My son is bipolar. Not literally but more in the sense that all toddlers are bipolar. He’ll raise his hand to hit me one minute and the next minute he’ll stroke my arm as if to say, “I love you, mom”. He’s experimenting, I get it.
One of the most important things in caring for a toddler, I’ve learned, has been to care for myself. The more rested and hydrated and fed and groomed I am, the more patience I have. On the days I don’t have time to shower or even change out of my pajamas, where I’m exhausted from Van waking me in the middle of the night (a rare occurrence as of late, thank goodness), and where feeding myself becomes tertiary to feeding the two little birds waiting for me to drop a worm into their mouths, I’m not as good of a mom as I know I can be. I’m sure every mom would agree with this. It goes without saying that the more rested and more prepared we are, the better we are at, well, everything.
Back to Hooper being bipolar. This kid flips between hitting and kissing like a ping pong ball in play on a Japanese table tennis court. The other day he raised his hand toward my head to stroke my hair and I scared him when I flinched, expecting to be smacked. Instead, I got a slobbery hand caressing my newly washed hair. It’s inconsistent, to say the least, but it’s nice to say that I’m not always the victim of abuse.
We’re working hard this week on positive reinforcement and rewarding “normal” behavior.