It’s not personal

When Beans was a baby, everything in his world was right as long as I held him(as long as his basic needs were met, which was most of the time). I don’t have to tell you how speshul that made me feel.

Tallulah hasn’t made me feel so special.

She’s always had a temper. We saw it the very first day she was born, when she screamed so loud and so long that even the nurses – who see babies unhappy about being pulled from the safety of their mother’s wombs many times each day – even commented about how loud and long she cried.

The last few weeks, though, her temper has really flared. She gets upset for the tiniest of reasons (like the fact that my arm won’t come off my body and get the heck out of her way) and she rages — tears flying off all sides of her head while she gnashes her itty-bitty baby teeth and lets the whole world know of her immediate displeasure.

At some point in these (what, temper tantrums? I don’t know.), she sobs that she wants to “Hugoo!!” which means she wants me to hug/hold her. But when I pick her up she hits me in the face, yanks my hair (I’m pretty sure she’s pulled out enough lately to make someone a really nice hairpiece) and sometimes even chomps down on my shoulder. She’s inconsolable, and all there is to do is wait for the hysterics to subside.

I was commiserating with another toddler mom at soccer practice yesterday after I saw her daughter smack her in the face for some unknown offense, and she remarked that she knows all these bad behavior is borne of frustration.

I hadn’t thought about it exactly in those terms, really, but I guess she’s probably right.

My first instinct when the battering starts is to put T on the floor and walk away. Is that what I should do? Or should I stick around and somehow help her work through this “frustration”? I don’t want to make her maladjusted later in life because I abandon her at the time of her greatest need. Then again, I don’t want a black eye, either.

I’m trying the best mother my daughter needs. And I suppose ultimately I just need to learn not to take this all so personally. It smarts, though – emotionally and physically.

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