Toddlers and Grief

Living with a toddler can be similar to the grieving process at times.  This hadn’t occurred to me until today when I was trying to get him to take a nap.  The only issue is that you have a tendency to go back and forth through the steps instead of hitting one at a time and then moving on.  It’s exciting.

Denial – “This can’t be my child.  My child was an amazing, smart, and well behaved kid.  This child showed up a few months ago and is making our lives miserable.  He’s evil, EVIL!  He screams like a banshee and demands everything and gets into things and is trying to destroy the house.  It’s our job to keep him safe, but he insists on spending several hours a day attempting to kill himself with these dare devil acts.  This can’t be the same kid!”

Anger – “SO HELP ME CHILD IF YOU DON”T STOP ACTING LIKE THIS I WILL LOCK YOU IN YOUR ROOM UNTIL YOU”RE 30!”*

Bargaining – “Listen baby.  If you stay in bed and take a nap like a good boy, we can watch Monsters (Monster Inc) when you get up.  Do you want to watch Monsters?  Well you have to be a very good boy and stay in bed.  If you get out of bed you’ll get in trouble and Mommy doesn’t want to be mean anymore.  So go to bed, and we can watch Monsters when you get up because you’ve been a good boy.”

Depression** – “My life is over and I’ll never get to watch a movie again that isn’t Toy Story, Monsters Inc, or Little Einstein and I’m losing my mind and I know all of the songs and dialog from these movies by heart.  My house is a pit and I never get a chance to clean and I havn’t gotten dressed in two days and I want to go to the bathroom ALL BY MY SELF JUST ONCE!”

Acceptance – “Honey?  Yeah it’s your wife.  Call your parents and see if  we can pawn off the demon monkey*** for a night and do something that doesn’t involve crayons play dough or cartoons.  I’ve given up wanting to spend quality time with him, I want quality time without him.  Thanks love!”

*No I would not lock my kid in his room until he’s 30.  But that’s not to say that the thought has never entered my mind

** I am not actually depressed. or suffering any actual grief.  I’m just exhausted.

*** Yes we do call him demon monkey sometimes.  What?

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