Terrible twos disturbing the peace
The Patterson home has entered new territory. It is a place that is hard to recognize. We are confused and unsure of how we got to this point. But the only thing we can do is buckle up and hang on for the ride.
We have entered the “terrible two” stage with our daughter Elsie. Despite all what we heard before from parents who knew better, her “stage” seems more dramatic than it was with our son James.
Our son James was a fireball from birth. He always did things his own little way. He was a difficult sleeper, a picky eater and constantly full of energy.
That was just who he was.
I hate to admit this now, but when James entered into his own terrible two stage, it was really no different than before. The tantrums may have lasted a little longer and would begin a little sooner. But for the most part, my husband Jason and I were pretty well adjusted to James’ mood swings by then.
But Elsie’s transformation came out of left field.
She came into this world with a smile on her face and a calm, pleasant attitude. She rarely cried and went to sleep instantly in her own crib when we brought her home.
She was never a picky eater and always had a wonderful appetite. She played well with others. She never really threw a tantrum. And for the most part, could be calmed down easily with a kiss and hug.
But as we come around this new bend, things have gone insane. Jason and I are more baffled than ever, scratching our heads as to what has happened with our sweet little girl.
When Elsie enters the room, she struts. Yes, she makes a grand entrance. With her little hands on her hips, she arrives with an air of confidence that she is in charge.
And this little firecracker demands respect. When things don’t quite go her way, she will even cross her arms and turn her nose up in the air.
I never thought she would do it, but she has even resorted to falling flat on her stomach in the middle of a tantrum. With all four limbs extended, she shoves her little nose into the ground as she makes her case.
When James pushes her buttons, Elsie will point her finger at him and mumble an incoherent language that only babies understand. I am not sure what she is saying to him, but it can’t be good.
And let’s not forget “the dead weight” drop. It never fails. A tantrum always seems to begin while we are in the middle of the grocery store. Elsie will go from being excited about the strawberries I put into the cart to being furious because I wouldn’t let her knock cereal boxes off the shelves.
And then she falls to her knees. As I grab her arm to try to regain control, she puts all her weight into this massive drop to the floor.
People probably feel sorry for us as I try to throw the Kool-Aid packs in the cart while dragging a screaming child down the aisle.
In reality though, the terrible two stage isn’t that bad. As a parent, I think you gain more patience with each child. When James did the “dead weight” drop as an infant, I would leave our shopping cart and run to the car, shielding my face.
But with the second child, I keep on shopping with a child hanging onto my leg with tears of anguish running down her face.
I have even been known to carry on a conversation with another mother as both of our children cried over grabbing a box of Little Debbie snacks.
Elsie is going through a major change in her life, and tantrums and other dramatic episodes can be expected. She is after all a girl...a girl who knows what she wants.
Even at 31 years old, I find myself crossing my arms, stomping a foot and leaving a room with my nose in the air from time to time.
Jason and James are getting used to the antics of a female. And like most men, they stay in their recliners with a remote in hand and a confused look on their faces.
Whether it be a two year old mad because she can’t get extra cupcakes or a grown woman upset because those shoes didn’t come in her size...Jason and James know how to handle any situation.
Even at five years old, James has already learned from his father to just nod his head and remain quiet.
This too shall pass.