Wednesday, July 25, 2012

My Child Drives Me Crazy

R is a really great toddler. She very rarely has temper tantrums (maybe once a week, and so far never in public or for more than 2 minutes), is generally cooperative (allows diapering, dressing, and grooming; obeys instructions; will actually proceed with caution when so instructed), and is almost always happy, affectionate (she just learned how to give kisses, so cute), and generally so excited to be alive!!! She also shares without prompting (she loves offering toys to other kids, though it's as a somewhat self-interested move: to get their friendship or a chance to play with their toy).

But she still drives me crazy. I know, I'm awful and ungrateful. But the constant neediness (her desire to follow me around all the time! how she wants to check in every 15 minutes!), limit testing (can I do this? how about this? how about this? ad infinitum....), and OMG energy: she is like the Duracell bunny. Lately I've been thinking a lot about preschool (which typically starts at 18 months in Singapore).

I feel guilty about this, because she is so "easy" and good-tempered, and generally darling, charming everyone who comes into contact with her (R's latest thing is greeting strangers by waving and saying 'Hi!', which of course wins her lots of friends). I know other people have 'high intensity' children, who do everything R does, but at 10X the frequency. How they cope I do not know. (Maybe alcohol? or lots of household help? It's not the kind of thing you can ask.)

The good news is that my new parenting guru tells me that ages 16-24 months are the hardest in all of early childhood (and my mother said the same). The bad news is that I still have seven more months to go, during which things will only get harder (can't wait for the public tantrums! and attacking other children!).


  1. I was talking to my mom yesterday about how completely unrealistic the Western nuclear family model is. Right now P is living with 4 adults who pretty much revolve around him and trade off caring for him throughout the week. Cousins and grandparents are within a 30 minute car ride.

    Contrast that with our life in Chicago in an apartment on the 33rd floor with no family at all to rely on. Husband was gone 10-12 hours a day, which means it was me, me, and more me taking the brunt of the childcare responsibilities. Why should any one person be expected to shoulder all of the demands for one young child?

    I know you have pointed out the issues with child care in the past, but it also frustrates me that those who seek outside help are demonized as not caring for their children as much as the moms who go a bit crazy (and write posts like yours :) ) trying to do it all on their own.

    1. I totally agree. Actually, in the parenting book I am reading now the author STRONGLY advises that a full-time parent leave their toddler (from about 8 months-2 years) for 2 hours daily. He believes otherwise the parenting relationship is too intense and stressful, for both child and parent, and tends to lead to all sorts of negative effects. I am currently trying to follow his advice (one reason why preschool).