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. . .


AGAIN.
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 DO IT
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.

WILLFUL DISOBEDIENCE
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.

WAIT.  WHUCK?
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.

THE TANTRUMS
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

48 comments:

  1. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.... My two year old has been driving me bonkers this week, and this post just made me happy inside :)

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  2. Oh god.... I totally feel you. I'm so there now.

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  3. Ugh, it would be nice if the terrible twos would actually end. Mine is 3, any day now, right????

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  4. "No! I do it! No! I do it!" That would be the sound track to my nightmares...

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  5. Ah-haha! My favorite is the combo. My 3-year-old often demands to do something himself, then gets frustrated when he can't do it, then ask me to help him -- and then collapse into shrieking sobs when I have the temerity to give him the help he just asked for. Ah, good times!

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  6. My people are big, but I just had a flashback. Not sure exactly which is worse - unreasonable two-year-old or unreasonable teenager. A two-year-old is definitely way more delicious, but you can walk away from a teenager having a snit fit in a store and continue with your shopping. Tough call.

    LOVE - the crying toddler picture up there!!

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  7. Liz- I'm so glad my almost 3 year old isn't the only one who does that! Whew!
    Thanks so much for this post. I've about had it with my DD already this morning.

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  8. My fav tantrums (I have a 3 year old and for you newbies...It. Gets. Better. And I mean that most sarcastically...)anyway, as I was saying, my fav tantrums are the ones triggered by the antics of OTHER kids behaving badly. "Sorry honey, you may NOT jump on the beds at IKEA. No honey, I know it looks like fun and I would LOVE to jump with you, but it is dangerous and would mess up their beds AND EVEN THOUGH SOME OTHER PARENTS WILL LET THEIR KIDS BE NAUGHTY IN IKEA YOU MAY NOT JUMP ON THEIR BEDS!!!" That last bit was me yelling over my shoulder hoping the naughty parents heard me and realized that they were responsible for triggering YET another public temper tantrum from my 3 YO. And I'm pretty sure they don't give a rip, even if they heard me. Which they probably did. Because I'm so loud the dead can hear me.

    That was a true story from this weekend, by the way.

    How did the human race survive past the age of three? I'll never understand it, but my 1 year old is lucky I conceived him before his brother hit this darling age!

    Cheers!

    ~Cat

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  9. Around our place we call them "the terrific twos." It makes a difference; it really does. Things start to look more comical than horrible. Like watching a two year old boy and his neighbor girlfriend, also two, screech grabbing the mine-mines back and forth over a sprig of leaves from a fully foliated bush directly beside them. Must've been a couple of thousand identical sprigs right there within easy reach but no matter. Hahahaha ... just gotta laugh.

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  10. been there, still doing it. do i get a teeshirt?

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  11. The other day my 2 year old threw the biggest tantrum because he'd gotten the knee of his pants wet playing outside and wanted me to take them off. But he ABSOLUTELY DID NOT want me to take his shoes off. So he's throwing a fit because he wants his pants off, but throws a bigger fit when I try to take his shoes off in order to get the pants off.

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  12. Two is easy compared to three. And four is not my favorite right now.

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  13. Um , my daughter is 9 going on 19, and we are still in the "Terrible Twos" stage, or maybe it is pre puberty, I am not sure. She is smart, funny and utterly adorable, but sometimes when the melt-downs are coming thick and fast, I wonder just who is going to survive her teen years!

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  14. So there right now. Thanks for letting me know I'm not alone in this. Love the public meltdowns, too, and the snippy sniffy looks from other people, usually dry, crackly, old angry toothless... I probably shouldn't finish that. But thanks!

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  15. I feel for you, I had two two year olds, but they had one another to play with,so I think that helped. However, now that I have two 10 year olds, it's a different kind of tantrum, can hardly wait until they are teens. This middle aged Mom will be chasing them in her Hover-Around.

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  16. Oh, gosh. Yes. All of it.

    Our favorite tantrums around here these days are the ones where he monkeys onto a tree or light post in a parking lot, while loudly shrieking, "I DON'T WANT TO GO HOME WITH YOU!" Fun times. Yet somehow, I can't help but giggle as I peel him from the tree and manhandle him into the carseat.

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  17. I think it's a rite of passage that every parent experience the Walmart meltdown tantrum. Hahah and the nerve to come back there 3 days later!

