...by a 17-month old.
If there was a show called Are you smarter than a 17-month old? and I was a contestant, I would lose miserably.
From yesterday afternoon until a bit early today, Teagan was a blubbering, clingy, cranky, seemingly miserable little girl. She only wanted to be in my arms or else she was crying uncontrollably. With no fever, signs of sickness and a normal appetite, I assumed a molar was making its descent. With Jenn being away for the week at a conference, I had a friend come by last night to keep me company. If my friend (who Teagan knows) came within three feet of her, she lost it anymore. As you can imagine, after a few hours of this, I was wrecked. This morning started out somewhat normally but quickly turned into much of the same from the night before. I attempted to take the girls for a walk and to a drop-in centre to play. With Teagan being miserable from the get-go, she rode in the Ergo (carrier) while Q was in the stroller. She continued to cling to me at the drop-in centre. She was whiny and miserable. Fortunately, Quinn was an angel and happily entertained herself. After carrying by 25lbs-ish toddler for close to four hours, I felt like I had had a month's worth of weight workouts.
I had someone coming to watch the girls this afternoon, so I could have a few hours off. I came so close to cancelling because I worried that my clingy little mess would drive her insane. My poor little Teagan clearly needed her Mommy and no one else. But, then it hit me...there is a chance that I'm being manipulated by my clever little tot. But still, when she arrived, I told her that T has been very upset and for her to definitely call me if she was inconsolable in my absence. I reluctantly left.
I texted a short while later to check in, which I never normally do. Sure enough, she was happy as can be!
Eva's words popped into my head, T knows how to get you.
While she could still be teething, she was clearly not that uncomfortable if she was all smiles for Stefanie. My 17-month old cleverly manipulated me into carrying her around for hours.
In my own defence...If you're a mother, you can hopefully relate. Rationally, I know that it isn't the smartest move to jump on a child's every cry. I've seen the result of this as children get older. A whiny, clingy, demanding 6-year old isn't the cutest. But, as a mother, there is this visceral need to grab my crying toddler, hold them close and tell them it will be ok. If you know Teagan, you'll know that she has the saddest sounding cry. She looks up at me with tears streaming from those big, blue puppy dog eyes and I can't help but scoop her up. As exhausting as it is, the feeling of her body relaxing, her breathing regulating and her little fingers playing with my hair, instantly drops my stress level.
Teagan fell asleep in the Ergo today. I stared at my sweet toddler sleeping and realized that it had been many months since either of them fell asleep on me. Maybe I'm already seeing the last two days through rose coloured glasses. Maybe Teagan just wanted some Mommy cuddle time. But, yes, I was still played by my 17-month old!