Thursday, February 9, 2012

After the fire...

It's been an interesting week.

I'm not ashamed to admit that I've been at my wits end with my W as of late. There's something inside of me that has been churning; buttons that are being pressed over and over again. Patience is running dry and I've been craving moments to myself to just rethink and process.
My boy is 30 months and actively exploring his boundaries and the world around him. His body is changing. He's been waking during nap and bed time causing me much lost sleep and time to complete work for my other job which really tends to set me back emotionally. I've been at the receiving end of much hitting and slapping, and I'm not just talking flailing arms here while he's upset.
What does it feel like to get smacked in the face? What do you feel instantly?
I usually feel annoyed and like I have to just put him down and walk away.
This week I feel like screaming "NO!" I become angry, which is a very real emotion for me.
All of this coupled with fighting naps, general crankiness, and him screaming "NO!" right back at me (ironic!) makes for a challenging week in every way.
I felt tired of sitting in the rocking chair for an hour before bedtime, tired of him nursing all throughout the night and pulling on my nipples (ouch. That never doesn't hurt like hell.), tired of him crying for me all throughout the night.
Amidst my frustration and building anger, I totally skipped over the realization that he may be getting sick. Or teething. Or picking up on my negative emotions.
Yesterday, he woke from a short nap with a 102 fever and vomited all over me. And for the rest of the evening. He needed to be held all night...and I felt myself softening once again.
I felt a little bit guilty, but mostly...revived. Revived by the real reminder that this little body needs me for so many different reasons and things... that I need to be a solid rock, yet a soft landing to arrive at when he needs it most. I felt his body close to mine, like a hot oven burning, and smelled his hair. Yes, this is it. 

I see him so miserable and reaching out and I realize over again that I want to hold him. I want to rock him. Maybe I don't feel this way all the time, but that's ok, too.
Many people may believe that being a stay-at-home parent or working with young children is not such a difficult role. Truth is, and I think you'll agree, it can be physically and emotionally exhausting. Everyday, you're giving so much of yourself---your soul, your heart, your body, your very being, to these children who live in this difficult world where they face so many challenges. They can take so much from you, but you're willing to give it. Sometimes we fall off the train...or we willingly get off...but we always jump back on.

W's fever is still burning, although he was in better spirits for some of the day today. He spent most of the evening slumped over on me, in the darkened living room. After a 103 degree fever last night, it's worth mentioning that he awoke with a somewhat different voice. His usual way of saying "yeah"...turned into a definitive "yes." seemingly overnight. His voice sounded mature and his sentences more formed. I have read that many children experience developmental changes after a high fever, so this was interesting to me. I noticed this right away.

Through difficult times, I have been practicing connecting with W's guardian angel and the spiritual world around me. (see a detailed excerpt of the book I've been reading and considering here) This practice does help me through the realization that I will always need help and guidance in caring for this young child, and any child who is in my care.

“Remember daily that you are continuing the work of the spiritual world with the children. You
are the preparers of the path for these young souls who wish to form their lives in these difficult times. 
The spiritual world
will always stand by you in this task. This is the wellspring of strength which you so need.”
~Herbert Hahn
(taken from this fantastic article" Birth to the Age of Three: Our Responsibility"-- a wonderful and important read.)


  1. Thank you, this has been very timely for me too this week.

  2. I just thought I would comment on the hitting and scratching. Our 22 month old went through a similar stage a month ago - we were moving states and she had her routine totally upset. In the end we set some strong boundaries - if you hit Mummy or Daddy (or scratch or bite or try to break their glasses) you go to your room. We usually only put her in for 20 to 30 seconds but the behaviour stopped within a couple of days. Well, we had a repeat at Kindergym this week, but I think she was just really tired (something about partying in your cot for an extra two hours). In that instance, I just put her on the floor - I will not hold her if she is trying to hurt me, and then we went and sat on the sidelines until she had calmed down.

