Exit light. Enter…Toddler.
When I went into the hospital for Bun Bun’s birth, it was cold and repulsive –the dregs of winter. When I emerged, it was glorious spring. When I went into the hospital for Bunlet’s birth, Bun Bun was a glorious baby. When I emerged, she was…I mean, I love her very much, but a…TODDLER.
She had her very first Toddler Meltdown the day we came home (writhing on the ground + screaming). I observed in amazement. WOW! Tantrums are some crazy shit! I figured her routine had been massively disrupted, and she’d bounce back to her normal self. She’s usually cheerful and easily soothed, and yes, I’ve had need to throw on the Ma Phones many times, but it was always an event that felt atypical. Now it appears that it may be typical. The past two weeks have involved an awful lot of screaming and writhing. Like, almost non-stop on some days. It may be that she’s an entirely new Bun.
I am left wondering what the FUCK has happened. Maybe her toddler switch just got flipped. I hear it happens that way sometimes. One day, baby, the next day, toddler. But I’m not sure.
First of all, the timing is mighty suspicious. During my pregnancy, people kept asking me whether I’d told Bun Bun that she was going to have a sibling, and how she felt about it. And I’d think dude, she’s going to be fifteen months old, she’ll have no clue and then say something polite. I figured she’d be curious about Bunlet, but largely unmoved. And that’s certainly how it appears. Her interactions with her brother have been gentle and careful, though of course I have to be vigilant because she’s not exactly in control of her motor cortex at all times. But pre-brother she’s sweetness and light and post-brother she’s a horror? Is it a sibling thing?
Second, because I am not allowed to do anything at all while I heal, her father is caring for her full-time. It’s been really hard on him to have this sudden change in her. And really hard on me to have to listen to her screaming, and to listen to him doing all those things we do when we’re Parents on the Verge of Losing our GODDAMNED TEMPERS. (Setting the child down and leaving the room as quickly as possible. Aborting some activity and introducing Sudden Early Naptime. Speaking through tightly clenched teeth. Those sorts of things.) It’s horrible to listen to, because I feel so badly for both of them. So about a week after my surgery, I started trying to help out with her. And not just because of all the screaming, also because I miss being with her. It sucks not being able to put your child to bed, or pick her up, or give her a bath. And then I overdid it, as they say, and my guts were like Hey there, do you want us to end up all infected and pustulent and hospitalized? Because if not, you had better stop fucking with our healing process. You know that you have HOLES in us, right? And I was like, Sorry guts. I will now lie very still for several days while the house becomes increasingly filthy and my husband and I snap at each other all the time because we are both very frayed.
ANYWAY. My point was that maybe she’s so insane lately in part because she’s not getting her quota of mama care? Or is that just me being all self important?
So. I am really hoping it’s not the toddler switch. Next week Mr. Bunny goes back to work, and I get to somehow manage all the children while unable to lift one of them. So it sure would be awesome if Bun Bun would revert to being a baby. She can be a toddler LATER.