I’ve just had a full blown crying fit in front of my toddler. He hit me in the face with his plastic car and I hurled it across the room then burst into tears. For a second I was him. I was a 2 year old with limited patience. I was a 2 year old chucking a hissy and throwing the nearest object.
This is the worst of me, and the worst of parenting. I’m tired. I haven’t slept in days and I’m dealing with being pregnant and resembling the size of a house.
Tom has been sick and I’ve been wrapping him in all my love – physically and emotionally. We have been attached completely; for sleep, for cuddles, for play, for meals. Everything. And I’ve been OK with that, because of course I love him and he isn’t well and all I want to do is make him better right?
But today I’ve started to wonder if that love has an end. I started to think that maybe I had a quota of love to give and he had taken it all in a small space of time. This is what lack of sleep does to you. As if being the size of a house isn’t enough, I then need to squeeze my house into a very small space to sleep with a toddler, who needs to be touching my belly or back at all times to sleep and if he can’t find either of those things, his hands and feet will go searching under the sheets and my clothes until they find some skin. Only then, will he go back to sleep. And dare I wake and need to go to the toilet (which happens several times at the moment). He will then toss and turn and call out to me until I return.
So I guess today I wanted my invisible bubble of personal space back. And so far I’ve had the opposite. I’ve had hair pulling, pinching, throwing things and defiance. All coming from a sick and VERY tired little boy.
And then, finally, as I wrote this, he curled up against me with two of his stories. I read to him until he finally lay his head on my chest, and a hand on my belly and slept. I put my cheek on his head, I felt his soft hair and I listened to him breathe deeply, finally at rest and asleep. It was to be the nap of doom, at 4pm. I didn’t know whether to be relieved or frustrated because of the night ahead that we will now face, less ‘me’ time again.
I thought now that he was finally asleep that I would want to peel him off me, have some space to myself. But actually I was so tired too, that I sat there for a full half an hour and felt nothing but a ridiculous surge of love for this perfect specimen nestled into me. Those ridiculously long eyelashes and that perfect skin and that face at complete peace gets me every time. I suddenly felt so lucky.
I guess that’s why they say that Parenting is the best and worst thing that anyone could ever do…it definitely takes a parent to get that.