Oh my, until the last few weeks I was smugly imagining that we were skipping the terrible twos. But no such luck, Sydney has been possessed by the spirit of uncooperativeness and it is not fun.
Most of our conversations go like this;
“I don’t want to go to bed”
“That’s OK, it isn’t bedtime for half an hour.”
“I want to go to bed NOW.”
“I don’t want my dinner.”
*attempts to take dinner away*
“I WANT MY DINNER NOW!”
Sometimes the only way to get him to do something is to pretend I want the opposite outcome.
And the tantrums. Oh my. Full blown screaming on the floor in the middle of the high street, usually because he wants to walk and not walk simultaneously.
He tells me to go away, but sobs in distress if I take him up on it.
The word ‘No’, however well explained, elicits spitting as a response. This is my least favourite bit of all the terrible two stuff. I am currently opting for walking away when he spits, and it does seem to be reducing it. Maybe bringing him up listening to punk wasn’t the best plan tho eh?!
I try really hard to do that positive parenting thing, you know, the woolly liberal nonsense that older generations frown at. “I can see your feeling frustrated, what can I do to help?” or offering alternatives “Which socks would you like? The red or the blue?”. But more and more lately he manages to wind me up to the point where I too have a tantrum.
Currently I am writing this while he is refusing to get dressed for playgroup. He loves playgroup, we will be late, and then he will cry at hometime because he hasn’t had enough time there. There is seemingly no way of explaining this that he will grasp though.
I paused then, because he said he was ready to get dressed now. But he wasn’t. He has now run off and is throwing my books off the shelf onto the floor. I am ignoring him a) because it might work and b) because we have been up 2 hours and I am already out of energy for another confrontation.
So we got there in the end, playgroup I mean. There was a small incident on the way when he refused to hold my hand next to a busy road despite me crouching down to his level and explaining about safety and working together. Therefore he had to be unceremoniously bundled into his pushchair and wheeled screaming down the high street.
Since then he has been lovely. Sweetness and light, my smiley cherub boy, especially at this exact minute as he is asleep on the sofa! Won’t be long until the darkside re-emerges though, so I am girding my spirits for the afternoon battles by gulping down coffee and biscuits while I have a few minutes peace. Honestly, he is my third, I have been here before, and I know it is a short spell, but boy is it exhausting!
So tell me, it has been a while since I last went through this phase, are naughty steps very noughties now? I shall be trying sticker charts, that boy does love a sticker. I prefer a positive, peaceful approach and am definitely not above bribery. I shall stop beating myself up for the occasional lapse of my own temper, and keep giving him lots of cuddles and love during the peaceful times, and we shall ride the tantrum storm together.
Terrible Twos is a funny term isn’t it? Two year old’s aren’t terrible, they are awesome. He is funny and talkative and constantly learning new things. He makes me laugh each and every day. He also frustrates me most days too, but that is because as well as learning his alphabet, he is also learning to have his own opinions. I don’t like it when someone disregards my opinion out of hand, and nor does he. OK, so my opinions are generally a bit more rational and rarely involve demanding kinder eggs for breakfast, but that doesn’t mean that his views should be ignored. Some of the best genius ideas ever sounded a bit crazy at first, who knows, it may be kinder eggs for breakfast today, and the answer to life, the universe and everything tomorrow.
That doesn’t mean I am beyond shouting back at him at times, there is only so much patience in my parenting pocket, it just means I try to bear in mind that his view counts. He still isn’t getting a kinder egg for breakfast though….
Love Miss Cisco XXX