My Amazing Grace is going through some changes and as we all know change is the only constant and I truly do embrace change. She is experiencing raw emotion and teething, she's not quite sure what to do with either of them.
Amazing is currently going through teething of her two year molars. She expressed this discomfort by being fussy and whiney and just plain snappy. I looked inside her mouth saw the swelling and the white tips next to the gums. Of course she's acting up, have you ever seen the flat top of a molar that can't feel good coming through. She didn't know another way to act to express herself. I understand this. I sat her down, explained to her that she is getting new teeth and how exciting that is for her. It can be uncomfortable but we can work through it together. We went out and got a new toothbrush, and some magical kid-e-col! I made some ice pops and explained to her that when her teeth hurt...I showed her where they would hurt... she just had to tell me and we would make them all better cause ice pops and teeth medicine (kid-e-col) makes it all better. Just the repetition of telling her what makes her better has changed this process very much. Once she feels better she will repeat to me what made her feel better. I will watch her play with her toys and she will copy her own experience with them often giving water, hugs, ice, etc. She talks very well which helps us all and surprising she understands way more than I realize, as do most kids this age.
Staying attuned to her emotions and trying to give her my time and attention while she processes them has made this period of her life so nice for all of us. Now, she still has her tantrums because all toddlers have to deal with Impatience.
She had come to understand sadness, anger, tired, pain, fear, nervous, happy, fun and can name them by names. I am shocked at how many people call this age the "terrible twos!" Ahhhh! To name a child's experience at understanding their complicated emotions as "terrible" and to tell people around them that your child is going through the terrible twos makes me so irritated! It's no wonder at all why so many people grow up and still can't express their emotions openly, or why so many teenagers and adults can't control their emotions, they throw things or get physical or numb themselves so they don't feel anything at all. I believe all they needed was a space to feel safe to express an emotion and then a discussion with their trusted parents to name those emotions when they first started to feel new emotions. As parents it's our responsibility to teach them how to work through them and how to deal with them and that it's good to recognize them and let them go so that they can see what lies on the other end of them, but if you can't do something yourself how can you teach another, right?!?
Mazi has tried to hit me or throw her toys or whatever is in her hand usually, both JJ and I nip that in the butt every time. She responds to JJ much easier than me. However, hitting is not acceptable under any circumstance. We don't like throwing out of anger either. I have mentioned to her to hit a pillow when she is mad and sometimes she will walk up to the pillows and hit them and tell me "Mazi mad" I love how toddlers talk in third person! I don't give much expression to her actions when she is releasing an emotion, I simply try and calmly talk and verbally repeat what she is doing, "oh, your hitting the pillow because your mad! That's ok, hitting the pillow is ok!"
This isn't a terrible stage of growth, this is and incredible time for learning the physical body, for connecting to each other, for building trust, and for practicing patience.