  3. Well my friend you are so right on things!working with kids can be tiring. They have their different stages.
    hope your little w feels better soon.

  4. Great post. I never like to hear about little ones being sick, but it does happen and I am glad to hear he is on the mend (and you, too!). Sometimes things have to hit that crescendo before they shift and improve.

  5. Sorry to hear your sweet boy has been ill. I hope he is feeling better soon. As mama's we certainly are our children's world. It is such a big job and I understand how you feel. The saying 'it takes a village to raise a child' is so true. Once upon a time in these situations, there would have been an aunty, mother or some other person to help out when needed. I hope you have someone to help you out in some way and that you can take things a little easy at this time. Sending you much light and love, Jacinta

  6. AWE! I have definitely been there. You are such an amazing mama. Just remember to take care of yourself! Peace!

  7. Thank you for this. My little girl (25 months) is going through behavior like this now, and I tend to beat myself up about it, blaming myself because I am a WOHM. Reading this, I realise that it is just her age & stage, something all children will go through.

  8. r,
    you are so brave to share such moments, i really connect with these hard times too. it is so difficult to watch the cuddle sweet little child become so aggressive at times. thank you for putting this out there!
    also have you tried lemon leg wraps for fever?
    i have a great recipe that has worked WONDERS for our family.
    here's hoping W and mama are in tip top shape soon!

  9. Parenting is tough, it really is. But you are not doing W.any favors by allowing him to hit you, slap you, and pull on your nipples. Firm and loving boundaries can be comforting and helpful for a young child who's really testing the limits of behavior. It doesn't mean we don't love them most tenderly (especially when they are sick!). It does mean that we help them learn acceptable behavior.

  10. Oh mama! I have been there!! Just when you think, "What is going on with my kid??!!" then you notice their little rosy cheeks and the dark circles under their eyes and a little light goes off in your head. One time I thought my little one was being a super picky eater and super whiney, and then I realized she had an excruciating sore throat with ulcers all along the back of her throat! ( She had hand foot and mouth disease, and here I was thinking she was being whiney. mom of the year, right?) Lots of snuggles and smelling her sweet toddler head later, I didn't feel like such a failure. How right you are!!

  11. Hope he feels better soon. You might consider doing away with the naps and putting him to bed very early. We switched to that with both children rather early (2 and half or so) and we had a few weeks of cranky at 5:30 or so but after that is was an amazing turn around. At "nap time" we did a rest time instead - look at book in bed or on the sofa, etc. Good luck - some ages/phases can be so hard.

  12. Sending little W healing vibes and sending you, Mama, some extra patience and guidance. You are an amazing Mama to look so deeply in yourself and to see W for a whole being.

  13. I hope he is feeling better now. Funny how changes come after a fever - Ted also ran a temperature of over 103 last week, it was a difficult couple of days.

    It is really hard to be on the receiving end of being hit, kicked (etc) and yes, I know that feeling of anger at times (nothing like being headbutted in the nose to make you really struggle to maintain your composure!)

    But children have to learn somehow, even if it's hard to remind ourselves of that at times! Those boundaries become increasingly important as the child starts to challenge the relationship to their mother (and others) and discover their place in the world.

  14. Best of wishes to W and you. I hope he is feeling better now. Take care.

  15. ohhh... poor little sprite ... so sorry to hear that W is not well ... as for the hitting -- it can be a challenging stage when the wee ones are discoverying all the types of energy they can create with their bodies... positive and otherwise .... with your positive guidance steadfast in his little world he will soon learn that positive energy feels best to him and his little body ... much light and peace to you and your little sprite as he makes a speedy recovery.... hugs

  16. Hoping that W is on the mend. My three boys and I have been sick too. It can be a big challenge to stay focused on parenting goals. Hugs to you and your family.

    Following the nasty tummy bug last week, my four year old started printing and copying everything. He has started to make books and seemingly has made many changes. He did not experience the high fever, but the illness was one of his roughest.


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