Illness and the Terrible Two's
I think that the worst feeling in the world as a parent is when your child is sick and not yet able to communicate what hurts or what is wrong.
Noah was pretty sick this past week and is still getting over two viruses’.
Noah, now 17 months old, has never been one to snuggle or cuddle. He is always on the move, playing, dancing, and being silly. I know that he is sick when all he wants is to cuddle.
The problem being, he only wanted Mommy and nobody else. My left arm must be twice the size of my right bicep from constantly holding him. And sitting while holding him was not an option as he would get upset. So, we walked in circles throughout the house, singing and humming different songs and trying to sooth my little bug. Noah was the same when he was a little baby as well. He hated being held while you were sitting or rocking, but the second you held him and walked around the house, all was right in the world. Healthy steps I suppose.
As a Mom, you try your absolute best to comfort your child, try to understand what is going on, and be as loving and comforting as possible. Even after doing all of that, I felt so helpless. I wanted to do more and make him feel better with the snap of my fingers. I wanted to take his pain away, instantly.
His fever was so high that even holding him on my chest, in only a diaper, he was soaking wet in sweat and making me sweat. His appetite was nearly gone and he was barely drinking any water. He didn’t even want a popsicle, which he absolutely loved a few days before.
When the doctor tells you that your child has a virus and it needs to run its course, it is like a punch to the gut with an iron fist. I am not a big proponent of pill pushing but I wish there was some magic pill to ease some of his pain. Tylenol didn’t really touch it and he cannot take Ibuprofen due to his pre-existing genetic kidney syndrome. The doctor said “hunker down for this one, it’s a tough one.”
On top of all of this, all four molars are erupting at the same time, I think Noah is experiencing the 18th month sleep regression, Leap 10 (the wonder weeks), and separation anxiety. Nights are filled with constant waking, wanting to play in the middle of the night, and fussy behavior/tantrums throughout the day.
I swear that Noah is experiencing the terrible two’s. I feel bad when he has a tantrum because I know that he is just trying to communicate his needs or wants, but cannot communicate them properly with words. I do my best to guess or understand what he might want, but sometimes it ends up in a tantrum. I get down on his level, try to look him in the eye, validate his feelings, and attempt to calm him down or ask him to show me what he wants. Sometimes he’ll have me pick him up and he’ll point to what he wants. I feel where his finger is pointing and guess what he wants.
Yesterday, he was having a tantrum because he wanted me to open the lid off of a candle that we have on a shelf. This one was a little tricky to figure out what he wanted, ha-ha.
He is learning so many new words and that is helping a lot. If he wants to go downstairs into the basement, he will say “ball” meaning he wants to go into the ball pit that we have down there. He says “wa wa” when he is thirsty and his water is not in his reach for some reason. He says “bus” when he wants to read his bus book. His vocabulary is taking off and it will definitely help with tantrums when we are able to understand each other better.
I try to compare it to an English speaking person, traveling to another country where they do not speak any English. You point or use hand gestures to try and get your point across but the other person really has no idea what you want or need.
I do my best to remain calm, think outside of the box, offer options, and validate his feelings because I cannot imagine how irritating and frustrating it must be to know what you want but not able to ask or get it yourself.
Let’s just say that this too shall pass and it will be a memory someday.