Monday, April 25, 2011

Five Things About The Terrible Twos

My littlest smoochie is now two and a half.  There are things that she’s doing that should not come as a surprise to me – I mean , she’s my third kid.  She's also an evil genius.  Maybe there’s some sort of terrible twos amnesia (like they claim occurs with childbirth), and that’s why I can't remember any of this stuff.  Or maybe I'm in denial.  No, of course not. . .

That one word has come to dominate my life.  I hear it ten thousand times a day. I had forgotten that two year olds have an infinite capacity for seeing and hearing the same crap in a seemingly endless repetition.  And the best part? The stuff she likes best is designed to give me a damn stroke.  Do you know how many times this week I have watched the Wiggles? I can’t even count that high.  Do you know the number of times I have read the stupid Elmo book about puppies? I can’t tell you because thinking about that book causes me to black out.  Even the Easter service at church was infiltrated by the cries of AGAIN after the choir and orchestra played a fanfare from some long dead German composer.  The child had to yield to a higher power though.  Not that she noticed.   

I appreciate that toddlers need to learn to do things for themselves.  I understand that this is to be encouraged.  But why must these moments always come when we’re running ten minutes late?  And why must they always include things that would take me five seconds to do for her but take her twenty minutes to do for herself?  So I sit there and twitch and try not to put her shoes on her feet until I finally lose my schmidt and throw her in the van and wrestle her into her car seat as she screams “NO, I DO IT! NO, I DO IT!” over and over and the neighbors wonder if they should call County services.  Also, I don't -- nor will ever -- get how the same fingers that can unbuckle a car seat in Houdini light speed while I am driving, are somehow incapable of buckling the same car seat in five minutes of minivan cardiac time.

My two year old has always been a handful but I often wondered how aware she was that her behavior was naughty.  Now I know. She gets it. She understands everything. And she doesn’t give a sh*t.  She’s like the crazy nastyass honey badger.  She just doesn’t care.  Her adolescence should be really fun.

There’s a reason that two year olds are the cutest creatures on earth.  And why the sound of their precious voices is the sweetest noise you’ll ever hear.  It’s because in addition to the tantrums, the intentional naughtiness, the compulsion to watch Dora 4,000 times a day and make you late for everything – they’re also horrifying.  Two year olds will do crazy and disgusting things that would shock and awe interogators at CIA black sites.  Example: Upon seeing one such episode of grossness in the playground sandbox, I had a random Perfect Mommy observe my horror and smugly tell me, “It’s perfectly natural! They’re just exploring their world!” That might be, I just wish they’d explore it without the cat turds.

Wait. That was gross wasn’t it? Sorry.

Ahhh… Good times. My favorites aren’t the public tantrums – though those are pretty awesome. If for no other reason than being publically humiliated is always a good time and who doesn't love being THAT mom at the grocery store? My favorites are actually the tantrums that are triggered by something so totally ridiculous and unreasonable that it becomes funny. I'm talking about the times when the small one turns into a cross between the angry version of Christian Bale and the full-time version of Gaddafi over something so trivial or inane that it couldn't be explained in either plain English or a cave drawing. No honey, no matter how much you cry and stomp and kick your stroller – you may not lick the floor at Walmart. And no, you may not spray yourself in the face with daddy’s deodorant even though you think it would really fun.

xo, Lydia

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011

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