I adore my son. He's the most precious thing in the entire universe to me. Which is what makes this age so difficult.
Ever since he started running at 9 months old, he's been busy. But in the last few months busy has translated into mischevious. Add to that he's now stubborn and altogether too smart and you have a kid who's going to give his mom gray hair before it's all said and done.
The truth is, I'm probably not handling it very well so it could be more me than him, but I swear he brings me to the brink of tears at least once a day. Between the kicking, pinching and hitting I'm bruised and sore. And tired of being the evil ogre who has to punish him for those actions. But then he gives the sweetest kisses in the world and I think "This age really isn't so bad."
Of course I might not be so tired and cranky if he would sleep through the night. What happened to the boy who went down at 8:30 and woke at 7? Where did he go? Now I have boy who fights bed time, finally falls asleep and wakes twice sometimes three times a night, which means I spend half the night crunched up in a toddler bed trying to get him to sleep and the other half in my own bed getting pummled to bits by flying elbows and stray feet.
And who taught him that when he's done he should throw his food on the floor. That earns him more punishment, but it doesn't seem to deter him. I'm tired of looking around and seeing only spots on the floor and greasy handprints on my walls. I'm desperate for summer to really get here so we can actually go outside and maybe burn off some energy that doesn't include things like pulling every pair of mom's shoes out of the closet or emptying an entire dresser in .05 seconds or pulling furniture around to get into my desk and ending up with papers, pens, stickers, mail and everything else strewn everywhere.
Life was so much easier when he would just eat whatever snacks or food I made for him. Now he stubbornly refuses unless it's something he wants. Even worse, he's so independent I catch him trying to get stuff by himself the all the time! He repeatedly gets scolded and punished for climbling on the counters, and yet he still doesn't ask me for stuff, he just goes right back up there when I'm not looking. And when our power bill is twice as much this month because he's constantly standing with the fridge door open, emptying it as fast as he can I'm going to really come unglued.
I guess I'm fortunate that he doesn't throw tantrums. At least not often. No his favorite trick is to simply refuse. Like Monday in Wal-Mart. I didn't grab a cart because I only needed two things. We did great until we got close to the check out and he spied a display with beach toys. When I wouldn't let him run over there because we were in a hurry, he simply laid down on the floor. He didn't kick or scream or cry, he just laid there, dead weight, as I endured the horrified expressions and amused stares of onlookers for literally dragging him across the filthy floor on his stomach. (My arms were full, I couldn't carry him and I didn't know what else to do.)
I'm desperate for something, anything from anyone to give me a hint as what to do. I end up crying myself to sleep so many nights for all of my failings as a mother and wife and woman. I'm tired of feeling like this. I'm tired of living in a house that looks like a tornado hit it (I swear I'm going to meet my death tripping over matchbox cars.) I'm tired of mopping my floors only to have juice spilled on it within minutes. Or wiping my walls down only to have greasy hand prints magically reappear. I'm tired of being beaten and kicked by a boy who thinks it's funny and won't quit until he gets punished (and then of course breaks my heart with a pouty lip and big tears.) I'm just tired. Tired because I can't get a decent night's sleep even by my very low standards. I never felt old until I started spending the night getting beat up on by a toddler. Now I ache in the mornings. I'm tired of fighting him. Fighting to get him to eat, fighting to keep him off the furniture and out of the fridge, fighting to get him to let me brush his teeth, fighting to get him to sleep, fighting to get him to stay in his own bed. I'm just tired of fighting. The worse part is that it's making me feel like perhaps I'm not ready for another child. That maybe I don't even want another child because I don't know how I'll handle it when I can't seem to handle the one I've got. And that's the very worst feeling of all.