I've been taking a break from blogging about the girls. Partly because we've been so busy. I'm up to a 4 day a week work schedule, celebrated my ##th birthday, went to Massachusetts, and went to a friend's wedding.
The break was also partly because I've been thinking a lot about the girls, mainly Naomi, and how she's gone through so many changes in the past 4.5 months....which basically coincides with Mikaela's age.
Naomi is almost 3. She's a toddler going through a lot of changes. She's a toddler who's still learning that she is allowed to have opinions, and how to express these opinions. She's a toddler who throws a lot of temper tantrums. A lot.
Recently, someone suggested to us that she might be a problem child. A child with issues. Anger management maybe? Or worse, maybe even a learning disability. As a parent, this is your worst fear. To have a child who isn't "normal". To find out that your otherwise perfect child, isn't so perfect.
When I first heard this, my initial reaction was obviously shock, anger, more anger..oh yea and anger again. Then I started doubting my own kid. Was this person right? Were Naomi's temper tantrums more than just the terrible twos? Was she possibly going through something more?
For the past week I let this affect me. Every time Naomi threw a tantrum, I felt myself tense up. I allowed myself to question whether others were viewing Naomi in a similarly negative light. Did they think she was a child with a learning disability, or developmental issues? Did they think she was a problem child? Or did they think she was a kid who had been allowed to grow so wild and tempermental due to lack of discipline and strong parenting?
I feel guilty now for evening allowing myself to feel these thoughts.
I spoke to my "on call" doctor, aka, my brother. I spoke to the director of our daycare center. I spoke to friends at church, and even co-workers with kids. They all agreed. Naomi was completely normal. The daycare director even went as far as to say, if Naomi weren't throwing tantrums, she would be concerned. She made me remember. In the past 4.5 months, Naomi's world has been turned upside down. She has gone from being an only child, to a big sister. She's had to learn to share her mommy and daddy, her house, her toys, and center stage. She's had her mommy stay at home with her for almost 5 months, only to have her go back to work. She's also gone from being a baby herself, to a toddler. She's moved up from the toddler class to pre-school. She's stopped wearing diapers and has to remember to run to the bathroom all the time. She's expected to help with the baby, she's being told to grow up and be a big sister constantly. She's learning to have opinions, and she's learning how to vocalize these opinions. Her life is completely different than it was 4.5 months ago, and all in, she's only 2.
Because Naomi is so articulate, I think we sometimes forget that she's not yet 3. I often find myself marvelling at how well she can talk, or how well she can use the computer, or an ipad, or even just color or build blocks. When I remember that my little girl is still a toddler, I shake my head in amazement at how much she CAN do, and how amazing she really is. Yes she has tantrums. Sometimes, she has tantrums that are so incredibly embarrassing, or so incredibly infuriating that it takes every last ounce of patience in my body to remember that I'm a parent who needs to teach her, mold her, and most of all just love her. There are days when all I want to do is throw myself on the ground and stomp my feet too. I understand. So no. Naomi doesn't have a learning disability. She's not a problem child. I wouldn't even say she's a difficult child. She's two. She's amazing. And she's incredibly loved.