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It's 5:30 am. He-Beat has been awake for the past 30 mins and, unlike his sister, refuses to be convinced that another hour of sleep is worthwhile. After 30 mins of being kicked, head-butted and having my hair pulled, I announce that it's time for him to go back to his own bed. This announcement is greeted with tears and a tantrum. Crying inconsolably, I gather this small child into my arms and place him on his bed, feeling utterly defeated.
The past couple week has been a hard one. Both Beats are fighting colds and cutting molars, making them both incredibly sensitive and testing. Grey and I have been weathering many a meltdown, finding there are moments where the best thing to do is simply giving space to a child who is clearly overcome with emotion. He-Beat in particular has been trying. One moment all is well and he is happily playing, but with transitions or moments he is told "no" comes the meltdowns.
We've been warned about this stage; the "terrible twos" that don't end until they are around 4 yrs old. We've been told it is a trying period and given so much advice on how best to address this. Their teachers have also been wonderful with offering insight and reminding us that there are no red-flags because of this behavior. Still, it's been scaring me on a lot of levels. During some of these meltdowns, I have flashes back to the incidents I weathered with a child I worked with at their daycare who is 3 yrs older. A child who had similar meltdowns and tantrums, flying into rages at his peers in a manner that left so many worried about the physical safety of his classmates. How despite his intelligence, how emotionally stunted this boy is and how greatly negative his life is becoming because of it. I know it's completely unreasonable to make this comparison, especially since this behavior is to be expected during toddlerhood. Still, it's hard not to see the pattern.
The other level is a personal one as I also endeared being labeled a "difficult child" and still have emotional scars from it. And I worry about He-Beat being labeled the same way, suffering from all that comes with this stereotype.
A few weeks ago, I happened upon a post from a woman who confused similar fears. A note of warning, as this person is both a non-IF blogger and one who is very vocal about attachment parenting (lots of fuel here for anyone looking to start another version of the mommy wars), so proceed with caution with reading. But what this post did touch on nicely (and bravely) is the fear that surrounds raising a child who requires more. And though He-Beat doesn't have the same energy levels as her son, I found myself nodding along with a lot of her confession.
I goes without saying that I love both the Beats with my whole being. That all I want for both of them in this world is to grow and thrive, reaching their full potentials and following their dreams. Part of that, though, means facing all of this head on. Monitoring the tantrums and helping them both to learn how to manage these strong emotions and interacting with others. Still, I wasn't prepared for the emotions I would experience with all of this. The continual feelings of failure and guilt. The anger that would arise from my own memories of childhood and how unworthy I felt. And how desperately I want to prevent history from repeating itself.
Listen Up and then BE HEARD!
3 hours ago