rosefox: A cartoon figure slipping toward a gaping hole in the paper. (slipping)
Rose Fox ([personal profile] rosefox) wrote2017-07-25 02:26 am

"You get nothing!"

I'm having one of those "parenting is so hard, when does it stop being hard, oh right, never" days.

I was watching Kit play on their own and glumly thinking that happy Kit is independent and only wants parents when they're sad. Then they toddled over and handed me a stuffed fox, just because. So I know that what I'm feeling is just a feeling and has very little to do with reality. But it's still a big feeling.

Relatedly, having a tantruming toddler scream directly into your ear for several minutes is really quite challenging.

"Kit is so chill," I thought, once upon a time. "Maybe they won't really get toddler tantrums." I was so wrong. Soooo wrong. Tantrums aren't about personality. They're about cognitive and emotional overload. A scream into the void.

(My right ear is the void, apparently.)

(But was I going to stop cuddling my screaming child? Of course not. My ear can cope.)

And now I feel like the worst parent in the world because I couldn't really help my kid, even when they were bottomlessly miserable. There is no cure for the tantrum because it's an existential crisis. You just hold on and say "I'm here" like it means anything. And eventually they stop crying long enough for you to get some calories into them, which almost always helps. It turns out that kids are always basically one minute away from a massive hunger crash, and that rather exacerbates the existential angst.

You could not pay me enough to be a child again. No way. It's genuinely a wonder that kids are ever happy at all. Their bodies do weird things, the world is baffling, everything is too big, they have no control, safety is elusive and fleeting. It's like a fucking horror movie, 24/7. And yet my child comes over and smiles at me and puts their head on my knee for sheer love.

I guess maybe they wanted to say "I'm here" like it means anything.

I guess maybe it does.
sfred: (Default)

[personal profile] sfred 2017-07-25 10:13 am (UTC)(link)
<3
mrissa: (Default)

[personal profile] mrissa 2017-07-25 12:01 pm (UTC)(link)
Hell, you couldn't pay me to be 22 again, much less 22 months. The people who idealize childhood baffle me. Kids can be really interesting people, but even the most idyllic childhood is full of stuff no adult would deal with well.
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)

[personal profile] alexseanchai 2017-07-25 12:47 pm (UTC)(link)
Stuffed foxes cure all ills *nods*
oracne: turtle (Default)

[personal profile] oracne 2017-07-25 12:54 pm (UTC)(link)
"I'm here" means everything, doesn't it?
sartorias: (Default)

[personal profile] sartorias 2017-07-25 01:44 pm (UTC)(link)
It means the world, at that age.
pameladean: (Default)

[personal profile] pameladean 2017-07-25 05:29 pm (UTC)(link)
You are super awesome and doing great. Sometimes that's what that feels like, which is very unfair.

P.
iolarah: (heartshot)

[personal profile] iolarah 2017-07-25 06:22 pm (UTC)(link)
I know next to nothing about what it means to be a parent, but what you've described here seems to be to be a beautiful summation of the ups and downs. It sounds very bittersweet.
amaebi: (Default)

[personal profile] amaebi 2017-07-25 06:44 pm (UTC)(link)
Companioning is a great trope for any relationship, in my view.
minoanmiss: Girl holding a rainbow-colored oval, because one needs a rainbow icon (Rainbow)

[personal profile] minoanmiss 2017-07-26 05:06 am (UTC)(link)
I so hear you, both on parenting and how I'd NEVER be a child again, even with kinder parents this go round.
novel_machinist: (Default)

[personal profile] novel_machinist 2017-07-26 02:40 pm (UTC)(link)
Ugh, the tantrum age. I agree with you completely and empathize with your poor ear.
silkensteel: (Default)

[personal profile] silkensteel 2017-07-26 03:42 pm (UTC)(link)
Adding calories and compassionately waiting it out works well most of the time. Except when my sanity runs out before my patience does. But of all my parenting failures I hear about, at least that's not one of them. :/
caudelac: (Default)

[personal profile] caudelac 2017-07-31 02:47 pm (UTC)(link)
It is really astounding the things we had to learn that we don't remember learning, that aren't really as automatic as they seem now.