There are few things in life that give you equal parts joy and frustration; one of these things is raising a toddler. Baby T is 21 months and has settled into her spunky little personality. Independence is her new favourite activity and most of the time it’s pretty adorable but sometimes it’s a whole new test on patience you didn’t even know you had.
Temper tantrums are not for the faint of heart and every child is different so dealing with them is different for everybody. I like to think we handle Baby T’s tantrums well but then sometimes they go on and on I start to doubt my abilities (and sanity). We just make sure she’s in a safe space where she can let it out and we stay close by without giving the tantrum the attention she’s looking for.
We try to let her know that being upset it normal and okay, we all do it we just express it a little differently. Once she’s calmed down we’ll get her some water and give her a little cuddle. Kids are still humans with feelings they just don’t have the vocabulary to express them yet, so they express being upset and frustrated the only way they know how.
Sleep regressions can also hit hard at this point. It feels like Baby T hasn’t had a normal sleep (by normal I mean going to sleep on her own and sleeping through the night) in over a month. Unfortunately camping once a month through the summer has definitely not helped as she doesn’t go to sleep on her own in the trailer. By the time we build up to sleep training it’s time to go on another trip.
Sleep training a toddler who can say “no” when you tell her to lie down and go to sleep is one of the most frustrating defeating things I’ve ever done. I can’t even say it’s been successful or that it works because honestly it hasn’t yet. It’s been a lot of sleepless nights, sitting in her room or rocking her until she falls asleep and being so tired we just bring her to bed with us because she falls asleep faster which means we get to too.
I feel like I had pretty good patience before, even better when she was a newborn, but the patience you have to develop and force yourself to use with a toddler is way more than I even though possible.
Like I said though, equal parts joy and frustration. The joy we get from Baby T learning a new skill, learning new words and phrases or even just seeing her thriving and smiling far overshadows the frustrations. So even on the days where it feels like I’m on my last thread of sanity she does something that makes me laugh or smile and it’s like hitting the reset button. Every day is different and gets even better than the last, and that’s what raising a toddler is like.