I knew my child was going to “be a handful.” She was/is just like me. I know that I was/am a “handful.” I am good with her being “difficult.” I just didn’t realize how it HARD it would really be. Oh, parents, I am so sorry. I put these things in quotations because I know all children have difficulties. All parents have struggles. We are not special. I like knowing that. I sometimes feel, when we are in hour 2 of her non-stop screaming, that something must be wrong with her. She cannot be normal. She is, for the most part.
I feel like Vivienne has my anxiety. I see it already. I saw it when she was an infant. I know it so well. That struggle to just be. I see her and feel her anxiety. What a vague word, anxiety. I use it because it was always used at me. It described me. It guess it will do in describing her. Things can just not be right with her and it greatly upsets her. Now, she does the “normal” two-year-old things, like tantrums when not getting her way, but then takes them to a whole new level. A level that scares me. That makes me hurt for her.
She has been in this horrible bedtime cycle for almost a month now. Bedtime has always been difficult, but lately it has been so much worse. I dread the night because I know it will bring the battle. She is a “busy” kid. She goes non-stop all day. She has always done this. This is also why she needs her rest. Her activity throughout the day requires sleep. She starts to get tired and you can see it. She puts her thumb to her mouth and slows down. That is right before her manic crazy state kicks in. She will go wild when she realizes she is getting tired. She hates getting tired.
Lately, she has resisted any sleep. She will cry and scream for hours. She will scream the same thing, usually “MOMMY!!!” or “WEED ANOTHER BOOOOOOT(book)!!!!” for an hour. I am dead serious. I have tried every tactic. I have tried ignoring her, comforting her in intervals, letting her stay up later, putting her in there earlier (over tired?), reading 50 books, a steady schedule. We have tried everything.
For a while, the lavender essential oil was really helping. Then I started using my Tranquil on her and that really helped. She would even say, “Mommy, no feetsies!” because she wasn’t ready to sleep and she knew that was coming. Lately, she has developed a super human resistance to any sleep. I feel crazy at some points. I feel like I must be a horrible mother for wanting to run away screaming. No other moms have these feelings. She will cry until she throws up, every single night. I try to be strong and set boundaries and rules. I try to ignore it. I spend two hours in this hell each night. Often, alone, because Travis is at the firehouse. Not that she will let him help in any way most of the time. I know that kills him. Thank goodness she makes up for those feelings he must have by snuggling with him, talking about him constantly and just general sweetness with him that I sometimes see towards me.
Whoever came up with daylight savings time, must not have ever had a toddler. They must not know that feeling of praying for darkness when your child needs to be in bed, but it is still bright out. I need sleep, too. Vivi has wanted to sleep in my bed. Uh-uh. No way. She kicks and snores and punches just like her dad. They sleep hurt just the same. We fell asleep together once when she was sick and she wound up perpendicular to me in the bed. I also need space. I need time with my husband. I just can’t.
I know this is a phase. I know it will pass. I know these things, yet in that moment I feel helpless. I feel insane. I am so glad I found oils to help me get through this. As of yet, I have not found an oil for tantrums that works the way I really want it to. I love Release, because it does help minimize the explosion that is Vivi, but it helps me let go of my misplaced, unwarranted anger at a toddler. She doesn’t mean to hurt me, she just wants what she wants. She means me no harm. She is learning about life, and I am learning to be a parent. It will get easy, in the meantime, there are oils. Oils help me adjust. There is little to nothing you can really do for a strong-willed toddler. I will try all theories, but mainly I focus on my attitude so that we can make the most of the great moments, because they go by so quickly. It helped me to know, I am not alone. There are moms all over the world hanging on to the good moments in their memories while gritting their teeth through the bad.