I tried to explain to her (as I have before) that just because you CAN do something doesn't mean you SHOULD. After tidying the nursery for the third time I would turn around and the floor would be covered in teddy bears. I tried to make light of it and sing the Teddy Bear Picnic but it was getting old. We had a hot couple of days (I don't have air conditioning) and my patience with everything was wearing thin. "Just leave it until she goes to bed" my Mom told me, explaining that all kids go through the phase where they want to throw everything on the floor. That's the other problem. She doesn't always go to bed. Sometimes she doesn't settle down until 11 pm and by then I'm exhausted and go to sleep myself. Even then she continues to wake up the rest of the night. Then she's cranky and impossible the next day and frankly I'm pretty cranky myself.
Michelle has been more difficult lately than ever and her timing couldn't be worse because I'm already stressed and stretched to my limit. Lately it seems she fights me on everything. Mealtimes are a battle. It's awful because she needs to eat solid food now more than ever since I'm weaning her off breastmilk but sometimes she just won't eat. It's so frustrating. I don't know what to do. I always had toys on the tray of her high chair to entertain her. Now she knocks them all off. She screams that she has nothing to play with so I pick them all up again only to have her knock them off. One. by. one. She likes to play with spoons and bowls so I give her a few of them. It entertains her for about two seconds and then bang, boom, they're on the floor. "If you're going to keep knocking them off I'm not going to pick them back up!" I threaten but then I cave in, like a dope and pick them up yet again. Lately she'll scream and stiffen herself out half the time refusing to eat even the things that used to be her favourites. Some days she'll eat really well and I'll be relieved. Other days she'll barely take two spoonfuls and then shakes her head and cries. "Ma!" she yells when she doesn't want anymore and shakes her head. I heard that you're not supposed to force a child to eat but what do you do if they just won't eat?
She also fights sleep. Even when she's so tired she's rubbing her eyes sometimes she still won't go for a nap or go to sleep at night. Then she's crankier than ever and complains about everything. Maybe this is her reaction to my cutting down on breastfeeding through the day. Her acting up on top of all the other stress in my life (which I don't even get into in this blog because it would take a whole other blog in itself and I barely have time for this one) is just about putting me over the edge. My Mom thinks that Michelle feeds off my stress and that it's a vicious cycle between the two of us. She stresses me out then I stress her out ad infinitum. I try to relax but it's difficult with a demanding, impossible baby and everything else I have to do without help.
Some days it seems like everything is weighing on me so much I just may crack. I try to keep my sense of humour but when you're stressed about everything (finances, life, work, home, not to mention raising a baby on your own) and on no sleep, it's not easy. Weaning may be taking a toll on me as well. Emotionally and physically I'm going through a big change. I was warned that hormone levels can drop dramatically when you start to wean. My monthly visitor is back (some people were surprised my periods didn't come back sooner but perhaps it was because I used to nurse so often). At least I don't get cramps anymore (I used to get unbearable ones before having Michelle but I guess after labour anything else is a cakewalk!) I do still get PMS moodiness and for whatever reason PMS makes my IBS that much worse. Sorry this is WAY TMI (too much info).
Even on her worst days Michelle always has at least a few moments that melt my heart and make me smile. She's getting better at walking every day. Now she can even make it across the room. When she takes her little excited wobbly steps toward me and falls into my arms, I could almost forgive her for anything. Despite the difficulties I have to remember how precious these days are and how lucky I am to have this sweet, feisty, impossible little girl.