Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Adventures of a business-owning mama: Our baby sitter is a saint

This is probably, like, a mortal sin to confess in the world of attachment parenting, but because we're all friends here, I'm going to let it all hang out:
I was utterly thankful to flee the toddler's presence this morning by going to work and leaving him in the loving and patient hands of a good friend, who could run for sainthood, if she were, um, not a mother, not married and not with child.
So, back to the escape -- I mean work.
Somehow running a business is drastically less mentally and physically exhausting than caring for a toddler who is very apparently going bonkers over the impending birth of his baby brother. I think it's because a business is not a person; sure there are people at the business about whom I care, but it's not quite as personal as parenting. And while I want to be a good business owner, I desire even more to be a wonderfully attentive and loving parent. And while understanding the psychology behind my feelings is wonderful and somewhat helpful, I cannot help but wonder where the disconnect between the toddler and me, formerly the best of friends, is coming from. Normally, I just cringe at the thought of leaving him.
But this morning, when he flat out refused to, well, function as a little human and instead threw himself on the floor in a screaming tantrum ala Lindsay Lohan when she gets her driver's license suspended for yet another DUI, I so wanted nothing more than to magically transport myself out of my house and to the business even though I had the lovely tasks of sorting mounds of paperwork, calming the irritations of a few peeved members and trying to figure out a fool-proof marketing scheme that would result in new bringing new members to the club to to which I could look forward. Those of you in the world of public relations and communications probably have now grasped the magnitude of the toddler's wrath lately. For those of you who still don't understand how terrifying this behavior has been, let me help; this morning I would have rather been shoveling elephant poop at the zoo than have tried to handle yet another morning filled with exquisitely masterful temper tantrums. That is not normal.
I almost felt badly for leaving my friend and her son here to play with the toddler tornado this morning.
But when I returned ... the temper tantrum clouds had parted and I was almost knocked over by a smiling boy running into my arms gleefully exclaiming "that's my mommy! "[Insert all kinds of guilty and surprised yet happy feelings right here.]
I asked how the day went, and my friend smiled happily and said the boys were wonderful. The toddler was happy to play, share and read books.
I looked at her, apparently confused and asked if he had any sort of meltdown.
No, she said honestly and told me they even both shared the toys really well.
I expected a lovely afternoon since the toddler's disposition had dramatically recovered during the morning hours I was gone.
We had a nice nap, but when he woke up he tantrumed again for 40 minutes. I could do nothing to console him. As soon as his grandmother arrived, though, he was happy and cheerful again.
So what on Earth is going on here? Why is he perfectly happy for everyone but me? Why are we engaged in such a love/angry relationship here?
As soon as I crack the code, I will be sure to share ... but anyone who has some ideas as to how I can remedy the situation other than me drowning my sorrows in the mounds of paperwork should chime in right about now. This mommy needs to get down to the business of what's going on with her toddler ... and if giving birth is the only way to get to the root of the problem, I'm so ready to labor and labor and labor for the delivery of not only my baby but also my first little love.


  1. Ahhh, the Sybil child (Cybil?). I have that sometimes. It's when the wee ones are worried about something and stressed. A little away time is good sometimes. And it's good for him to experience life with others, too. Plus, he had fun. It's all good. And ummm the baby might not help at first -- depends on how much he transitions to being a helper with the baby? Welcome to the fun part of motherhood ;)

  2. The mother is the Safe Place. It's because the child is secure in our love for him/her that they feel safe to act out their emotions, emotions that they can't fullu understand.

    And they still have that invisible cord to us, at least until they're 3, where the line between who they are and who we are is blurred to them. It's our role to help them process their emotions, almost as if theyw ere our own.

    Hope that helps a bit.

    And as for getting away.... phew, I understand needing a different space.

  3. I completely agree with Mon. But I also think he may be bored. If he's behaving when new and interesting people/toys show up, then it sounds as if he's bored to tantrums with the old stuff.

  4. Hi, A. recently went throug a terrible biting spell and tantrums. Dr. S. at JBS and Theresa W. worked together to help with great success. He had 1/2 hour reiki therapy and I truly believe it was the key to energy rebalancing. Just a thought. It as $42 for 1/2 hour.

  5. Everyone has already said it, but I will reiterate -- you are safe.

    He knows that he can express his anger, frustruation, sadness, etc. with you without fear of losing you. It is a normal developmental stage that he is going through.

    Ben is now 3.5 and I am VERY happy to say that we have finally moved past that stage (except for rare occurances).

    Hang in there!

    Sara <-- Never ashamed to enjoy going to work for peace and quiet.

  6. Thanks for the responses. It is semi comforting that I am the safe place ... I'm not so sure he is bord, though. We are constantly engaged in some activity.
    MJ, I was thinking about talking to Dr. Shaw about this; thanks for bringing that back to the forefront of my mind.


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