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  18. I feel with you!!!! My 4 year old is a dream at the moment... my 2 year old... AGAIN is our favorite word, only not to be outdone with the all favortie NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! And the tantrums, I do not remember them this bad with my 4 year old, but it was warm last night, windows were open and I am sure the whole neighborhood assumed something horrible was going on in my house as my terror SCREAMED for a good 3 minutes as daddy & I tried to put a diaper on her!!!! SIGH.... and did I mention we just bought tickets to see the Wiggles this am.... I feel your pain!! <3

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  19. I have TWO 2.5-year olds right now and if they end up anything like my first daughter, age 3 will be even WORSE than 2...I really don't know if I'll survive.

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  20. Aaaaaaand...THIS is why I can't (read: Don't want to) have another kiddo! ;-)

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  21. Ah, the public melt downs. We had an epic one on a plane. My 2 YO wanted to play in the sink in the plane bathroom after I changed his diaper. All the way up the aisle back to our seat it he was screaming "I wanna go potty!" Great now the whole plane thinks I won't let my child go pee. He was no where close to being ready to potty train either.
    There is also the short term memory. I can't count the number of times in a day I have to say "Stop chasing the cat!"

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  22. Cyndi - I am so glad to hear I am not the only one who struggles with getting a diaper on a two-year-old. I don't want to admit how many diaper changes at my house end me on the floor crying and my daughter running away from me with a bare bottom. I've just given up on getting her dressed. She wears pajamas to school and is naked at home. Without the clothes battles I have more energy deal with the important ones, like "no, you cannot drive the car" or "no, you cannot eat 3 pounds of strawberries for dinner" or "I know it is really really hard when your pancake breaks into two pieces, but you can still eat it - you do not need a new one."

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  23. Re. willful disobedience: My 2.5-year-old daughter is a very talkative, very happy child. Happy is her default setting. So she quite happily puts whole rolls of toilet paper in the toilet and then uses them to "clean" the bathroom, happily washes her hands in the toilet, happily takes off her diaper at naptime and then pees in her bed, happily picks her nose and then tries to smear it on my face, happily picks up animal poo while we're out having a walk... And then, when I lose my schmidt when she does yet *another* thing she knows perfectly well she's not supposed to, she'll smile up at me and say, "No *doing whatever the thing is she's not supposed to*!" AND THEN CONTINUE DOING IT ANYWAY. She knows better! Aaaaaaaaugh. What did I just say, child?

    As for the fits when she is told she can't do something totally ridiculous, I can't help but laugh. Because if I didn't I would cry. No, you may not lie down in the muddy parking lot. No, you may not play with the cleaner that Mommy is using to disinfect your potty. No, you may not play with the cigarette butts you find on the sidewalk. Eeew!

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  24. My daughter through a temper fit so epic that she held her breath....and then passed out.

    She laid there a few moments...blinked. And after I laughed and said "Welcome back...did you enjoy your trip" She started to scream and cry again.

    Sometimes it is just easier to laugh.

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  25. Try having a developmentally delayed child. My son has been "2" for over 3 years now. I may have to take up drinking again.

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  26. This makes me so not miss the two year old stage.

    LOL!

    And how perfect is the picture of the little girl and the caption of "Why can't I be naked in Target?" because that could have been either of my kids at any given moment during the terrible two's!

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  27. Hehheh, thanks. It's nice to know that they'll wake up after they pass out when holding their breath. My 7yo (going on 30) has started threatening me that she's gonna hold her breath till she turns blue. I've always heard they'll pass out but never talked to anyone who's actually witnessed it. Makes me feel a whole lot better about "go ahead but don't cry when you fall out of your chair and hit your head."

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  28. I had to remind my youngest this morning that she wasn't 2 anymore. I told her that four-year-olds aren't allowed to pitch fits. She gave me that look that says "really? ok then" and stopped! Hooray for being done with the terrible 2s and 3s. I wasn't sure she and I would both survive.

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  29. Those aren't the Wiggles I remember. Did they change them? it's been a while, my son is 10, but I do remember how annoying they were!

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  30. crazy nasty-ass honey badger is the BOMB!

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  31. Your post made me laugh so hard because it rang so true.

    It inspired me to write my own post
    http://lifewithemory.blogspot.com/2011/04/my-five-things-about-terrible-twos.html

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  32. love the crazy nastyass honey badger - lol!

