Monday, February 6th, 2012
I hate the sentence I’m about to write. But I’m going to do it anyway.
My two-year old is “mad” at me.
It sounds so lame. I promised myself I wouldn’t be one of those parents who project adult emotions on a toddler. But here I am.
It began the day I came home from the hospital with Emmett. Even though we had prepped Fia all about a baby brother coming into her world, she clearly hadn’t grasped it. How could she? I can barely grasp the magnitude of how one’s body “makes life,” so I surely can’t expect a 2-year old to fully comprehend.
But from the moment I stepped in the door something had changed. While excited about Emmett, she was aloof with me. She didn’t want me to hold her. She did, however, want to hold Emmett. She was clingy with Phil and her grandparents. With me, she ignored.
I thought, What have I done? I have destroyed the relationship that matters most to me in this world. (Another sentence I cringe at while writing. Seriously. But remember there are some raging hormones here too.)
I panicked that things would never be the same. That a “new normal” had set in. One I didn’t like. My mother-in-law, my best friend and my aunt all assured me Fia’s behavior was normal. They cited examples from their own childrearing experiences.
But they must not have had the connection with their kids I have with Fia, I thought hopelessly.We are symbiotically entwined.
Phil took Fia on a walk and asked her, “Are you mad at mama?” In her little voice, she squeaked, “Yes.” Then he asked if she was mad at baby brother. “No” she said.
Upon hearing this, my heart broke a little more. Yes, I’m putting a lot of stock in those two words, “yes/no” but having a new baby is a seismic shift in all our lives–and I do believe she feels a bit jolted and unable to express herself. Again, she’s 2.
Time, is what my mom friends told me. Give her time.
So I have. And it’s getting better. I’m getting my Fi back a little more each day. And my heart too.
I still can’t hold her, which is tough. “Mama hold you,” she pleads. I tell her to come sit on my lap.
I took a bubble bath with her the other night. I washed her hair and she dumped water on me. A welcome sign that normal was coming back.
What does seems to be her new MO of “not-so-fun-normal” is to go from 0-10 in a matter of seconds. She will throw herself on the floor, screaming, crying–real tears and all–because I brought her an apple-banana squeezie and not a yogurt. Such tragedy. Again, since I can’t physically pick her up, I have to wait patiently for her to stop wailing, then explain, distract or relent–depending on the enormity of the issue at hand.
I know this is typical 2-3 year old behavior. Hers just happened to coincide–or was instigated–by Emmett’s arrival.
She has also just spent the last 2 weeks being showered with attention from Phil’s parents. She and his mom were inseparable (his mom is like the grandmother everyone wants to have). So when they left yesterday, she experienced another jolt in her little life.
Again, all normal stuff I’m told. And I have no choice but to go with it. Kids are far more resilient than we are. I have to remember that. And to continue to tell Fia that I have her heart. And I’ll never let go.