My first child has always been more. He literally came into the world screaming. I remember the nurses joking that his apgar scores were most definitely 9’s because of the fervor that he announced his presence. He was not a particularly difficult baby besides not sleeping well. But I do remember when he was about 4 months old, and had woken up from that 4th trimester newborn sleepiness period, his little personality began to emerge. I frequently described his personality to friends by saying, “He is either really happy or really pissed, there is no middle.” He was just a little more. And this still stands true to this date.
Which brings me to the present. One week into the stay-at-home order, my more first child became a three-year-old. In the midst of an uncertain, ever changing and tumultuous world. The world he was comfortable with, the world that was predictable and the world that he felt like he could control, changed abruptly. As a result it leaves me riding, no, being dragged, on his roller coaster of emotions each day.
Toddlers who are more don’t just whine because you peeled their banana wrong, they throw their bodies to the floor and pound their fists until you make it right. Toddlers who are more feel emotions more strongly. When my three year old is happy, he jumps up and down, smiles so widely and screeches with delight. When he is sad, his whole body crumples, his tears flow and he seems to beg for comfort.
One of the many strengths of having a child who is more, is that he is more perceptive, more sensitive and more in-tune with his surroundings. He is acutely aware that his world has changed and frequently mentions that “when people aren’t sick, we can do everything we use to.” However, I feel like deep down he is grasping at straws, searching for anything he can control such as who puts him to sleep, how much milk is poured into his cup or how you peeled his banana.
I frequently find myself without the words to explain how I am feeling during this Pandemic. I keep trying to remind myself that my three year old doesn’t have those words either. And during this intense period in our lives filled with more emotions, more tantrums, more uncertainty, remember that there will also be more hugs, more laughs, more kisses, and more love.