Each stage of parenthood is as beautiful as the last but oh my goodness are they also as difficult. Crawling is wonderful because you don’t need to carry your baby all of the time but then they’re into everything and you secretly (or openly) wish they were newborns again; staying in one place. Talking is amazing because you can start to communicate with your little one but then you’re inundated with ‘why’ and ‘no’ until you wish you could literally put a sock in it!
Parenting Jasper has been beautiful; scarily, overwhelmingly, fear inducingly beautiful and I wouldn’t change it for the world but OH MY GOODNESS we’re struggling at the moment. Every stage has been tough to me because it’s all been new to me. Sure we dealt with teething, night feeds and the terrible twos with Rhys but only at the weekends and for me personally, I wasn’t as emotionally invested for those. Of course I love Rhys and he is my step son but his teething made me sympathise, it didn’t cut through me like a knife. His night feeds were tiring but they were short lived and weren’t my night feeds to try to change.
With Jasper he’s me; when he’s hurting I’m hurting; when he’s still waking in the night at 18 months I’m the one at 3am googling ‘WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME AND MY CHILD!?’ and that’s why while everyone is telling me he’s just ‘going through a phase’ I’m struggling, really struggling to just let it be.
Now if this is your first time reading my blog *hello and thanks for joining me* I’ll bring you up to speed. Jasper is 2 years and 7 months old. He has an older brother called Rhys who is with us at the weekends and a baby brother called Jenson who is 3 months old. At around 18 months the terrible twos hit, but the kind of terrible twos that I was okay with. I mean, to be honest it probably wasn’t even the terrible twos; things like throwing a chip on the floor if he saw another child do it or biting a friend once playfully. I think I called it the terrible twos because he was so well behaved up until then that the tiniest of misbehaviours I saw as a big deal – oh my goodness had I seen this coming I think I’d have lept behind the sofa with a bottle of wine and hibernated for a couple of years “call me when he’s 3“.
Don’t get me wrong Jasper is amazing; he’s kind and loving, hilarious and thoughtful. He has a beautiful soul but right now he’s less of Jasper and more a child we don’t know. He seems to cry at everything and I can never win. To give you an idea this is a conversation we had today:
Jasper ‘this is the hulk Mummy’
Me ‘Is it Jasper? That’s cool!’
Jasper ‘not cool Mummy’
Me ‘Oh sorry’
Jasper ‘not sorry mummy’
Jasper ‘Don’t say okay’ – throws hulk and cries till he falls asleep in the car.
I know you’re probably thinking ‘that’s the terrible twos woman’ but it’s constant and consuming and I really do feel like I’m loosing my little boy. I’d say at least 75% of the time we’re having conversations like this or he’s on the floor having a tantrum over something no one can ever comprehend.
Jasper ‘I want Mummy’
Me ‘Mummy is here’
Jasper ‘I want Daddy’
Me ‘okay let me get Daddy’
Jasper ‘no don’t get Daddy’ – *screams into pillow*.
It’s as if he’s frustrated about something and can’t communicate it, only he can communicate and very well. I’m so conscious now not to be on my phone around him; I don’t work during the day unless he’s at nursery and Jenson practically gets ignored while Jasper is awake so that he doesn’t feel pushed aside. I fill our days with fun activities but also lots of down time and I really am trying to do everything I can but nothing seems to be working.
Bedtimes are now a nightmare with screams and cries for us but when we go into his room he tells us to go away. He’s started having accidents during the day and every morning without fail we have tantrums over breakfast, getting dressed and leaving the house. He runs off, throws the iPad and would rather stay at home or go to bed than go out and play which literally breaks my heart.
When he finishes having his ‘funny five minutes’ that last for hours and often occur multiple times a day (like all day every day), he often says “I’m happy Jasper now’ with a genuine smile on his face and all is well but I can’t help but be filled with dread that something may be wrong. I know he says it because we used to jokily say ‘are you happy Jasper now?’ when he’d finish a tantrum but it really does worry me/ scare the crap out of me that his sudden personality switches are something more serious. Could there be an underlying problem? Could this be a mild form of bi polar? Am I an awful mum for even thinking that? They always say a mother knows but I honestly don’t. I don’t know what is going on with my son and I feel like I never will.
I worry about how he is at nursery and how he’s going to be when he’s older. I urge Pete to sympathise (he’s so patient and never shouts but I don’t think he sympathises with him). I on the other hand sympathise but hold my hands up and say that I do sometimes lose my temper and shout because how many times can I tell him we’re not and never were going out when he’s crying on the floor because he doesn’t want to go out!
I often clutch at straws. If he gets a temperature or a cough or runny nose I cling onto the hope that his behaviour must be due to a cold he’s coming down with. But then the cold passes and nothing changes. It definitely is getting worse and it’s making me dread playdates, toddler groups and general days because I so desperately want my son to be happy Jasper all of the time. The odd tantrum I don’t mind at all but when he goes from whingey to angry to sad and back again it breaks my heart and makes me feel so useless and helpless.
I’m really hoping this is jsut a phase; the feeling in the pit of my stomach often tells me otherwise but I’m trying to be optimistic and do all I can whilst not losing sleep over it (I have a baby to do that for me haha).
If any of you mumas are going through something similar with your little ones or you have in the past (please tell me it ends soon) then please let me know; even if it’s just to say you have no advice but you feel me ya know?
Thanks for reading!