2.5 is here with a vengeance! It rolled in with the demon cold, causing a perfect storm of senseless tantrums around the clock. I am so thankful for blessed sleep, which is my only respite for the moment.
The change is really hard to understand or describe. It's almost as if the Nugget has short-circuited or something. We had our routine down-pat, he was learning new things happily and successfully, we could communicate our feelings to each other, and he was even making happy progress on the gentle hands.
Now it's as if the world is too much for him to bear. A tiny frustration that he'd shrug off last month is all of a sudden a SIGN OF THE END TIMES AND WE MUST SCREAM! Instead of asking to take off his shoes by himself, he'll now react to parental removal by violently flinging the shoes against the wall and sobbing as if I'd beheaded his favorite toy. For a week now, he's sat with a tube of lotion in his hand, desperately trying to wrench off the cap between ugly gasping tears but refusing help. When I eventually give up and lotion him myself, I am battered by tiny slaps of rage. I'd heard of Piaget's theories before, that the half years mark a period of developmental disequilibrium. I'm living it now. My friend L tells me it's about a 2 month battle before life gets back "to normal". My mom says to forget the pursuit of my parenting ideals for now and focus on survival.
Survival Plan for 2.5
1. I'm going to take care of myself first. I need to stay hydrated, fed, and rested.
2. I'm going to pray for patience, calm, understanding, wisdom, and a sense of humor.
3. I'm going to pawn the boy off to Hubby for a break each evening.
4. I'm going to decrease the number of playdates we attend - fewer mornings on a tight schedule = more days we can live on a toddler schedule.
5. I'm going to get the Nugget outside each day and hope that a dose of nature helps soothe him.
6. Each night, I'm going to seek out and reflect on 3 happy things that happened each day, in between the tantrums. Last night, it was the Nugget singing the Mail Song from Blue's Clues while opening junk mail, feeding his new toy car a piece of wood "meat", and giving Daddy a big hug when he came in the door.
Battle plan in place. I hear the Nugget stirring from his nap - away to my battle station!