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Am I weird for finding it easier to parent my toddler now than it was when he was an infant? He *tells me what he's thinking* now, and can help me to fill his needs in all kinds of small ways, can understand simple explanations I give him, and can amuse himself at least for a few minutes. He's such a little person, and I feel more like I have a real, give-and-take relationship with him. I enjoy his company so much most of the time, and can handle the whole toddler "thing" with perfect equanimity, oh, I'd say nine days out of ten (the tenth day would be the one where neither of us got enough sleep, DS refuses to get dressed without a huge wrestling match, it's raining, DH is late getting home from work, etc...)

When he was an infant, he seemed like a little alien creature to me. He screamed for months and was so hard to soothe, and even when not actually screaming he seemed determined to drain me of absolutely everything I had to give. It took a continual, moment-by-moment act of will for me to be empathetic and responsive to him.

Obviously part of this was about his neediness as an infant. But a lot of it is about me. Am I just not a "baby person?" I tend to enjoy and empathize with other peoples' toddlers, too, including the ones that make DS cry


I don't know... this seems to be very different from so many peoples' experiences. Being responsive to my infant was basically an intellectual choice for me, and a difficult one to live up to; on the other hand it comes pretty naturally to me to:

Minimize separation from my toddler

Whenever possible allow time and space for him to do things at his own pace and in his own way

Listen to him when he talks

Talk to him, too - in ways that help him to negotiate his world

Lots and lots of touching, cuddling, reading books, nursing

Anticipate and allow for his needs, especially in situations or places that don't really accommodate children

Try to understand and respect his view of the world

Obviously I am not thrilled when he has a meltdown, but... I dunno... I don't feel threatened by it, I don't experience it as being *about me.* So it's easier to calmly say, I'm sorry you're so frustrated, I'll be right here when you want me... I actually found it much harder to deal with the crying jags he had as an infant, because it was my job to "fix" those, yk?

I think I am both rambling, and hijacking the thread. Sorry.
 
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