People talk about the “terrible 2s” when toddler tantrums and demands get a bit out of control. The toddler tantrum period actually starts much earlier than age 2 as we’ve seen; they started earlier this year, probably around the time that Kaia was about 14-15 months old. The reason these tantrums happen is that babies at this stage are becoming more aware of their surroundings, as well as their own feelings and desires, and when those things don’t always align with what the adults in their lives want, this can result in inner turmoil for the child… hence the tantrum. While these moments can certainly be exhausting and infuriating, I have always remembered in these moments to try really, really hard not to react, especially angrily, and to be as calm as possible. I am also grounded by the sweet moments that I have with Pookster, like this one that happened tonight.
Once we got ready for story time before bed, I asked Kaia to choose some books as always that she wanted to read together. She happily complied as always, grabbing a handful of books and dragging them onto the bed. She also asked for her baby blanket, which I gave her. She’s really enjoyed sleeping with her blanket in the last few months, likely because she’s had a blanket during nap time at daycare, so she’s used to having it. But when I gave her the baby blanket, she paused and then started crying and yelling, “No! No, no, no!” I got so confused. I gave her the blanket she asked for. What was making her upset?
I took the blanket away. She yelled “No!” again and grabbed it back. And then, she pointed at the big blanket folded at the foot of the bed that I leave for myself when it gets a bit chilly at night during story time when I’m with her. She yelled, “Mummy blanket! Mummy blanket!” And then it finally dawned on me: she wanted not only for her to have her baby blanket, but for her mummy to also have a big blanket. So I asked, “Do you want mummy to use a blanket, too?” and she nodded her head vigorously in response, continuing to point at the big blanket. Even though it was a bit warm, I decided to appease her and wrap the blanket around my legs. “Are you happy now that mummy has her blanket, too?” I asked her. She smiled ear to ear while pointing at my blanket: “Mummy blanket!” And then, she pointed at her own blanket I put on top of her, saying, “Kaia blanket!”
It was beyond sweet. My heart was so warmed. She wanted both of us to be warm and snuggly under a blanket. My sweet baby never fails to surprise me with her tenderness and affection in the moments I never suspect.