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  33. OH MY GLORY, you've been SPYING on us!!!! You know you think about giving in to the "spray face with daddy's deodorant" in the middle of the tantrum...right? Cause (don't call CPS on me) I was sick and tired of arguing with my 2.5 year old that MY deodorant is NOT ice cream-ish in anyway, that when she thought she had snuck it from me...I let her lick it...and then I laughed. Comforted...but was laughing my freakin butt off in a very "I told you so" kind of way. :)

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  34. Ha, they never tell you how bad 3 is, do they? I have a 3 (almost 4) year old and a 2 year old. Oh. My. Maude. What was I thinking?

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  35. @ Anonymous-- Both my toddlers are breath-holders, too! When they feel especially slighted (like today when Mean Mommy made the 13 mo stop chewing on a computer cord) they hold their breath, turn blue, and fall over. It's *really* special.

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  36. Annnnd, welcome to my life. It is very lucky that they are cute and funny, it keeps us from putting them up on ebay after those long toddler days. Bring on the wine and Daddy walking in the door at 6:15 pm.

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  37. they only call it the terrible twos so you think three will be better and don't kill them. they lie. the evil twins just turned 4. i fell for it again. and i *wish* my kids would hold their breath & pass in the middle of a tantrum. can someone teach them this technique?

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  38. Oh how I love when my two going on 3 very soon toddler can't seem to understand why he can't run the super market cart into other shoppers. I tell him to push it out the door and he goes... NOOOO I PUSH!!! While folks behind me are getting impatient because we're blocking the exist. I had enough so I pick his little body up and dragged him and the card out the store. MY MY MY MY MY I PUSH IT.... I PUSH IT! lol I told myself I was going to start recording him and let him hear when he gets older.

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  39. I once carried my now 4-yr old (2 at the time) under my arm like a sack of potatoes screaming from the library after the librarian politely came in to ask if she could "help". I wanted to tell all the snarky moms to just wait, their little perfect angels would throw monumental tantrums one day. And yet, that didn't stop me from having another one. My daughter is now 2 1/2, and if we have the "I-DO-IT-MYSELF!!!-HELP-ME!-NO-DON'T-HELP-I-DO-MYSELF!!!" conversation one more time I am totally going to lose my schmidt!

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  40. Mexican Food JunkieJune 15, 2011 at 1:05 PM

    Love the post and the comments!

    1 thing has been forgotten though:
    MommyMommyMommyMommyMommyMommyMommyMommyMommyMommy.....

    Do you remember when you used to thing that was the sweetest thing that came out of their mouths?

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  41. Oh my gosh! I just completely relived my little one's terrible twos. They really are the sweetest things until the devil takes hold of them and lets you know that there is a price to pay for parenting.

    Thanks for this hilarious and umm, painful post.

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  42. My eye started to twitch when I read "I do it!" I find myself furtively looking around as I'm attempting to strap (wrestle) my child into his car seat as he's screaming/crying "I DO IT!!". Their ability to go totally stiff or or totally limp at the flip of a switch is pretty amazing. Now the three's are just around the corner, oh joy...

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  43. Thanks for making me laugh out loud--- I completely relate to everything you said! my 2yr-old says "I too come!"--meaning she's going wherever I'm going...at any given point in time. And what is it with the Houdini act with the car seat straps?!?!? Drives me CRAZY! :) Thanks again!

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  44. My favorite tantrum was the first one, when a very large toy wouldn't fit into my shirt pocket. Yeah the rock solid laws of humanity/health are fun tantrums, but trying to go against physics? When she really wanted to let loose so would very carefully and gently lay down on the floor, then begin the kicking and screaming. Heck, it's not worth injuring herself, right?

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  45. Ahhhh, the tantrums.

    I have a not-quite-2-year-old boy and a 3-year-old girl. Terrible twos TIMES two. Awesomesauce.

    I was off of work last Friday (Friday before Christmas) and did a Costco run with my heathens (and my Mom, God bless her). We get home, and the 3-year-old melts down that the raisins I bought at Costco are *not in individual boxes.* And *they are supposed to be.* The 2-year-old flipped about……….something. (I'm getting twitchy just trying to recall what precipitated said meltdowns.) Both of them screaming and crying in tandem. (Oh well, at least we were in our own kitchen and not in Costco.)

    And the little man does not use pronouns so “I do it” = “Me do it.” <3 them both (crazy though they may be.)

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  46. I google searched, "my 1 year old is an a**hole", and this came up. This child is like a hardened, 40 year old drill sergeant. Any discipline, and I get the "That didn't hurt" look, followed by the same behavior that landed him the punishment.

    Signed,
    Out of my freakin gourd.

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