Our transition from baby to toddler has been a little difficult. I have to admit my relationship with Xavier is always changing but for some reason this was not just a baby step but a big leap and I am afraid we are still trying to get a hold of each other.
I think one of the most difficult things with a toddler is lack of communication. They think they are communicating with you. They come up to you with an innocent face and tug on your pant leg and say " Mama, boo, goo, bah, bah, bobbla, gabbla goo". I smile and say "Oh Wow! That is great buddy!". He tugs and says something else "Baaa, goo, gabble, woo, woo, latto". I pick him up. He squirms to go down. He sighs and runs away. This then, gets repeated a few minutes later, I try, food, I try changing him, I try playing with him. Sure, you may buy yourself a few minutes, the time it takes for him to finish the crackers I gave him as a snack that he did not want but I thought he did and the few minutes of playtime that he enjoyed with me but was not what he wanted and then it's back to the frustration again. It then finally leads to him crying and having a meltdown and me feeling the "mommy guilt" because I have no idea what he wants.However, if you find yourself in a communication struggle with a toddler and you end up in a tantrum area and they are crying and you are about to or already have pulled your hair out, I have found a good tip. Turn on some music. Something your child likes. If you have no idea what your child likes I recommend a kiddie radio station. Yes, you heard me correctly. My son, has been listening to everything from the 50s to today, to classical, broadway, swing, big band, you name it and his favorite is kiddie radio, because it is songs that his mommy or daddy sing to him and songs from shows that he recognizes. Children love to be able to recognize things. You have to realize that they are in a world where everything is brand new to them it is rare that they recognize something so when they do they get very excited.
Turning on music gives your child something to listen to, relax to, learn about and it gives you a common ground with your toddler. Now when Xavier and I are in meltdown time because we have no way to tell each other what we want, I turn on the music and scoop him up and we dance. Not just waving our hands back and forth I mean, I hold him close, and we dance around the room. He smiles and rests his little head on my shoulder and his arms around my neck or sometimes he even holds my hand like we are dancing and whatever our problem is we at least calm all the way down and it is easier to remember that we love each other and it is alright to get frustrated once in a while because we spend a lot of time together but in the end we still love and care about each other. Music and dance let's you say just that to your child. No verbal language needed. It is something that we just understand.
Once I put him down, we still have the issue at hand but he is calm and happy and I am thinking more clearly to try to figure out what he wants and usually after a dance, I can figure it out a little better. Be sure to try to add a little music and dancing into your day!