Posted in Parenting

Don’t Dress the Toddler When You’re Hungry

Most of the time, my son is absolutely adorable.  I mean, how can you not love the quest for independence, the tender love he has for his sister, his charming smile and big blue eyes or his profound fascination with vehicles?  Heck, even the mini (and not so mini) tantrums he throws in an effort to develop (and showcase) his assertiveness are adorable in their own way.

There are some moments, though, where I’m just too tired or hungry or hormonal to put up with his antics.

You see, my son seems to think that anytime is good for playtime.  Of course, that can be explained by the fact that, well, he’s a toddler.  He likes it when his father or I run after him and pretend we’re not able to catch him.  It’s a fun game, except when I’ve been sleeping in increments of 90 minutes, haven’t had breakfast yet and he decides to play this game when I have to get him dressed within a certain time frame as was the case last Friday.  Yikes!

I tried to be a good sport and be patient as I ran after him.  I tried to laugh with him as I caught him and brought him to his room.  I tried to distract him with his stuffed animals as I changed his dirty diaper to avoid the mother of all tantrums.  When that didn’t work out and I still had to suffer through the kicks and screams of a very vocal and unhappy toddler (which, on a side note, seems to be my cue to start potty training with him as it is a recurrent event), I tried to stay patient and calm with him.

But I could feel my own emotions starting to overwhelm me as I hung on to my last nerve for dear life.

I started to get him dressed, fighting him to get his clothes on as he alternated between going limp limp a rag doll, twisting and turning, kicking and screaming, trying to run away from me and generally doing everything in his power to make the seemingly simple task of putting a few pieced of clothes on him as hard as possible for me.  And then, as though he could feel that I was on the verge of losing it, he decided to find that last nerve of mine and trample it into nothingness.

And I cracked.

I cracked.  I yelled at him to stay put.  Yelled at him to stop moving around.  Yelled at him to listen to mommy.

And he did, through tears and his own voice screaming my name over and over again as I finished dressing him.  By the end of the near 20 minutes it took me to get him changed and dressed, we pretty much both looked like this:

P1000763I gave him a hug and a kiss and told him I loved him.  But I felt guilty.  Soooooo guilty at yelling at him like I did.  But it happened and I can’t go back in time.  And I am just human, perfection doesn’t exist.  All I can do is know that I love both my kids to death and hope to do better next time.

But damn, this parenting thing is hard some days.

Author:

Thirty-something year old discovering the joys and bumps of motherhood.

16 thoughts on “Don’t Dress the Toddler When You’re Hungry

  1. Nous sommes très bonnes les mères pour se culpabiliser pour plein de raisons… et il faut chasser ces pensées et comprendre qu’il peut arriver qu’on perde patience. Nous sommes humaines. Il faut se rappeler toutes les bonnes choses que l’on fait et se concentrer là-dessus et se dire que la prochaine fois on essaiera de faire mieux. Tu es une excellente mère Sophie… dans toute ton humanité… Imagine un enfant élevé par un robot:) Je t’aime xoxoxo

    1. C’est vrai que c’est très facile de se culpabiliser…pour plein de raisons! Les succès, les erreurs, les réajustements, cela fait partie intégrante du fait humain et par le fait même, du fait d’être parent. Moi aussi je t’aime, maman.

  2. Après la pluie, le beau temps, tu es radieuse et tu peux te permettre d’avoir des petits nuages d’impatience de temps à autre, la nature est magnifique après une bonne pluie, non ??? gm et gp – bonne nuit

  3. Aw, you are a great mom! And what a photo! I know I have those moments. I never know what they understand but I always tell my kids just what’s up…mommy didn’t get enough sleep last night or the baby is so fussy it made me sad and frazzled or I was in a terrible hurry because we are late or I am behind in all my work and I am sorry–but we just had to get XYZ done!” My older kids now just look at me, smile, give me a hug and say “It’s okay mom.” When my husband gets the daily review, he’s like,”Umm…You think their boss won’t yell at them?” And he grins at me cheering me up. Sorry for the reminiscing book. 🙂

    1. We all have those moments, don’t we? I think it’s a great idea that you put into words what caused your frustration, even if they have a limited understanding when they are younger. I will definitely start doing that. I always try to put words on what my son is feeling when he gets angry or sad so putting words on what I’m feeling only makes sense.

      And I know your husband is right. They will get yelled at at some point in their life, if not by their boss, by others. But I’m not their boss, I’m their mama 😉

  4. Thor is in a very similar stage right now, it’s almost impossible to wrangle clothes or a clean diaper onto him. Sometimes John and I have to work together, one holding him down the other doing the diaper change. Potty training is looking better and better all the time. Thankfully Charles doesn’t seem to have mastered Thor’s latest trick, undressing himself and streaking through the house without warning. I’m glad it’s turned cold here, because suddenly the only way we can keep anything on Thor lately is to keep him in footy pajamas. That’s the one kind of outfit he hasn’t figured out how to escape from. Heaven help us when he figures that out.

    1. Oh my! I can’t help but chuckle thinking about Thor streaking proudly through the house. Thankfully, my little guy is more concentrated on learning how to get dressed (it can take him a loooong time to fall asleep at naptime sometimes because he insists on trying to get his pants on once the door is closed) than on getting undressed. And luckily, he’s not strong enough to detach the pressure buttons on his diapers…yet…

  5. Oh my gosh. I’m right there with you mamma. Some days are just torture! It’s so hard to “stay positive” and think through every disciplining moment, sometimes it just comes out! I was just trying to explain to my friend how I had this feeling the other day that I wanted to go back to work because I was feeling so emotionally and physically overwhelmed taking care of my 18 month old son, granted it was an awful day in which he bit my face when I was putting him in his car seat, I cried the whole way home. She of course fired back with the “it’s so much harder as a working Mom! I wish I could stay home all day.” It took everything I had not to just say shut the f* up! I worked full time until my son was 14 months, I’ve experienced both worlds, and let me tell you this world is definitely more demanding!
    I’ll be following you and your journey with your toddler, in hopes for inspiration on how to handle mine sometimes. Love your blog, it’s such a perfect outlet for us Mammas! Thinking of you!

    Jennifer

    1. I remember when I was pregnant with my son, my partner and I had discussed the possibility of me becoming a SAHM. When we realized that we wouldn’t make it financially, I was kind of bummed. And then came the maternity leave.

      We’re lucky enough ’round here that mamas can have up to 50 weeks paid leave. Let me tell you, I love my son to bits, but by the end of my leave, I was soooo ready to go back to work. I have so much admiration for SAHMs!

      Thanks for stopping by! Here’s to no more face biting.

  6. oOOooh. I have had those moments too. Both my 18month old and 3 year old just know how to rattle mommy! At least being so little, they probably won’t remember it, right?

    1. No, they probably won’t remember it 😉

      We all have those moments don’t we. Our littles seem to know us like the back of their hands. They have a knack to make our hearts melt and drive us completely nuts in a manner of minutes!

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