Many of us have heard the Albert Eistein quote:
“Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. THAT’S relativity.”
I have heard this quote and pushed it to the back of my mind. Yes it makes sense, and I am well aware of how quickly time goes when you are doing things you enjoy. But what about how slowly time seems to go when you are struggling or going through things that are more difficult than fun?
I am learning that the toddler years are not my favorite. My squishy, sweet baby girl is turning into a tantruming toddler. Most of her tantrums are based around food right now. It doesn’t help that she does not have her language skills developed, so therefore she cannot tell me what she wants to eat. For now I guess a lot of times at what to give her for snack, and when I guess wrong, we have a meltdown. I try to be stern and just tell her to eat the snack I have given her, but then I realize that if she could talk and tell me what she wanted, then I wouldn’t give her the wrong thing on purpose and tell her to eat it. She is unable to communicate effectively with me, and it causes a lot of stress and tension between us.
This summer was a completely different summer than last year. More playing, less napping. More giggles and fun, less snuggles. More tantrums, less go with the flow. I know this is just what toddlers do. Everything I know about early childhood development runs through my head. I know she has so many new feelings happening and no way to communicate them besides crying or smiling/laughing. I know that I do not need to punish for the behavior of not being able to communicate with me…
But man did I want to just sit her in her crib, and give us both the chance to have a good, long cry. Her lack of language skills has been a very tough challenge so far. She is progressing and has made tremendous growth this summer, but the frustration for both of us is still there.
I had heard a quote a while back, (and I believe Hubs had also mentioned it to me at one point) and it could not be a more accurate description of the summer I have had…
Every day that we struggled this summer, every day that we had a tantrum, every day that we couldn’t communicate, every day that I felt I wasn’t doing a good job… Those days crept by as slow as possible. I counted down until Hubs came home from work, and I had some relief. Those days had early bedtimes. Those days had tears from us both. Those days were ones I wanted to wash away from my mind. Those days were long. Sadly, those summer days are over.
When my mom came to pick up Miss C yesterday morning as I went back to work, we both mentioned how it did not feel as though two months had gone by. It felt as though it had only be a few weeks. The days which seemed to never end have now ended, and looking back the summer seems short. I would be lying though if I didn’t say I was excited to be among my peers yesterday at work. I was excited to be around adult conversation. I was excited to have time by myself, both in the car rides to and from work and also in my classroom.
But I would also be lying if I said I didn’t get teary Monday as Miss C snuggled with me while we watched Mickey and I played with her hair. I would be lying if I didn’t say how much my heart ached as I put her to bed on Monday night knowing that I would leave her to go to work the next morning. I would be lying if I didn’t say that I now have a lump in my throat writing about this, because I know our summer has passed.
I know that these moments are fleeting. I know that next summer she will be talking and be a completely different toddler. I know that she loves her time with her Meme and at home one on one with her daddy. I know being away from me while I am at work is good for her, as she is very clingy. I also know that I am a better mother because I get to leave and go to work. I am refreshed now after one day at work. I can enjoy my days with my daughter again. They don’t feel as long and daunting anymore. I never thought I would want to be a working mother, but I feel as though I am a better mother because of it. This summer beat me down mentally and emotionally to a really dark and ugly place. Luckily I had Hubs, my family, and wonderful friends who offered support. Without the light of work at the end of the tunnel, I don’t know if I could have made it.
Going through the days of summer was a long and tough battle. Now that we are on the other side of it, I see how truly short and wonderful it was, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.