Not one but not yet two

I’m finding it difficult to keep up with William at the moment. He is developing so rapidly that he can’t keep up either. He’s in a bit of a confusing stage.

Have you heard of disequilibrium? Apparently it’s something important that happens to little kids in the lead up to their birthdays. Two months of being two, he is certainly more “two” than “one” but he’s not quite two either. He’s stuck in no man’s land, and it’s difficult.

I vaguely remember Alexis doing the same thing at this age. She was miserable at night and hardcore during the day. She was independent yet wanted attention, she wanted to eat real people food but she wanted creature comfort baby stuff sometimes. She wanted to walk but she wanted to be carried.

With Alexis we just put it down to the arrival of her little brother, but this time with William I think there might be more to it.

He has changed so much lately.

He said “please” and “(t)hanks” and “I love you” and “cuggle,” and “mummy’s turn” and “Yeh-Yeh’s turn” etc etc. he is polite. He celebrates the achievements of others. He comforts those who are sad. He plays independently and can feed himself well and is adventurous with his food. He understands the imaginary boundaries of our front yard. He holds my hand in carparks. He has a big boy bed and no high chair. He kisses baby in my tummy. He runs to daddy when he gets home.

He is a pleasure. He has never been so polite or easy going. Half the time.

The other half?

He’s a monster. He pulls his sister’s hair for fun. He bites me for fun. He pulls knives out of the cutlery drawer. He pulls heads of Alexis’ dolls. He whinges for something until I give in and then he doesn’t want it anymore. He won’t drink his drink. He won’t eat his food. He won’t sleep in his bed. He pushes over babies at Playgroup. He runs away from me in public places. He climbs whatever he can find. He puts himself in danger. He screams “mine not yours” and “NO” and throws tantrums so intense that he throws himself onto the tiles and nothing can calm him down.

There does not seem to be any middle ground. Nor any consistency. He can flit from one to the other in an instant.

In a way the inconsistency scares me but in another way I find it reassuring. At least he is not testing my patience all the time. At least he is capable of good.

Most of all? At least he knows what he wants and how he feels and he is comfortable enough with me to know that I will always be here for him when he wants to run back for a kiss and cuddle.

Nobody is ‘perfect’ all the time. At not even two, he doesn’t even have to try to be.

What he does need to do is go back to sleeping at night though, because when he keeps his mummy and his daddy and his 3 year old sister up all night then it doesn’t end well for anybody. Unfortunately midnight seems to be his favourite time to chuck a tanty and we don’t know how to stop it.

Is it a case of “this too shall pass”? Because as long as he sleeps, I can handle anything he throws my way. But without sleep, while pregnant? I might as well be nearly two as well.

After all, pregnant women are like toddlers.

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