Wednesday, September 5, 2007

21 Months

Andrew turns 21 months old today. So I am laying myself at the feet of you more experienced mothers and pleading: Does it get any easier?

Some days he is a sweet as spring rain, and others (many others) he behaves as the Angel of Death.

I feel like my bag of tricks is empty, and my patience is in critical condition.

Did anyone else want to dotate their 21-month-old gypsies on occasion?? No one seems to talk about it. So far, this post from Dooce is my only consolation.


by Johanna Brandvik said...

21 months, yes, is challenging. Does it get easier? Yep. And then it gets more challenging again. Only to return to easier times and then... At least this has been my experience so far with an almost 3 year old and a 4 1/2 year old.

It seems like there are phases or seasons in our growth together as a family. Some seasons are downright exhausting and others are filled with ease and joy. I do believe that the time surrounding the 2 year mark has so far been the most challenging time for me as a mama. My little ones wanted independence one second and then insisted on my completely loving and patient presence in the following second. Sometimes I did a good job of surrendering to the moments of mothering two year olds, and other times I made it more difficult for myself and my daughters by trying make things (what in my eyes seemed) right. My biggest challenge during that time was realizing that I couldn't quite yet walk away like I thought I could or like I wanted to. My two year olds needed me to stick close by...but not too close. I felt like I couldn't finish many of the projects and tasks that I started - and I still feel this way sometimes.

Here are my current tricks for trying to maintain sanity:
1. Taking breaks from parenting. We usually have a babysitter come one night a week so that I can go to a yoga class, peruse my favorite book store, take in a movie or enjoy a date with my husband. I return to my children feeling refreshed. We don't have family close by, otherwise we'd drop off our children with Grandma or Auntie Ahna or someone.
2. Gardening and outdoor play. That way I can do my thing in the garden and they shovel, water and weed alongside me or find their own backyard adventure. We share moments and I still felt like I can accomplish something.
3. Books. We often calm down and relax as a family by reading together. On especially challenging days I climb into bed with my little ones and a waist-high stack of books. This is usually followed by a nap.

We girls have to stick together! Hang in there! You are a fabulous mama!

BTW, I also read Dooce and really love her blog!

domesticgoddess said...

Yes, I will say, it does get easier. Just when our lives begin to get a little easier we go and throw another babe into the mix. Ah well, some lessons we'll never learn.

2 was a hard age w/ my boys. For the older two it quickly passed but for my nearly 4 y/o we're hopefully (keeping fingers crossed) coming out on the other end of the chaos currently. He's one spirited boy who's made his mama throw a lot of her expectations she'd come to have of his two big brothers right out the window. Now we just take it one day at a time. We play outside a lot. I try to fill what time we can with activities and opportunities for him to explore and get into things safely. If his hands are busy, usually no one or nothing gets hurt.

Trust me, mama, it will all too quickly pass and before you can blink you will be walking him to the bus stop to board the bus to Kindergarten.

Happy 21 months, big guy!

Galadriel Thompson said...

Hey Jill, I just wrote you a novel on the comments but deleted it because it was getting way too long!

In short. I also have an Angel of Death also known as The Destroyer of Worlds, The Wild Shrieking Beast, Thug Baby, and Danger Baby.

Things definitely get better. They get fantastic! If you're interested in hearing the rest of what I wrote earlier on how I deal with a difficult baby then please feel free to email me at
hugs and hang in there!

Amy said...

One of my nicknames for my daughter is "Sybil",as in the Sally Field movie where she has mulitple personalities. One minute my daughter hates me the other minute she is squeezing my neck. I thought I had a little angel, then the fist came up and hit me at 15 months of age. Every day is a new experience, a new emotion, a new test. I tried the whole thing of counting to 10 but now I just start singing crazy songs and somehow laughter helps me...for at least this month. But I will finish with, it does get better :)

Rose said...

I was going to leave some wise words but after reading the ones already here, especially Johanna's, you have some great advice and encouragement. I think the phases/seasons analogy is perfect. As the mom of 18 and 23 year old girls, I fear I romanticize those days a bit. Just know they are behind you sooner than you can ever imagine and you will never regret having been there. We are strong, we mothers, we women.

ahna said...

It's funny that you should write this. Tonight, my husband and I actually applauded the performance given by our 5 year old - it was an amazing act of defiance and stuborness wrapped up in stopping feet, flipping hair and a string of words usually reserved for sailors. So you ask, does it get easier. Sometimes. Maybe we just get better at dealing with it all. We love them like crazy, and we still want to send them back.
The only advice I could even venture to give is this: laugh. a lot.
Those temper tantrums are nuts. The whining is weird. The stubborn, defiant faces are fleeting. I'm not saying that you should ever laugh AT your children, but a well placed chuckle in the middle of a foot-stompin'-lip-poutin' display of "very serious emotions" can sometimes bring everyone back to reality.
Life is too short to be so bent out of shape by our children. A little laughter can go a long way in easing the tension.