Zero to meltdown in three point two seconds. At least, that’s how it seems in the World of Toddler. It’s the moment between drop-kicking a dinosaur to see what will happen, and crying in outrage when the dinosaur lands on an offended toe. The line is very narrow, with little opportunity for Mommy foresight.
Much to my consternation.
In a split second, one wrong move, stern word, or pointed look ruins my tiny human’s entire world, inducing a mountain of snot, tears, and the need for Mommy to soothe the hurt away. Even if Mommy is the person who creates the deep wound of toddler exhaustion.
My task, somehow, is to straddle that line, and minimize the epic meltdowns. Tonight it did not happen. And, if I’m being honest, our entire day has been one tired fit after another.
See, any night that Tiny Tot refuses to pay heed to Mommy’s stern nighttime rituals, an unhappy, displeased, grumbly bear embodies his spirit. Usually starting the next day.
Naps do not help the situation. I know; I’ve tried.
It is only a full night’s sleep that can morph him back into my crazy, smiling kid. Which means today’s fits of displeasure are entirely my fault. Mommy didn’t get someone to bed on time last night.
With the holiday season fast approaching, and the nights stretching out before us, I am trying to start a movie night tradition. It places a strain on the bedtime routine, though. Especially when I am late in cleaning up dinner, and starting the movie. Time management is apparently not my forte.
Last night the time definitely got away from me. I know that seven is too late to start a movie, but I also promised the little one that he could watch The Dog Who Saved Halloween. Mommy still learns on a daily basis, but I do know that when I make a promise, I must keep it.
Any one that makes a promise to a toddler, and then snatches that promise away, knows the feeling of scorned outrage. Fury is probably a better word. Brimming hellfire? That adjective also fits in nicely.
Yes, I am sometimes ruled by toddler. Luckily, the stage doesn’t last long, and I see the end in sight.
So last night when I click on the movie–because Mommy made the promise– I say, “The movie is going off in one hour, and we are getting into bed.”
What I forget to do is that Mommy diligently watches the clock. I didn’t. I really love tiny snuggles, and my tiny human wanted to watch the movie with a blanket around him, tucked under my arm.
Melt my heart, please.
So, the tired, grumbling toddler is entirely my fault. Which is why I did not get upset with him today when he threw himself down at the park. It is also why I did not push him to stay on the phone with his daddy tonight. And it is also the reason I coddled him excessively when the dinosaur injured his toe.
When Tiny Tot smiles, the entire world follows suit. But, when he is cranky, there is not one person left doubting his mood. My tiny son wears his heart on his sleeve, and the tired in his eyes.
Though we are climbing into bed a little later tonight–dinosaur floor puzzles are entirely too much fun–the moment my tiny human’s head touches the pillow, he is out. One moment we are saying our prayers, the next I am saying, “Son son? Who do you want to God Bless?” and am answered with a loud snore.
Play hard, cry hard, laugh hard, sleep hard.
All I can do as a Mommy, is try to keep the fine balance between carefree and cranky in check.
For my own sanity.