difficult phases

Dear Eddie,

Oh my little buddy.  We are entering a difficult time.

You are at that rough age of two-but-not-quite-three.   You want so badly to do things by yourself, on your own, without help.  You want things done your way, on your schedule.

You struggle to communicate your wants, and when we have to say “no,” you struggle with how to show your anger and frustration at not getting your way.

It hurts my heart to watch you go through this phase.

Sometimes the minute you come through the door after getting home from daycare our push and pull starts. I will ask you if you had fun and you will shout, “NO!”

I will tell you I missed you and you will yell, “NO!”

I’ll try to hug you and you will pull away and tell me, “NO TALK A ME, MOM.”

I know you’ve had a big day.  I know you were probably cheery and fine for 95% of that big day.  And I know you are tired.

So you will get your juice from the fridge.  And if it is not full enough, you will want to pour your own.  And I will say no.  And you will slap the couch or coffee table and take off for the nursery all the while sobbing, “I JUS WANNA JUICEY. NO JUICEY FOR EDDIE. MOMMY NO JUICEY. I WANNA JUICEY.  WAAAAAAAAAAA.”

You are so much like I was at that age.

It makes Grandma and Grandpa giggle.

It makes me smile too, because I can actually remember being an over dramatic, whiny child.

But at the same time, something inside me breaks when you just can’t find a good thing in this world to smile about.  I search you for my sweet little boy.  My Eddie Bear.  And he is not there.

He is replaced by a sad, frustrated, anger ball of a toddler.

I try to stay calm.  I let you stomp to the nursery, but I know you are also frustrated because all your things are moving downstairs.

I hate this that phase–and I know it’s a phase–is aligning with you becoming a Big Brother.

Things are changing and you both love and hate it.

You are so eager to help with Charlie and to know when he will be here and to tell people about him.

But you hate that you can’t sit in his infant tub or play with his bottles or lay on his activity mat.

You want to do things yourself and be a Big Boy.

But you don’t want to give up your spot as my Baby either.

This week, while daddy was in class, you and I rocked in the nursery before bed.  You asked me to sing the ABC’s, so I did. Then you asked me about some of baby Charlie’s things that are piling up in the nursery.

I answered your questions.  Then there was silence.

In that silence, you nuzzled your face closer to me and put Lamby up to your nose.

I leaned in and said, “Hey Eddie.  Guess what?”

And you looked up and went, “huh?”

“You are so very special to me, do you know that?”

And a smile spread behind your pipey.

“You will always be so special and important to me.  Do you know why?”

“Why, Mommy?  Why?”

“Because of you, I am a mommy!  You turned me into a mommy!  Did you know that?”

“Yeah.”

Of course you have no idea.  But you seemed happy about it.

The next day you were a bit of a grizzly bear again.

You have even yelled at Renae at daycare…something you have never done.

I know it’s hard growing up.  I do.  And I wish I could say that once you get past this phase, it gets easier.

But it doesn’t.

Life and phases happen all the way from two years old until…well…I don’t think it ever ends, bud.

But know this:  Your Daddy and I know you are a sweet, kind boy.  You make us proud in so many ways.  You are so smart and funny and amazing.

And while we know you are going through a phase, we want you to know that we will do our best to understand and guide you through it so you can be better for it.

That doesn’t mean it’s OK to throw things or hit when you are frustrated.  It means we will show you healthy ways to express your frustration.

Like knowing you need to go sit in the rocking chair for awhile, and being able to tell us, “I AM ANGRY RIGHT NOW, MOMMY!”

You are making good choices, my little friend.  Most of the time.

And we will get through this.

I promise.

I will love you forever, you know.  No matter what or who comes along.

Love, Mommy

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