Toddlers are a funny bunch. They clearly want to be big kids, but they cling to the babyhood that they are still experiencing. They sport the mercurial attitudes of teenagers with limited communication ability. Of course, there are many times that I'm thankful my son can't quite bust out the, "you have to let me learn from my own mistakes" line of bull - not to mention the other nonsense that teenagers are so fond of saying. They may not have the crazy hormones that fuel most teen angst, but they certainly have out of control emotions and a decided lack of impulse control.
My son has really been upset by the events of the last several weeks (I think it started when I was battling such severe morning sickness) and he's having trouble expressing himself. The easiest way to get attention? Act out, of course!
It started with potty accidents. The kid has been potty trained for nearly a year and he started having potty accidents out of the blue. At first, I chalked it up to not wanting to miss any fun with his friends. Then I noticed that he'd have accidents any old time even if nothing particularly fun or exciting was going on. He's improved dramatically over a several week period and even goes #2 all by himself these days (I still wipe him though), but he's still not 100% again.
Then he started asking for things he hasn't done in ages. A couple of weeks ago, he began to snuggle up to me and ask if he could take his nap in the pouch. I ordinarily wouldn't mind letting him do so, but we've had so many sleep difficulties that I wasn't willing to get him used to being worn for naps again. I'd remind him that his bed is for sleeping and the pouch is for riding in when Mama wears him and that seemed to satisfy. By the way, I've learned why he refuses to sleep in his toddler bed. He says the twin bed is his bed, but that the toddler bed is a "baby bed."
He's also started playing with toys that he hasn't played with in ages. He protested when I packed up baby toys and convinced me to let him keep a "baby caterpillar" that he last touched when he was less than a year old. He's been playing with that dumb toy for weeks now and shows no sign of boredom with it. He rejoiced when he recognized the cloth "baby diapers" that I unpacked for the baby. Yeah, I kinda jumped the gun there, didn't I?
Weirdest of all, he's developed (or redeveloped) a desire for nursing. He was weaned a long time ago and he still has a strange fascination for boobs (he's either too young or too old for this, right?), but he hasn't tried to cop a feel in a long time. He crawled up to me the other night and immediately started sucking on my breast through my shirt. My milk dried up months ago, but he was totally trying for it.
I pulled him off my breast and gave him a hug. I told him that he'll always be my sweet boy and offered him big boy milk in a cup. He gladly accepted the milk, but wanted to sit on my lap and be cuddled like a baby while he drained his cup.
I've tried to give him love and understanding, but my buttons are being pushed every single day and I find myself wondering if I can take it until he's old enough to go to pre-school. I worry that one more shriek or defiant "NO!" will send me over the edge. And that's not even getting into the daily battles over stupid things like not screwing with curtains and blinds or to stay out of the fridge and the pantry.
I know that this is just a temporary phase, but it's really been getting old since I've been housebound. Does anyone have any suggestions to keep my sanity? I'm tempted to flout my driving restrictions just so I can get the heck out of this house. . .of course, I won't because I'm scared to death of the very real threat of a lawsuit should I actually get in an accident when I shouldn't be driving. Dangit! Only a little more than week left and I can rejoin civilization.