I’m a well-meaning mother; most certainly not a perfect parent, but this is one of those blogs where I’m openly admitting my inexperience. I’ve labeled my Friday parenting blog “thoughts from ground zero” because that is the honest perspective from which I’m writing. I am not doling out advice here; I’m kinda begging for it.
My best of intentions involves making sure my babies always know if they ask for help, mommy and daddy will be there for them and help them the best way we know how. Can a two-year-old really manipulate that bond?
My daughter is 2 going on 12
My daughter has been toilet-trained successfully for the majority of her second year (she’ll be 3 in a few more weeks; actually only about two). She hasn’t had an overnight accident since summer, yet when I’m home quite often she begs me to help her go to the potty because she fears she’ll fall in. Now, this is only an issue when she decides it to be one. Most of the time she just goes and I only need to help her wash her hands afterward. She doesn’t seem to pull the ‘I’ll fall in’ act with her daddy. This morning, I had to just leave the house and my husband said she quit the act and used the toilet without help once I was gone.
She’s also in the cute ‘I need a Band-Aid’ phase that I’d seen plenty of time on television sitcoms and tear-jerking commercials. While it gets a bit annoying, I understand that part of her needs reassurance that we’ll take care of all her bumps and bruises–even the invisible ones. I guess she got a paper cut because I noticed the skin on her index finger wan broken, but not so much as a drop of blood squeezed out. All the same, I bandaged it.
The next morning, her foot magically hurt and had to be bandaged.
Can a toddler have depression?
The single most heart-breaking moment by far came this afternoon, though, when my daughter watched an old episode of Winnie the Pooh (one that comes from the very same book I’ve read to her at night). I knew the story well from reading it–Rabbit tires of Tigger’s incessant bouncing and convinces Pooh and Piglet to try to lose Tigger in the woods. Of course, Rabbit’s plan backfires and Rabbit gets lost. Later, when Tigger finds himself in the top tree branches and afraid to jump down, Rabbit forces him to promise to quit bouncing in exchange for help down. I looked away from my computer to see my teary-eyed daughter on the couch starting to sob.
“They won’t let Tigger bounce,” she sobbed and I ran to hold her like an understanding husband would console his pregnant or otherwise hormonal wife. I hugged her, assuring her that Tigger would be allowed to bounce again because Rabbit, Pooh, Piglet and Roo wanted him to be his happy old self.
My husband and I accepted long ago that our daughter is extremely sensitive and quite brilliant, but now I’m honestly wondering not only what is in store for us once she hits puberty but also whether or not she could have depression. I don’t know. I’m standing here consoling a moody toddler who has everything she needs. She has no idea how truly spoiled she is, but from ground zero I collect these heartbreaking moments and put them out to you, the experts.