Growing pains

by Renee

18 months old

18 months old

Bea is very clingy and needy these days. Easily annoyed and easily frustrated. And very loud. I think she is going through some serious emotional growth spurt and development.

Take yesterday. We went to visit the mobile library in our village and she wanted to play on the steep staircase and try out the shiny yellow handles. Of course, I wouldn’t let her. Then she proceeded to wail. Loudly. Then one of her boots fell off, so she was standing there wailing, half bootless, as I tried to placate her, smile at the librarians apologetically, fill in the card application form, while also listening to the elderly ladies go, ‘Oh dear…’ all at the same time.

I don’t know how I managed it, but I remained calm (phew). Some days I don’t manage this, but luckily it was one of those days I did. I vaguely remember nodding at the info the librarians gave me, hoping the info would stick somewhere in my head. I filled in the form – haphazardly and incorrectly, putting my name and address in the wrong places and almost entering my parents-in-law’s landline phone number as my own (why did I do that?!). I felt strands of what’s left of my brain being pulled in all directions. It’s a wonder a remember my own name these days!

And yet, in spite of all this, there are also moments of pure brilliance and joy in our days. Bea’s laughter. The sound of her sweet voice as she tries to speak (even when she loudly blurts out ‘AHHHH BEEEEE! AAAAHHHHH BEEE! every time she gets frustrated). Her playing right under my feet and in between my legs as I cook and wash the dishes. Her listening so intently to my silly made-up stories. Her ‘helping’ me with the chores. Her sweet affection and hugs. The way she starts to get tearful when I read stories about babies, moms and dads being loving and affectionate to each other (I think the feelings of love overwhelm her and she feels touched). The furrow on her forehead as she concentrates on putting together her Duplo pieces. The way she claps and dances when she does something she is proud of or something that makes her happy.

We are both going through the growing pains. But I do my best to remember that there are also growing joys. Lots of them. I do my best to live and enjoy every moment.

As always, she teaches me something new about her, about myself and about how the world works – every single day. And for that I am very grateful.