Baby

17 months – toddler tantrums

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Happy 17 months Amaya!

This month you started having your first tantrums. What a strange and crazy thing to witness! You also give the sweetest, most endearing hugs and kisses 5 minutes after. It’s a whirlwind! I hit a low point in this past month with my patience (or lack thereof), but I’m taking a turn for the better. You continue to be my greatest teacher and a mirror into my soul. Your daddy and I are thankful for you every day. We love you, sweet girl!

You Like: songs with a lot of bass, wagon rides, playscapes, watching squirrels and birds, pointing out airplanes in the sky, sushi rolls, petting Terri, giving the dogs treats, doing downward dog, playing with your friends at daycare, and your little lady bug scooter

You Dislike: certain songs and all country music (you say no no no until we change it lol), anyone else holding you except mommy, having your teeth brushed

Stats: Weight – 20 ish lbs

Developmental Milestones:
  • New words: airplane, oatmeal, wagon, down dog, Terri (deedee), poo poo, bug (lol she always says “a bug, a walk, and a book” as if ‘a’ is part of the word) – about 40 words total
  • Telling us when you need to poo poo
  • Eating oatmeal with a spoon
  • Climbing up the playscape and sliding down by yourself
  • One new canine (15 teeth)

Tantrums

Two weekends ago, Andy came home to find me and Amaya playing in her room, and I burst into tears. I quickly excused myself, went to my room, closed the door, and went to sleep. An hour later I woke up to the sound of Amaya crying. She was screaming with tears and snot all over her face, stomping wildly, flailing her arms, and throwing her head back. We had to put her down in her playpen since we couldn’t hold her like that, and she banged the gate, hit the ground and stomped around. She cried like that for 20 minutes straight. I remember both of us staring at each other feeling helpless and mystified. Later I asked Andy what happened, and he said she just woke up crying.

Amaya has been super clingy, only wants me (says no or pushes Andy away), and wines to be picked up or held constantly. After two pretty crazy meltdowns in a week, I was desperate for help. I wanted to have some basic understanding of what was going on and also some language to work through this with Amaya and also with Andy. At the end of the week I went to get a haircut from my friend Jenny (whose daughter is in daycare with Amaya) and found out she’s going through the same thing. She referred me to a podcast called Unruffled by Janet Lansbury, and it has changed my life! Listening to just one episode gave me a few big realizations, and after a few more I saw some predominent themes:

  1. Acknowledge her feelings as normal and ok
  2. Stay firm and intentional with my boundaries
  3. Give her a safe space to feel and express her emotions
  4. Remember that this is not my issue to fix
  5. Trust she will figure it out and thrive

I went from feeling helpless and frustrated to empowered and purposeful. Now, I see every interaction as an opportunity to connect with Amaya. I also realize I wasn’t being a strong enough leader for her by not setting boundaries she so desperately needed. In just a matter of days, I see myself and Amaya in a new light, and the effect has been immediate. She’s had 3 tantrums since, but they were short-lived, and more importantly, I didn’t lose my patience or feel like a terrible mom. Overall, Amaya has been more independent, happy, and loving to both me and Andy. I have been more grounded, observant, and firm (and happy!). These podcasts will definitely continue to be part of my daily practice of self reflection. (Thank you Jenny!)

Friendships

This past weekend was fuel for my soul for many reasons, but the most notable was spending time with my best friend Christine. Christine and I have been inseparable since 6th grade. We’ve experienced the world together, picked each other up when we hit rock bottom, and stood by each others’ sides on our wedding days. And now because we live in different cities, we’ve witnessed each other become moms from afar. We text daily, but phone calls are rare. So the opportunity to have a face to face conversation was the most precious gift. We explored deep topics from what our career goals look like as moms (side note: we competed incessantly for class rank throughout high school) to how we should nurture our children’s personalities through our words and actions. I always leave our conversations feeling understood, respected, reflective, connected and loved. [Btw, I credit Christine for two memorable moments in my transition to motherhood: mailing me Hypnobirthing which inspired me to deliver Amaya without any medication; asking me “you’re so prepared for labor, shouldn’t you start educating yourself on parenting?!” hah!]

Memorable moments:

  • Walking around the Domain and playing at Culinary Dropout – Amaya went up to a woman with her midriff showing, lifted up her own shirt and pointed at her belly proudly saying “Belly!!”
  • Mommy and me photoshoot with Thao
  • Birthday dinner with Jen, Joey, and Gavin at TLC
  • Hanging out with Lily, Leo, and Dono at BMP and seeing Andy take care of a boy! He said they’re definitely more active, and you need to be firm or they’ll test you (toddlers!)
  • Playdate with Parker at the Thinkery
  • Austin Moms Blog Mama’s Night Out with Sarah, Jen, and Laurie
  • Park time with Camila and Alex
  • Baby extravaganza at Maggie’s house with Cody, Penelope, Camila, Elijah, Alice, Keanu, and Alex
  • Girls night with Christine and Maggie
  • Parenting talks and tears over coffee and tacos with Christine
  • Cuddling in bed before bedtime and having Amaya put both hands to my cheeks and pull me in to nuzzle noses <3

Mantra: Observe and trust.

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