Amelia: 123 weeks & Margot: 25 weeks
Mila has been facing some interesting challenges since Margot was born.
For a while, she had nightmares or night terrors about 45 minutes into her naps. I was at my wits’ end, trying to soothe a child who seemingly could not be comforted, and get her to sleep enough during the day so she wouldn’t be a heinous hellbeast all afternoon…all while unsuccessfully trying to feed Margot and protect her naps too.
Then she went through a phase where she was purposely hurting people so she could apologize. That was baffling, and more than a little irritating. Or she would be mildly defiant and, when we didn’t react the way she thought we should, her mild defiance would turn into a full-blown meltdown.
Then she stopped sleeping during the day entirely. Every time someone would even hint at napping or sleeping or even just laying down, she would scream, “I DON’T TAKE NAPS!!!” And most of the time, she didn’t. When she did, though, she’d sleep for like three hours, so I knew she still needed the rest. She just refused to admit it.
Somewhere in there, she stopped eating. I mean, obviously she was getting some food and drink in her, since I was still changing her diapers and, you know, she didn’t die, but it wasn’t enough. Her eyes were hollow and I could see her ribs.
And that’s not even the half of it. Needless to say, the last few months have been rough for all of us. When Mila is tired and hungry, she turns into a gremlin. She keeps Margot from sleeping, which makes her grumpy, which in turn makes me grumpy, which in turn makes David grumpy.With all the other stressors we’re dealing with (Margot’s screaming, David’s work, my work, a house that can’t seem to clean or renovate itself for some reason, just to name a few) we’re kind of riding the ragged edge these days.
She’s a sweet kid. She’s smart and funny and weird and I truly can’t get enough of her. But even as we solve some problems–most of the ones I’ve mentioned aren’t issues anymore–new ones pop up. We still have too many power struggles, and she throws plenty of tantrums, and there are moments when I am so frustrated I want to spank her little bum just to give her a “real” reason to cry. I forget sometimes that she’s still only two; I can only expect so much from her.
Why am I even telling you this? It’s a little embarrassing, even if it is the truth. Thing is, I want to remember–and I think you should know–that even when you have the most well-behaved, precious kid in the world, being a mom is hard. It’s a constant struggle to get to know my child, and I will probably never stop trying to figure out what is best for her based on her individual temperament and specific needs. I have to reassess the way I do things ALL THE TIME.
And honestly, I will probably never get it 100% right. Mila may will probably continue to have days when she freaks out for no good reason, and there’s not a thing I can do differently to prevent it. Margot, bless her chubby heart, will likely be an entirely different beast with her own set of challenges. Children have brain damage, y’all. But while I may not be able to fix everything, I can still try to fix what I can. And I intend to.