Bloody hell, this parenting thing is a rough gig, sometimes. The toddler years are so strange. I assume other stages will be equally strange - I haven’t lived through them yet, but there are some particular conflicts in this state of being that I can’t imagine are replicated later.
For instance, toddlers look adorable but they are capable of inflicting great punishment. Toddlers do not know how to read or write but can pinpoint the most fragile areas in your temperament, the weakest and most threadbare patches of your heart and those lulls in the day when your fatigue is at its worst, and target you at the exact moment when these things converge, with the skill and accuracy of a sniper.
Toddlers have the timing and dramatic flair of the greatest actors of screen and stage, along with their comprehensive backstage riders and penchant for making unreasonable demands of their staff (parents). They have impressive range, too, and can go from the depths of despair to the heights of hilarity within seconds. But, toddlers do not understand they are acting, or they are method acting, or they simply live their art, I’m not sure.
Toddlers can be terrifically unpleasant and joyous company in the same hour. They can make you want to ‘forget’ them at the supermarket and make you love them with the force of a typhoon, right down to the marrow of their bones, so much that it shocks you. Again, within a single hour.
It is exhausting, for us and them. Four is around the corner, and I’ve heard it’s a bit calmer. If that’s incorrect, don’t tell me! I know we will weather these days and look back on them with fondness. But, in the depths of them, I feel S T R E T C H E D.