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How would your crazy day coping with a toddler’s tantrum look like from the point of view of your toddler? What if your toddler could tell you how she feels?
It seems like I gave you a very hard time today like I do on most days perhaps, as I can sense by your exhausted and flustered state. I am sorry but I did not mean to do so. I know there are times when you are at your wits’ end because you are unable to figure out the reason for my tantrum or outburst. But trust me Mom, that during such times, even I have no clue about the cause of my tears or feeling of distress. I am still learning about a lot of things. I have just begun to acknowledge my feelings. I have just started understanding the ways of the world. There is still so much that I cannot comprehend.
I know that you get tired of my howling at times. “Why do you have to cry or scream for everything!” you say. I am sorry mom but I am slowly learning to express myself and don’t know how to handle my emotions yet. I can communicate but I have a long way to go before I can talk to you clearly about what is going on in my mind.
When you refuse to let me do stuff which I am keen to do, I feel unhappy. I want to explore everything in this world which I have only recently begun to perceive with my own senses. But, according to you I cannot do certain things and I wonder why. You explain to me about danger on some occasions but I don’t really recognize the safety risks you speak about and even if I do, I am not yet capable of retaining it all in my memory.
I have become conscious of my independence and hence, I enjoy trying to attempt a whole lot of tasks by myself. This annoys you occasionally because not everything can be done by me at this age as per you. But how would I know mom? It is confusing for me when at one point you appreciate me for being able to perform certain tasks on my own and then the very next minute you are livid with me for insisting on accomplishing some other activity.
I know on certain days I am too clingy and though you are immensely patient with me, you blow a fuse sometimes. I cling to you because you are the one I feel most secure with. I cling to you because you are the one who understands me best and cares for me the most in the world. There are so many things going on around me which overwhelm me every now and then and I end up bawling. It is not to trouble you but to let you know that I need to be freed from my own troubles and only you can do that. Sometimes I am sleepy, sometimes I am hungry, sometimes I am uncomfortable due to a change in my environment, sometimes there are teething troubles and all this bogs me down. Maybe my meltdowns seem unreasonable to you but all of this means a big deal to me.
Once in a while, you tell me that you are too worn-out or are too busy to play with me and I sulk, and this irks you. I can hear you mumbling that you need a break. But, I can’t help it because I love playing with you and crave for your attention. I want to make the most of these merry moments with you. I have many friends now but you are my best friend. At times, you declare me to be “too naughty” or “too stubborn”. But I am just being myself and am behaving in the manner that comes naturally to me now.
I am sorry Mom but I promise this phase shall pass soon. Your difficult days are my difficult days too. I am sure with your love and guidance, I will gradually learn everything and it wont be long before I come into my own. I feel elated with your expressions while we cuddle or when I smother you with kisses. I always look forward to your priceless reaction when I crack something new. I cherish our hilarious and crazy moments of fun. I know that you love me to the moon and back, and so do I Mom!
Your adorable lifeline (in your words)
Author’s note: This letter was penned by me on the spur of the moment on an extremely tough day of parenting. The toddler meltdowns of late have been tremendous at times. It just seemed like I was not doing it right. And then I realized I needed to handle this differently. I started composing this letter which made me feel more confident and peaceful. It is not that I was not aware of all this before about toddler-hood. But, being in the shoes of my toddler and looking at the world from her perspective made me handle the tantrums more sensibly from then on and with a calm mind. And the moment I feel I am losing it, I open this letter as a reminder of what it is like to be a toddler.
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