The challenging toddler years…

Is Tom actually a toddler anymore? Or does three count as a preschooler or something instead? Either way, he’s a far cry from the adorable 13 month old he was when I first started this blog and an even further cry from the tiny newborn in the picture on our desk.

To say that I have found the toddler years challenging would be a major understatement. Tonight, to take a fairly average example, I have told Tom off for hitting his (3 month old) sister, endured a whining marathon because I turned off the TV, and had a relatively lengthy argument about whether or not he had kissed his sister good night (He had. He just wanted to put off bedtime as long as possible so was insisting he hadn’t made the kissing noise, so it didn’t count). All this between 6.30 and 7.00 pm.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the bones of this boy. He’s bright and articulate and funny. He does crazy dances and tells me long stories and makes his dinosaurs pretend to take naps. Life wouldn’t be worth living without him. But he is also argumentative, willful and infuriatingly cheeky. No one can press my buttons the way he can.

Deep down though, I know the problem isn’t him. He’s a very normal toddler. If anything, he is actually more on the well behaved side, at least according to everyone else who knows him. The problem is me. Lack of sleep and the constant work of parenting a young baby are making me impatient, snappy, and sometimes scary-shouty. Instead of remaining calm and establishing firm limits, I’m losing my temper, shouting, and acting like a child myself. None of which helps Tom to behave well.

Something needs to change. And since Piper doesn’t look set to start sleeping better anytime soon, it isn’t going to be getting more rest…

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