She’s not a baby. But she also doesn’t feel quite like a toddler yet.

She jabbers constantly. But she only knows about 10 words.

She still naps. But it’s only one nap and she has the awareness to fight it when she wants to.

She finally understands and enjoys toys. But she lacks the attention span to play with one for more than 30 seconds before moving on.

She can negotiate the stairs. But she still insists on holding my hand while she does it.

She can eat anything. But all hell breaks loose if I don’t have yogurt melts in my bag.

This stage is getting the better of me most days. I know it’s probably some combination of her age, her personality, my personality, and my inexperience. I just feel like solutions or alternatives to the problems we face right now either apply to younger or older children than Reese.

For example – church. I’ve talked a few times about how frustrating church has become for me. Reese is no longer content to just sit quietly on our laps reading board books. She’s not old enough to sit in her own seat or be entertained by “quiet books” or attend nursery yet, either. (I’m counting down the weeks – 8!) I can’t remember the last time we made it to all 3 hours. The Beard and I taught at the same time, so eventually I had to ask to be released because it was just too much to deliver a primary lesson to a bunch of kids while Reese ran circles around their chairs and tried to steal their scriptures. Now I spend the little time I’m actually AT church stuffing puffs into her shouting mouth or walking 20 laps around the building, stopping her from knocking on every single classroom (and bathroom) door.

Or how about the grocery store? She’s too big for most of the buckle straps, but she tries to stand up and cart surf constantly, earning me those looks from other moms that say “can’t you control your BABY that’s unsafe!!!!”

Not to mention outside activities. She has a lot of energy and can run around, but she’s too small to really do much at the playground or pool by herself. Yet my lap is currently the most boring place to be. (Unless #teething. Thanks teething!)

We’re still pre-logic, pre-bribery, pre-discipline. We’re just in this weird inbetween and the only solution appears to be patience.

And I believe you all when you say: this will pass, it’s a fast stage, enjoy it now because being a toddler is way worse, etc. etc. etc.

Reese is awesome. She’s adorable and smart and funny. She can interact with me and she sleeps 12 hours a night. But that doesn’t mean I don’t feel like a confused, inadequate, impatient mom the other 12 hours a day, between all the cuteness.

Because I think we’re kind of inbetween. And I’m trying to still relish it. Trying to appreciate it, just like all of the other stages. Because I know how fast this is all going, and that it’s really not that big a deal that I have to clean up the scattered contents of my bookshelf for the fourth time today.

Because I’m inbetween, too. I’m inbetween a baby mom and a toddler mom. Baby moms can stick their kids in swings & strollers. Toddler moms deal with tantrums and potty training. Babies destroy outfits, but toddlers destroy rooms. Baby moms get snuggles, toddler moms get bit. Allegedly toddler moms also get good things like to hear “I love you, mom!” and tee ball and someone to fetch your Diet Coke. But I just do this thing where I prepare myself for the absolute worst and then everything seems to turn out heavenly in comparison.

We’re inbetween, Reese and I, and we’re kind of a mess because of it. No longer welcome in the infant world, not quite comfortable in the toddler realm. I’m kind of a mom, but not like a full-blown mom, if that makes sense.

We’re inbetween. Just taking it one day at a time, trying not to screw it up too badly, and eating more goldfish than seems possible.

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7 thoughts on “Inbetween”

  • 2 years ago

    Ohhhhh man. I get this. This was Milo right when Livvy was born and it is NOT fun! Timeouts seemed to help a bit during the 15-18 month stage. It’s just all hard cuz they don’t have the verbal capacity to explain themselves, logic to understand you, cause and effect isn’t there, etc. Just going on walks seemed to be the most fun at this age; the play structures are just now appealing to Milo.

    Suggestions for church: are the nursery leaders sticklers on the 18 months rule? We snuck Milo in at 16 months and they were fine with that. Also, we got a few new toys that we only brought out during sacrament meeting and that helped. We barely started making it all 3 hours and he’s nearly 2, so don’t be too hard on yourself! They say it’s the effort that counts…. I cling to that most Sundays.

    You can do it! You can mom your way through this and you’ll both come out of it with your sanity in tact 🙂

  • 2 years ago

    I totally remember this phase and it’s hard! I’m slowly inching my way up to that phase with my little guy and I’m not looking forward to it. I’m sorry – you are a great mom and even though it’s hard you are handling it like a champ. I totally get the feeling of “kind of a mom.” I have a picture in my head of what a mom is and what a mom feels like and does but I never feel like I fully fit that picture. I love reading your blog – thanks for posting! 🙂

  • 2 years ago

    My favorite part of all this is I was stuffing my face Goldfish while reading your post. This can be a pretty frustrating time and thanks for sharing your experience. It helps to know about what other moms are going through.

  • 2 years ago

    Oh, man. I was just thinking about this the other day. For us church wasn’t that bad with my oldest because we were in a student married ward so it seemed more laid back. There were several kids her age that weren’t quite old enough for nursery (in that ward, the nursery age was 15 months! It was awesome!) so we made a baby-corral out of some of the chairs in Sunday School. We all shared our baby’s toys so they were all content to just chill in their man-made jail and play with “new” toys. So that was a solution for us, but as I’m thinking about my second child at that age in a normal ward, somehow I feel it’s just not appropriate to make a baby-corral out of chairs… We’ll see how it goes, but I agree with what was mentioned previously: have different toys/books that are ~only for church. That makes them more exciting because it’s like they’re “new!” Also, when we had finally accumulated enough toys, I would pack up half, let her play with the first half, then when she got bored of them I would pack that first half up and bring out the second half out. So again it’s like she had “new” toys and playtime was more exciting. There are lots of those Pinterest ideas you could try. All of those sensory bins stuff. You could introduce coloring and see if she takes onto it. But you’re right. It’s just being patient because she doesn’t really understand discipline and gets bored easily. And I wouldn’t worry about the toddler stage for Reese. I could totally picture her being such a sweet, fun little girl! The toddler stage was easily my favorite over the baby stage because they’re constantly learning new things, can communicate, and actually sleep! Don’t worry about it. You’ve got this!

  • 2 years ago

    I remember this and I remember thinking that no one understood. But now I know! I especially really didn’t enjoy the store and the church outings. Eeeeeee. Sorry! I am totally reliving (in my mind) these days and empathising with you!

  • 2 years ago

    The funny thing is, this isn’t the only time this in between stage hits. It’s weird and it’s awkward. In some ways Carsen is also in an “in between.” Too young to do big kid things that Hadley does, but too old to keep him content with me. I remember complaining to my mom about how hard church was with Hadley during that time and she told me “yeah. Nobody gets anything out of church during that phase. The only reason you go is to take the sacrament and to keep kids in the habit of being there.” My best advice there is to take 5-10 minutes before church to sit quiet and connect with the spirit just so you feel some sort of renewed energy before the chaos starts

    Also. The park. I HATE parks with that stage. Mostly because I’m lazy haha. But I want to go to the park to sit and talk with friends while my kids entertain themselves.

    Good luck getting through this In between. From the outside looking in you are doing a killer job!

  • 2 years ago

    I’ll be honest…it was the worst time for me when Rhys was between 9-15 months. But, that’s also when my PPD/anxiety got out of control and before we started medicating me. I also hated the inbetween stage and it frustrated me to no end, especially because Rhys went on an eating strike. It does get better. I promise. But each stage comes with its own challenges.

What do you think?