A letter to a Toddler

Dear Capri,

Tonight was hard. Between dad being away for work, potty training, and you still adjusting to becoming a big sister; the past few days have been tough. It seems like everytime I had to feed your baby sister, or carry her from one room to another, there you were, shouting for me to pick you up. I felt like I nearly broke my back carrying a 3 month and 2 year old up and down the stairs multiple times a day. 

I told you to use the potty, but you said you didn't have to go. When I forced you to sit down and try, you screamed waking your sister. When I tried to shush you, you only got louder. I bribed you with candy; you still wouldn't go. I tried to put your pullup on, you cried for undies. The baby woke up hungry so I had to warm a bottle. I didn't have time to run upstairs for underwear, so when I threw a pullup on you against your will, you threw a fit. To calm you down, I offered to play barbies with you. I played for a few moments, but it was hard to hold your sister, the bottle, and move barbie around at the same time. I sat barbie down and you kept handing her back to me so I would play. I tried to prop your sister's bottle against my chest to free up my hand, but it kept falling, so I told you I couldn't play anymore. You threw a tantrum.

It was past 8 when I finally had dinner ready. The day somehow got away from me. I put a bib on you so you wouldn't stain your shirt with ketchup. You threw it on the floor. I tried to get you to wear it. You wouldn't. I took off your shirt to avoid the mess. I was starving, but your sister was hungry again. She's been having trouble nursing, but there was no time to pump more milk. I began to nurse her when you climbed on the couch shouting for me to hold you. I tried to explain that I had to hold her while I fed her. You jumped on top of us anyway. I told you to stop because you were getting too rough and then you kicked her. She cried, pulled on me while nursing, I freaked out and screamed at you to move. You didn't. I pushed you away; both out of fear of your sister getting stepped on, and the frustration I was feeling. I tried to tell myself to calm down; to have patience with you. But I was spent, and had no energy. 

After a few attempts I finally got your sister to latch properly. I sat there thinking how easy she was. How she just went with the flow and didn't push me so hard. How she never cries and always giggles. I remembered when you used to be that easy going baby. And then the sass and feistyness kicked in. You were on the round swivel chair in the corner taking the lining out of a basket. I was going to tell you to stop, but I didn't want to fight anymore. I let you be.

Your sister fell asleep after she finished eating so I put her down. I went to check on you, when I noticed you had fallen asleep, head cramped against the basket, in just your pullup. At first, I felt relief that the both of you were asleep and I could get to the dishes, finish the laundry, or pickup all the dirty diapers lying around. But I just stood there, starring at you. You were so peaceful and so beautiful I couldn't move. 

Before I knew it, tears were rolling down my face. I wanted to wake you up and tell you I had time for you. I wanted you to know I was sorry. All you wanted was a little more attention, you wanted me to hold you, you wanted me to play with you. 

As I sit here writing this feeling defeated, I want you to know that I will always find time for you. I will do my best to give you moments with my undivided attention. I will hold you, and cuddle you, I'll have more patience, and make sure you know how loved you are.