Bubba is going through something. We don’t exactly know what, but I can tell you that he is trying to show us in every single possible way that he can. My sweet boy has left the premises and the Gremlin has emerged.
The tantrums are mind blowing, and I haven’t the foggiest idea how he maintains his energy to keep them up. I get that toddlers have a lot of energy, but this is kind of amazing. I cannot count the number of times during the day that he flips out, but I’m guessing the average is about twice an hour. Screaming, yelling, sobbing, running, fist pumping, head rotating, nail spitting insanity. And then it stops, and he is the golden boy again.
I feel like I’ve tried everything. I’ve reprimanded and put him on time-outs, sent him to his room to “work it out”, proceeded with whatever task we needed to accomplish at the time be it using the toilet or getting out of the building. Then there are the moments when I dropped to the ground and embraced him, telling him to slow down, to breathe. Feeling his heaving sobs and sopping up his tears and snot with my clothes… and yet nothing has worked.
He tells me that he doesn’t like his sister. He doesn’t like his “New York Home”. He wants to go to Yiayia’s home in California (his grandmother- my mother). In that moment, I believe that is absolutely the truth… because sometimes that is exactly how I feel. That’s the thing about toddlers, they live in the moment. I have to remind myself of that constantly because then I realize that really, all he wants is his pacifier, or to watch his show, or to keep his pajamas on, or not eat his dinner, or not put his coat on. Honestly that’s pretty much all he gets worked up about. So unless I pull a giant Duplo castle out of my ass that very moment, he is only going to be satisfied with whatever it is that he wants in that moment. So, I’ve taken to just getting on his level and looking into his eyes and hugging him. It helps both of us.
I’ve felt so terrible for so long for ripping him away from all of his family and friends and all that is familiar to him. I, too, grew up on the other side of the country from my father and my entire family, and I know the way it feels. Granted, I was older and I knew better, but there is absolutely nothing in the world that compares to the feeling of having a team of loved ones cheering you on every step of the way. He has those things in abundance when we are in California- he can see, hear, smell and feel them. I see what it does for him and it is incredibly beautiful. Skype doesn’t do anything for him, unfortunately (though Birdie LOVES it), in fact it really sort of bugs him. I think that he is feeling that void right now, having been here in New York for one week after spending two in CA with constant attention from all sides. It breaks my heart to see him act like this, knowing that it probably has something to do with a lack of attention. This is our life though… there is Birdie, who also needs attention. There is lunch to be made, dishes to be cleaned, laundry to be done, groceries to be purchased. The moments in between I do my best to spend with him, but it isn’t enough right now. I know that when he gets through this phase, we all will be unscathed. That is my mantra, anyway.
Bubba will be turning three in about two weeks. I know, because I have reached out to my friends and Twitter for empathetic moms during these times and as it turns out, that there is a reason they call it the Terrible Threes. I was so naive to think that we would be so lucky to escape them! Bubba was always the perfect child though… mellow temperament, always happy, content and cooperative. I never, ever thought I would see him act this way. Birdie on the other hand, I know that I am in for it with her and I’ve accepted it and braced myself. Either way, I am counting my many blessings and every day is a new day.
By the way, if I ever start my own little blog mom club, I’m calling it the Band of Mothers. Looks like I have a new goal for 2010!