One of my mom friends told me the other week that she was so excited when her daughter, just a few weeks older than Lorelei, started throwing major tantrums and turning into the poster child for the "terrible twos" - because it reassured her that, when her son did that two years ago, it was just normal developmental stuff and not a result of the new baby she had just brought home from the hospital. Another one, with a baby due in a few weeks, posted a "Toddler. For. Sale." Facebook status that generated an enormous amount of "been there" sympathy.
So I'm reminding myself, daily, that screaming fits about not wanting to pick out a pumpkin because they are all "too dirty" or refusing to go upstairs but also refusing to stay downstairs are to be expected, newborn in the house or not. But then when she drags out three books for me to read to her and they are all a variation on the "I can't find my mommy!" theme, I second guess things.
A week or so ago, Lorelei was having a complete meltdown after her nap - which has suddenly gotten about an hour shorter, by the way, which doesn't make this in-need-of-a-nap-herself mama very happy. She had said something, in a mumbled voice, and when I couldn't understand her she just burst into tears and started prostrating herself on the floor and kicking/flailing/you know the drill. After about five minutes of this, with a baby crying in the background, I had a moment I am pretty ashamed of: I grabbed her pacifier/lovey from her mouth and threw it against the wall, then walked out of the room and slammed the door. Cue terrified screaming toddler.
Once I had calmed down Phoebe, and myself, I went back in and found Lorelei in a ball on her bed, sobbing. I was proud of what I said next - a short, gentle lecture about how a newborn can't tell me what she wants but a big sister can - but my self-satisfaction faded pretty fast after this exchange: "So, now can you tell me what it was you wanted?"
"[sniff sniff] I wanted mommy snuggles."
The Mom of the Year award is not going to me any time soon.
Some days go okay. Some days are the worst ever. Occasionally we have an amazing time together - and I manage to capture some of it, like the above, with my camera to remind myself of it on those "worst ever" days. I am sad to admit that I am counting down the weeks until Phoebe turns 1 because I am not good at the baby stage and I know from experience that it gets a lot easier after that first birthday rolls around (46 to go, by the way). But I'm trying really hard to keep a quote in mind that Gretchen posted on IG:
"Remember, you're not managing an inconvenience, you are raising a human being." - Kittie Franz
Trying, trying, trying to live that when I can manage it.
[edited: and for a more eloquent version of what I just wrote, read this post from Lyz Lenz.]