Monday, November 10, 2008

A Toddler's Tragedies and Triumphs

Landon had a rocky day on Sunday.

It started out well with church. He adores other kids and I left him in the nursery happily shaking a maraca in a baby praise band. He gave me enthusiastic waves bye-bye as I walked away to the sanctuary and big hugs and smiles when I returned after service. It was a gorgeous day and I was looking forward to taking him to the park while JP studied. Unfortunately, Landon's world view went from rosy to black somewhere along the two minute drive home.

Suddenly everything was a tragedy: the ball rolling away when he kicked it, the ball being returned to him, the ball sitting on the side of the driveway, the wagon in the driveway, the wagon not in the driveway, the wagon just sitting there and staring at him- all of these seemingly innocuous happenings sent Landon headfirst onto the (cement) ground, rolling onto his back, and wailing up to the sky. I could just picture him shaking his chubby little fist at God asking why, why must the ball move when I kick it? Whyyyyyyyyyyyy. It was one of those afternoons where you have to laugh at the indignant fury of your toddler because you can't understand it, you definitely can't make it better, and it's way too early to start drinking.

Landon has had a few tantrums before and most of the time they're over things I can figure out - hunger, thirst, wanting something and not being able to tell me about it- these things I can work with. I hold him and let him point me around the room until we find whatever it is he doesn't know he wants, or I can distract him with a book or music or labrador retrievers. But Sunday I had to call his Aunt in from San Marcos for reinforcements, and of course, upon her arrival Landon became his charming, flirty little self. He enjoys making a liar out of me.

That evening we went to a friend's house (the one who's a 5th year attorney at the firm with a son a few months older than Landon, she needs a blog name- "Sarah") for dinner. Her husband made homemade pizza and the boys played and played with each other- it was one of the cutest things I've ever seen. They've hung out together lots of times and generally just play around and near each other, but last night they played peek-a-boo around the island in her kitchen. They were laughing so hard they could barely stand up; full belly laughs from two little boys is truly the best dinner music. And then when we got home Landon played a song on his sing along stage and he danced. He shuffled his little feet and smiled and clapped his hands and was so thoroughly adorable I couldn't even believe my own memories of the early afternoon.

Ahh, life with a toddler.


  1. Oh, I am right there with you, sister. The fury, the temper. Sigh. My 3 year old did not do this stuff and still does not. So, I am at a bit of a loss.

    The big bite in the ass is the whole "terrible two's" misnomer. It really starts at around 18 months.

  2. Oh, yeah. . . and the tantrums continue (and get worse, in our case) after age 3. Seek not to understand, because you won't, even after your child is verbal enough to explain what's wrong. It still won't make sense.

    Just take a deep breath, try to help, and when it's clear you can't, ignore it. The tantrum will pass. (And you do still have the good times, which will remind you why you haven't shipped Landon off to Siberia or something.)

  3. Love, love, love my 18-month-old charming girl, but I will admit that "no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no" is her favorite phrase.

    Don't think I ever said congrats on the bar. Way cool and smart you are.

  4. Geez, my kid has enough angst as it is, I'm dreading the toddler years!

  5. Proto, you don't need to dread them! It's true that he makes me want to tear my hair out more with each passing month, but he also gets exponentially more fun and personable and adorable. You get see so much more of their personality and sense of humor.

    So even though there are definitely times I'd pass him off to the any friendly looking passerby, it would only be for a short loan.

  6. re: the tragedies - UM, sometimes I still feel like that. If I get in a bad mood for some reason (or no reason at all), I'm irrationally inconsolable. Granted, it's less frequent than it is for a toddler, but aren't we all ridiculous sometimes?

    Good think Landon is so cute!

  7. at least ife with toddler landon is never boring! I smiled when you said all you could do is laugh. I feel awful for saying it but when Jacob screams like the world is coming to an end it sometimes makes me laugh (then I go into hysterics figuring out what he wants)

  8. Landon's inner monologue made me laugh out loud.

  9. So so cute. :)

    (I know, that's a really intelligent response.)

  10. LOL about Landon shaking his fist at God over his ball frustrations!