November 6, 2006

Riley seems to have entered a new and charming stage of toddlerdom that involves lots and lots of whining. Whining, crabbing, and spiraling rapidly downward into complete and utter meltdowns when he can’t get his way.

Example: he has this toy car thing he walks behind and pushes. Lately, as he’s pushing it around the living room, if he comes up against an immovable object he stands there turning bright red and making this horrible noise that sounds as though a woodchuck – or, I don’t know, a beaver? – is being violently crammed into a sausage machine, producing some kind of…beaver…sausage…anyway, it’s a fucking obnoxious sound is my point, and then he usually bursts into frustrated sobs, staggers around blindly in his unending sorrow, and likely as not he then hits his head on something because tantrums = clumsy and hoo boy, that’s when he REALLY gets going.

Other things that seem to really, really piss him off: diaper changes, clothing changes, changes in number of oxygen molecules per square inch (some things we have to guess at), food that displeases him (don’t go thinking that just because waffles worked in the morning, they’re going to work later in the day because NEIN!), being put down, being picked up, having one of us walk out of the room, having the remote pried out of his grip, naps, bedtime, and the election process.

I thought dealing with a small baby was trying, patience-wise. Oh, those were the salad days compared to the Horrible, Terrible, No Good Very Bad Toddler he can be now. I never thought I’d tell my 14 month old to shut the hell up, but uhh….I’ve said it more than once lately, usually hissed (lovingly) over my shoulder while my fingers grip the steering wheel hard enough for my metacarpals to burst out of my skin and I stare at a sea of red lights that won’t get OUT OF MY WAY don’t they know I have a CRANKY-ASS TODDLER who is jacking his whine up to ELEVEN for the love of CHRIST my head is going to explode just like in SCANNERS.

I read an article recently about a mother whose 18-month-old ended up using a braid of hair from a wig as his “lovey” (the thing they drag around everywhere, like Linus and his blanket) after a long, stressful car trip where she laid her head in his lap to comfort him and he got all attached to her hair.

Okay, if I put my head in Riley’s lap while he was in one of his Moods, I might not get it back. I’d definitely have to sacrifice any eyeball or something. When he’s tantruming neither JB nor I can comfort him with affection, that is absolutely not what he wants. If you give him a toy he’ll throw it. If you offer him food he’ll smack it away. If you pick him up you better use your go-go-Gadget arms because he’ll squirm and shove and go all boneless-chicken-limp to get down where he can more properly collapse in a heap and scream.

That article made me kind of sad, because I wish he could take comfort from me like that when he’s upset. I wish he felt like Mama makes it all better, instead of viewing me as yet another tortuous annoyance that must be shoved aside because OMG GET OUT OF MY FACE MOM.

Isn’t he a little young to be rejecting me? I expected this in his teen years but come ON. And if this is what we’re dealing with at 14 months, just what do those Terrible Twos have in store? Jesus.

I don’t want to make it sound like it’s all just one neverending parenting nightmare right now, so let me also say that he is getting more and more fun, more delightful. He reads books with us and says “duck” and laughs with joy when we roll his truck back and forth with him. Last night I gave him a Quaker Oats container and he was over the moon, walking around banging on it and putting plastic keys inside it and shaking it and just basically going batshit with happiness. He is insanely curious and makes these soft whispering “teh teh teh” noises when he finds something new to explore. He still calls shoes “ba ba” but will bring them to me when I ask him to, a mini butler jolting his way towards me on stiff zombie legs.

But oh, I can’t lie, it’s also hard, hard, hard. I’ve never known someone who can infuriate me so and yet who holds my heart in their tiny starfish hand.

Comments

58 Responses to “Bumps in the road”

  1. Tricia on November 8th, 2006 6:24 am

    Tiny Starfish Hand.

    I love that.

    *sigh* makes me forget all the other stuff you said and go “awww i want a baby too!’

    I should re-read maybe? :P

  2. katie d on November 9th, 2006 12:53 pm

    Beaver. Heh!

    Aw, he isn’t rejecting you. You’re like Scarecrow. He loves you most of all. That woman going around lying her head in her baby’s lap is obviously a freak. Most of the mothers *I* know would lose an ear if they did that. Babies want to put their heads in your lap, if there’s any lap-heading to be done, not the other way around. I can honestly say that would never, ever occur to me as something an upset child would enjoy.

    Cheer up, Scarecrow. Maybe he’s just now grasping the concepts of no and not. As in, “no, that chair will not levitate out of your path just because you wish it.” I imagine that can be upsetting to a small being with perceived super powers. :)

  3. jen on November 17th, 2006 6:57 pm

    My son turned 14-months old today and I googled ‘horrible tantrums 14-month old” and was directed here. Jack was the sweetest, most easy going baby and now has begun having these insane tantrums every few nights. He is also advanced for his age- knows many words and hangs out in the preschool class more than his toddler class- so I’m thinking this is the terrible 2s early. God-I just hope this isn’t the beginning. How can it get worse? I look like a battered wife- he loves to pinch and twist the skin on my neck and chest, bite my shoulder impossibly hard, slap me, pull my hair, etc.. He can be the sweetest, loving thing- but these tantrums every few days are insane. Tonight he was dive-bombing across the room, throwing himself backwards and sobbing and screaming uncontrollably. I just let him go for it and sat on the edge of the bathtub and watched from afar. He finally tired himself out- i gave him some milk and he passed out in my arms. My husband came home and thought he looked like an angel. Ha! i am guessing this is the Irish-Italian side of him flaring up.

  4. Marilyn on November 18th, 2006 11:35 am

    For some reason I’ve yet to fathom (or decipher) I can’t get your feed to come up in my Bloglines account, so even though yours is one of my all-time favorite blogs, I haven’t been here in months. Because if it ain’t in Bloglines, baby, chances are my 51-year-old head will forget about it! But Bloglines is down at the moment, so I resorted to my old Yahoo bookmarks…and there I saw it…”Oh, SUNDRY!” I LOVE SUNDRY!” So here I am catching up…and clearly it’s been awhile since I visited, because I was expecting the usual heart-overflowing-with-love photos of Riley (who must surely be one of the cutest kids on the internet)…and find instead that he’s become his evil twin. :) But it’s nice to know that Mommy hasn’t lost her sense of humor.

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