it is to be a toddler. There are a lot of emotions and feelings that are difficult to process. Being tired or hungry can ruin an entire day. They’re too young to have coping skills yet, and they don’t know how to express what’s wrong. It’s important to be patient and calm and understanding, and to remember that it’s not a reflection on us as parents.
And three, I want to remember how fun the good days are. How cute he is. How worth everything is, and how lucky I am to be his Mama.