Liv posted this great summary of her thoughts on the craziness that is the transition from sweet baby to independent and demanding toddler, and it was just what I needed to read this morning. A reminder to be patient, reassurance that tantrums are normal, a reflection on how challenging parenting can be.
Natalie and I had the day off yesterday, and with record-high temperatures above 80 degrees I was more than just a little bit excited for us to spend the afternoon outside together. Bubble-blowing! Play-fishing! Ball-kicking! Trike-riding! Playground-running! I was ready to do it all.
Natalie, on the other hand, was not. She woke up from her nap in a pretty cranky mood, and nothing seemed to snap her out of it. It wasn’t until well into our frustrating afternoon that I realized the poor kid never had a snack after her nap, and was probably just running on fumes through our playtime. Even a berries & cheese & a smoothie couldn’t salvage her mood, though–I think she had made up her mind to be irritable, and I had certainly made up my mind to be frustrated (we’re nothing alike, right?).
So our afternoon felt like a bust. I was resentful, disappointed that our fun afternoon outside in the sunshine had been stolen by a tantruming toddler. We ended up spending quiet time in the house reading books and playing with some of the new stickers that were tucked into one of her birthday gifts. Windows open, breeze sweeping through. She settled down. Mike came home. Natalie was thrilled. They kicked a ball happily around the yard for half an hour while I decompressed and got dinner together. She ate well at suppertime, fell asleep easily after her bath. Mike and I shared a bottle of wine and enjoyed the warm evening together.
It wasn’t a bad day after all. It’s funny how the frustrating moments can erase the sweet ones, and then how quickly a day can be salvaged after a draining afternoon.
It’s supposed to be another hot & sunny day, but this one I will be spending in the office while Natalie plays with her friends at daycare. I feel a little cheated, a little resentful again–I want these days off with her, playing in the yard, wheeling around the driveway, making our way to the Boardwalk and racing down the slides at the playground. If you had asked me yesterday afternoon how excited I was to get back to work today, I would have been jumping for joy. But now, after a good night’s rest and a morning of snuggles with my girl, I am longing for a do-over day off in the grass.