"AGH!!!" The cry of protest reverberates throughout the house as I shut the gate to the playroom and walk away. The cry continues as though it's chasing me as I go into a different part of the house. I try desperately to get away. Sound like a bad nightmare? This can be reality for mothering in the worst times. Sometimes your child is having one of "those days" and you've exhausted every gentle discipline technique, anger management resource, as well as some not so gentle discipline techniques (i.e. yelling). This is when a momentary retreat can be so much more helpful than trying to continue in the moment.
If I had to name the hardest thing about being an "Attachment Parent" it's that I can't be just that when it's most needed. It's an ideal and a set of great ideas to strive for, but the reality is that many of us fall short when we've been pushed to our limit. And I can say for myself that falling short is something that I do on a regular basis. But I like that I have a goal of who I want to be as a parent. AP ideals are for me a sort of guide or road map. When I take a detour I at least know the main road that I want to get back on. I've realized as my child has really started to grow into his "threeness" in the last month that I will need to reread some things that I read when he was younger. We have hit a hump. But I firmly believe that it's not every little moment that counts but the overall picture and the continued striving to be more empathic, more nurturing, more understanding, more considerate, more respectful, and well the list could go on and on.
Well, it's been a good five minutes and my child is repeating in a sad voice from the playroom "I want my mommy." My heart rate has slowed, my breathing is more relaxed, and I feel now that I am in a state of mind to give an honest effort at finding out what exactly my child is trying to communicate to me in his moment of tantrumy tears and frustration. Time to go!