I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream, ‘Cause Toddlers

She knows she’s got me. It’s apparent by her toothy grin. Even when she arches her back, bends her body like Neo to the floor, and flops around like a fish out of water. She knows. So I simply breathe. 

On a good day, that is. On a good day when I have time, and calm, and patience, and nowhere to be — to lean into the checklist of “what could be’s” of gentle parenting. Unfortunately, that’s simply a privilege not many can afford. And certainly not every day. And not on very little sleep. (And not on very little caffeine, if that’s your thing.) 

Yet, here we are. She’s been fed. Not overtired. Not under tired. We’ve stuck to a routine. Not much screen time. So what could it possibly be? 

Maybe the world is just too big sometimes. Maybe it’s independence. Maybe she doesn’t have the words. Maybe she’s picking up on energy. Maybe it’s just how she feels. 

The reality is, I, too, feel like that some days. So I join her. I join her on the floor, scrunch up my face, and whine. I half throw/half drop my jacket in the dramatic way only a former theatre major could and just lay there with her. 

And you know what she does? She leans her sweet little head over, looks over at me, and smiles. Missing teeth and all.

So maybe that was it. This whole time, maybe she just wanted to be heard. Maybe she just wanted to be understood. Maybe she just wanted someone at her level for once. No guidance, even if I thought I was helping. No orders, even if it was “for her own good.” And no direction, even if it was for her own safety. Maybe she just wanted me to be there with her. On the floor, and let her let it out.

So, my sweetheart of a daughter. Have at it. I won’t always be there, and eventually you’ll have to figure it out. And yes, “This too shall pass.” But for now, lay on that floor and just let it all out. But for goodness sake, let’s try this at home. Because security is looking at us funny. Apparently, this isn’t acceptable at the mall. For either of us.

Originally from Brooklyn, New York, Amber has lived in the Boston area (currently Cambridge) for double digits now. In previous years she spent her time commuting for auditions and SAG-AFTRA work between New York City and Boston. As of May 2020, she is mom to her daughter, with her long-time boyfriend, and their crazy and cuddly cats — a brother-sister duo named Helios and Selene, respectively. Constantly on the lookout for "ways to elevate her every day," and yours, too, she recently completed her yoga teacher training as she finds it important to find and create movement every day. Which is easy enough, with her love for and household full of music, from Biggie to Beethoven to Billie Holiday and beyond. Always keeping an eye out for creative adventures in and around New England, Amber will jump at any chance to visit the local farms to visit the goats and simply be outdoors. Otherwise, she's often found by the window, calligraphy pen in hand, practicing her favorite craft. After enjoying a hiatus from the restaurant and hospitality industry while being a SAHM mom, Amber is currently working — and learning — in the world of tech. Amber will always hype: brunch and simply ALL food, dancing — the sillier the better, travel and any chance to be at the beach. You can miss her with: cold wet weather (even though she was born in January?!) and horror movies. Look for more thoughts and musings from Amber at www.AmberMichele.com.