Life with a Toddler

Some days I wish for those wonderful, sleepless nights with an infant. Olivia the 2 year old is fantastic, she amazes me everyday with her charming personality and her quick ability to learning new things. She says “please and thank you” and she is relatively obedient. Then there moments when I’m concerned. Liv has an issue with sharing and she throws a mean tantrum.

Major issue.

Hello, Livzilla face

I don’t know if it’s an only child thing or she just doesn’t understand the importance of sharing. This is a struggle for me. When she has playdates, it gets pretty hard to ask her to share her toys with her friends. She has mastered the word mine and she now says stop it! She also doesn’t enjoy sharing with Mommy and Daddy. Antz has the theory that she is lacking attention so she acts in a negative way. I see his point but I don’t share that theory. I have seen her interact with her Grandma *who devotes every second she spends with her* and Liv will play nicely at first, until something doesn’t go her way, then Livzilla emerges. She throws toys, she tantrums, she won’t listen. It’s the most frustrating thing to experience as a parent. I can’t believe my lovely, vivacious child can turn into a screaming, stubborn knucklehead. I have tried several approaches to this, calmly asking her to pick up her toys, then firmly in a serious tone, finally taking the toys away and telling her she is on time-out *which never ends peacefully* Aimee *the veteran* says I’m too nice. I just feel like my approach is more laid back. I believe in discipline but at this age, there’s no need to spazz out and get overwhelmed. And how to you discipline a 2 year old? I pretty much internalize my emotional turmoil. I began dealing with Liv’s tantrums with a brush-off, Oh, she’ll grow out of it, it’s just terrible twos attitude. Now, I feel like I’m not going to give into that idea. She doesn’t have to have terrible-twos. She has this magnificent persona, Antz and I get to see the exuberant side of Liv that friends, family and strangers rarely get to see. I notice she gets shy around adults and bossy around children. I have been spending more time talking to her but I don’t know if I’m successful in my communication. She wants independence, I get that, I have never felt the urge to coddle my child. I think about how I was as a child and I never felt stifled. My Mom always encouraged me to take risks, even when she knew the outcome wouldn’t go in my favor. I try to allow Liv freedom. This goes back with the laid back parenting philosophy I am favoring. Now of course everyone thinks they are the best parent. Their kid is the greatest on the Earth but let me be honest here, when my kid is in her mood, I think I suck. I feel like I’m failing her when she misbehaves on a playdate or during dance class. The other parents reassure me that Liv is free-spirited and she’s at that age. I agree, yet it’s difficult when all the other kids are sitting in their parents lap quietly and mine is running around screaming during the Quiet song. Now I’m doing what I hate most, comparing my kid. UGH! I wish I knew how to abolish Livzilla, but as my wise Mom tells me, “it’s only just started.” I know we will have her our bad days. I know she is testing her boundaries. She spends everyday as the center of our world so it’s difficult for her to understand sharing with others. I just can’t get on-board that we are spoiling her *she’s not fruit!* How is loving and devoting yourself to your child considered spoiling? This is the part they don’t mention at those childcare classes the hospital offers. I want to let all you non-parents out there know, this is hard, yet the feeling of your child hugging you and saying “I love you, Mommy” is extraordinary. I’m committed to figuring out a solution and keep my sanity.

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