I am not a good toddler mom.
There. I said it.
It’s not that I don’t like toddlers. Toddlerhood is actually one of my favorite stages. Lots of interesting brain development. They say the funniest things. And they’re so cute.
I just like to witness all that wonder from afar, preferably in children that belong to other people.
My daughter does have her adorable moments. When she’s not throwing chairs or kicking the cat or demanding chocolate, she’s really very sweet.
And then there is naptime. That’s the worst. Ever since the introduction of Le Big Girl Bed, it’s been a total shitshow. My shitshow. She yawns and yawns at the witching hour, but when naptime rolls around she just doesn’t want to sleep. She’d rather spend an hour or two just dancing around, jumping on her bed, or taking out all of the wipes, one by one by one.
You need to stay calm, says my husband. Okay. So I go through the entire nap routine speaking in soft, yoga-inspired tones. “Now is the time to sleep.” “Now is the time to rest.” “Now you are going to lie down in bed and rest.”
And then she starts kicking, hitting and laughing at me, at which point I yell — “NOW IS THE TIME TO SLEEEP!!! DON’T YOU GET IT??? IT’S NAP TIME. IT’S THE SAME MOTHER FUCKING THING EVERY DAY. NO SURPRISES. N-A-P NAAAAAAP!!!!! FUCKING NAP!
And then she laughs. Because the F-word is funny.
I tell myself that it’s her choice whether or not to sleep. All I can do is set up the conditions for a good nap. It’s her choice whether or not to go through with it, right? Then that lasts about ten minutes until I freak out again.
None of this is supposed to happen. I am supposed to be a seasoned parent. That’s the assumption under which I have been operating.
And that’s the mindset I was in when I went to my friend Cindy Kane’s book reading the other day. This is her book –
I looked at all of the new moms and little babies in the audience and at some level I felt like it’s perfectly reasonable for these moms to feel like they have no idea what they’re doing but I should NOT have that feeling.
And then I listened to Cindy tell some of her stories. I’ve read her blog before. I’ve read her book. But for some reason on that day it really hit me that there are times when we all have no idea what we’re doing. Even seasoned parents.
There are days of motherhood that suck. And it’s okay. Right?
Anyway, it’s not like I have three or even four kids. Then this kind of a shitshow would be really embarrassing.
I’m doing fine. Besides, preschool is just eleven short months away!