It was the worst of times. At the moment, we are experiencing a little bit of both in our home. Our daughter is close to 18 months old, and has been doing her best Dr. Jekyll and Miss Hyde impersonation lately.
One minute she is a sweet, adorable, happy child. The next, she has the ability to become, well, a monster! She can throw some serious tantrums. We have tried a number of different approaches to dealing with them, with varied results.
A great deal of the time, her meltdowns are caused by being tired or hungry. I can fix both those things. But sometimes I don't know the reason. The worst part for me is that the more she melts down, the more I feel like I am doing something wrong. Rationally, I know that is not true. This is simply the age and it is normal toddler behavior. But what does rationality have to do with motherhood anyway?
Once a tantrum has passed, she's fine and comes to me for a hug. All is well and life goes on. It's like I am on one big, emotional roller coaster. Being forced to ride against my will. In the back seat, where it can be scary because you can't see what is coming.
One thing I did not realize before I became a mom is that the notorious "Terrible Twos" often take place during a child's second year of life, between the age of one and two. From everything I have read, the behavior tends to peak at 18 months. My husband and I are hoping against all hope our daughter follows that pattern.
When trouble comes calling, I find myself missing the times when holding her, or putting her to the breast, solved pretty much all problems. I also long for her pre-mobile period, as those of you who follow this blog know.
There are so many wonderful things about this stage of my daughter's development, however. She is so much fun, and learning at an amazing pace. Overall, she is a happy child. I could become drunk on her laugh. It is the greatest laugh I have ever heard. Yes, these really are the best of times!