Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Most Disgruntled Toddler in the World

As of now, that's my Michael.

I don't always whine, but when I do, I make sure that you know my displeasure. Intimately.

I want to say it's just the Terrible Twos. Maybe it is. Certainly, even if it is, I shouldn't expect it to unfold in exactly the same way that it did with Abby. Not on the same schedule, to the same degree, or even in the same behavior patterns. I know this.

I can't help worrying that there's more to it than that. I can't even put my finger on whether this is really so new, or just an aggravated version of what I've been seeing forever and so often blaming on teething while teething was an obvious factor.

All I know is that the past couple of days have been incredibly trying for him, and for me. It's to the point where,as I type, I am debating whether it would even be accurate to say, "It's not that he's an unhappy child..." Isn't he, so much of the time? I'd say that he was for perhaps 85% of the day today. Screaming, crying, unreachable levels of unhappiness.

The worst part is that there actually is a solution to it, just not one that I can very often employ.

Suddenly, he wants to be carried. All of the time, everywhere. At 27 lbs, he's not terribly difficult to lug around for short periods, but I can only handle so much. And that's when my hands are actually free, which is not all that often if Mia is having a hard time as well.

I want to hope that if I ever manage to get the woven wrap I've been so longing for that perhaps things will be better, but I don't know. Will the comfort level it provides so far exceed that of the Ergo in a back carry (for him and for me) that he will accept it as an alternative to my arms? Will I even have the energy- no matter the lack of discomfort- to move an extra 27 lbs around when I hardly have the stamina (after four years of minimal sleep) to get myself around the house all day?

I don't know.

Plus, it still doesn't solve the greater question of what is eating at him. I imagine that it hasn't been easy to adjust to getting a younger sibling. However, though when both of them are present Mia usually takes priority, when she's not he definitely gets the lion's share of my attention. I know that he hates getting separated from his father, but he still sees him far more- throughout the day and in general- than most kids have a chance to see their own. I've observed that he tires of spending all day in the basement, but he's been getting equally irritable on the afternoons this week that I've given him the run of the living room instead.

Underneath it all, it seems that he's always tired- so very tired. However, he's getting nearly twelve hours of sleep overnight now, and though he doesn't nap for as long as he probably needs to, I'm not sure I have the power to make him do so. I'm contemplating taking him back to a two-nap schedule, though he's well past the age where he should really need one.

Beyond that, I suppose that all I can do is respond to the best of my ability, and have patience.

In the meantime, I'll really be missing my (mostly) happy boy. I hope he comes back to me soon.