This morning, after returning home from dropping off my 2nd grader, I opened up the windows to let some fresh air into the house. What followed can only be described as ear-shredding, chart-topping decibels from hell. Only thing is, it wasn’t coming from outside, it was right behind me in the form of a usually very adorable, curly haired two year old. How on earth did I not know that she wanted to open the window “all by herself?”
And then a whole 10 minutes later when I made her some breakfast, she threw herself to the ground in protest of the fact that I had cracked the egg when she obviously had been dreaming of doing this for a full nanosecond before it happened. Or when I was preparing her lunch, the same familiar screeching occurred because I failed to let her take the bread out of the bag. These fits can go for days on end and then disappear for weeks before striking again, usually when you least expect it. Worthy reasons of said tantrums include, but are in no way limited to: picking out clothing, cleaning the toilets, sitting in a stroller, brushing of teeth, naptime requirements, the wrong colored underwear, use of scissors, control of the remote, sippy cups, etc., etc., and so forth. And I won’t even go into the fits that follow my trips to the bathroom!
Trying to negotiate with the resident toddler during a fit of rage is fruitless. She can’t hear me, and is never ready to forgive my terrible offenses so easily. Most of the time I go on as if the tantrum isn’t even happening. Sometimes I have to step over her flailing little body to go to another room where I either laugh, try to drown out the noise, or lock myself in the bathroom and send texts to my husband requesting backup and/or chocolate.
With my first child, these fits used to scare me. I would google “what is wrong with my child” and “is this behavior normal.” I wondered if his acts of defiance were a direct result of some big parenting fail and I was determined to figure out what I was doing wrong. Obviously, there is no magical secret of survival to this lovely phase of life except for time.
But the twos aren’t all bad. There are still drops of babyhood in these little ones . They need love, snuggles on the sofa, and board books while they sit in your lap. They still love you unconditionally, even after you’ve made them sit in timeout for what seemed like an hour but was only a minute or two. Their skin is still so soft and their cheeks still so kissable. They say the most hilarious things with such conviction and innocence and bring so much joy and laughter. They are complicated little people, but of all the ages, two just might be my favorite.