I’ve had one of those days as a parent where I’m cranky, touched out, and just didn’t have the patience to deal with typical toddler behaviour. I found myself snapping at Avery for crying over things I thought were silly; I barked at her to get off of me as she climbed on my shoulders and pulled my hair with her knee; and I frustratingly uttered “COME ON, AVERY” at her behaviour more times than I can count. I normally feel pretty good about my patience level, and my ability to empathize with toddler emotions (maybe I feel emotions on a toddler level, too, sometimes…). Today just wasn’t a good parenting day. I kept asking myself, am I just extra irritable today, or is she being extra irritating?
Turned out she was getting sick. Tonight she spiked a fever. I felt bad all day for my lack of patience, but when I realized she was sick I felt extra bad.
And tonight is her Mo’s turn to do bedtime, and I can hear Avery up there crying, “I miss mommy. Avery loves mommy. Mommy’s comfy.”
So the moral of the story is, we all have our off days, and our kids definitely love us unconditionally, despite the fact that we kept losing patience with them, or we yelled at them, or we just weren’t able to comfort them in the way that they needed in a particular moment. Right now despite being touched out, I want more than anything to be cuddled up with her in her bed, telling her that my grumpiness today says nothing about how much I love her. I want to whisper in her ear as she falls asleep, “I love you so much, and I hope you feel better in the morning. And I’m sorry for being grumpy today.”