Patience, patience, patience. I am generally patient with others. Not so much with myself (Hmmm, not so much with my husband either, but by the exigencies of marriage I am improving). Oh, but would I have grasped the magnitude! Nothing tests the holding power of ones composure better than the expanding mind of a toddler. What happens if I throw this at mommy? ...Repeatedly?
Right now she is just starting to try to find her limits. Or, should I say, to find my limits. I had mentioned a week ago that we were definitely entering the realm of Toddlerhood. Some of it is just when she is tired. Like her lunch time meltdown today which was a little drawn out. Other things are happening more frequently. Like her insurgent increase in volume. I walked away from her and my mom in a bakery and was a little disarmed by the realization of the carrying power of her demanding "Ta. TA. TAAA!" I am working on please. Really.
She's louder. She's more opinionated. She has a powerful arm and impeccable aim. And she's assessing my reaction to everything. I sincerely know she is not being bad. She is supposed to be doing what she is doing. She is learning about boundaries, reactions, communication. So I try to calmly repeat myself. Redirect her. Stay positive.
Right now I am exhausted. I found that my tolerance for unrelated little things, like the hanger not coming out of the closet easily, has lessened. And after I washed my hair tonight I stared blankly in the mirror. What side of my head do I always part my hair? No idea! The little things are hastily escaping my mind. I definitely need adequate sleep to keep my serenity-tank full and my thought-processor somewhat operational. I will never judge the deficient actions of other mothers. They deserve a pat on the back.
I have heard many mothers talk about their buttons being pushed. Their composure being chipped away. Their educated game plan dejectedly floundering. Before, I would have thought about how hard I would work on manners and respect to keep it smooth, but I learned early on that you can't train someone whose brain is still so primitive. Like I have said before, I give growing tots credit for how amazingly fast their mind stretches. They can't learn it all at once!
So as she grows I have no choice but to augment my capacity as well so that I can work with her. When someone goes to the gym and pushes the limits their muscles grow stronger. So my patience muscle will improve over this time spent alongside this fascinating but emotionally overwhelmed, neanderthalic scientist, whom I love so intensely. Won't it?