I Think I Can, I Think I Can… But It’s A Big Freakin’ Mountain, I Tells Ya.

What is it about toddlers that is so damnably exhausting?

With infants, it’s so easy to pinpoint. It’s sheer physical overload. You’re just completely zonked. Not only do you not even remember what an adequate night’s sleep feels like (let alone an uninterrupted one), but you are quite simply, run off your feet every waking (and half-waking) minute.

You spend your life picking up, carrying, washing, changing, feeding, cleaning, burping, wiping, soothing, bending, crawling, hurrying, lifting, packing, sterilizing, cooking, tidying, worrying.

With toddlers, the physical stuff is blessedly easier (which is very much appreciated by this Mom, having 39lbs and 96cm of flailing to deal with), but the mental and emotional gymnastics are so much harder. And it’s not that babies are really on your side, but they generally aren’t actively against you either. Having enduring (and effective) opposition is just, plain, depleting.

Toddlers argue. They whine. They cry. They throw. As mentioned, they flail. They make brilliant arguments. Then the next microsecond, they want exactly the opposite of what they just argued for. And then they don’t want it. And then they do. And then they scream. And then you lose it. And then they look at you, with eyes the size of dinner plates, take in a deep breath (while you close your eyes in defeat, knowing what’s coming and knowing you caused it), scrunch up their little adorable faces into the most devastating sorrow, and erupt into tears.

You spend your life reminding, asking, cajoling, arguing, consoling, admonishing, disciplining, convincing, encouraging, debating, refereeing, restraining, AND  picking up, carrying, washing, changing, feeding, cleaning, wiping, soothing, bending, crawling, hurrying, lifting, packing, cooking, tidying, worrying.

You are under attack, every minute of every day, by a small, whirling, forceful person, who is trying to see just how far they can push every single button you have. And then the next day, they do it again, just to see whether the reaction’s the same.

I don’t think I’m completely out of armour, or armaments, yet. But my performance is definitely degrading.


1 comment so far

  1. Moosilaneous on

    Well said.
    Sometimes I feel more like the steam shovel than the little engine that could.
    They just gave up and built the building around him.
    What exactly that works up to as an analogy, I leave to more creative minds.

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