Terrible Terrible Twoooooooooo

by Lisa Donovan

Oh. My. God.

My daughter woke up this morning apparently possessed with satan himself. I don’t know what happened. She has been sick - and I thought that her nasty attitude was a symptom of that. But she is more than well now and the attitude has only gotten worse and way too big for her little, cute, cherubic body. I didn’t experience the terrible twos with my son. Actually, quite the opposite. Two to four was the best of times with him. It was such a foreign concept to me that when she started acting up, I had to wrack my brain to think of what could possibly be going on. Then it hit me: holy shit, I’m going to have to deal with that thing! That terrible two thing!

It all started with a cute little, puckered lipped “no….” then moved to a fully screamed “NO!” about a week or so after that first cutely pouted one. Then she never wanted to get dressed. I tried the give her the “options” route that all the pediatricians swear work. Liars. All of them. Liars. I mean, do these people even have kids!? “Baby, do you want to wear your striped pants or your skirt today?” I say with a casual smile. As she’s grabbing both the striped pants and her skirt out of my hand with a look reminicent of Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction and throwing them with brute force that I could hardly imagine from a wrestler, much less a little blond baby, she screams “No MOMMY, NO! MEAN! NO!” then calmly sits down, pats her round, little belly and smiles “belly!” and then giggles as if nothing just happened. Wha?!? HUH!!? Who stole my baby and replaced her with a schizophrenic mad woman? Everything makes her angry and she refuses, absolutely refuses, any help from anyone. She has had tantrums that involve throwing any small furniture that she can get her hands on at her opposition and then throwing herself on the floor and staring up at the ceiling looking very much like she is contemplating her next thrashing.

Even though I think that most of these “tips” were written by people watching people who have kids and don’t actually have any themselves, it is still a sanity saver. Having options makes you feel, at the very least, like you aren’t insane.

  • having a regular routine for meals, naps, bedtime, etc. and try to stick to them each day
  • offer limited choices only, like ‘would you like apples or oranges for your snack’ and not just ‘what do you want for your snack.’ This helps your toddler feel like he is making some decisions and has power over things, but he isn’t able to choose unacceptable alternatives.
  • learn to set limits about things and don’t be surprised when your toddler tries to test those limits to see what he can get away with
  • don’t give in to tantrums
  • begin to use time-out and taking away privileges as discipline techniques
  • provide your toddler with a safe environment that is well childproofed to explore and play in. It really isn’t fair that your toddler should get in trouble for playing with something he isn’t supposed to if you left it within reach.

I’m not sure what her next thrashing will be, but you can bet your bottom dollar that we are afraid. We are all very, very afraid.

Tune in next time for part two of Lisa and the Terrible Twos: The Visit to the Lawyer’s Office with Beligerent Toddler in Hand. It’s bound to be a good time.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 6th, 2006 at 10:57 am and is filed under Behavior Issues, Child Development, Mental Health. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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