Two Is Tough
Now, we’ve all heard of these ‘terrible twos’. The time when angelic little toddler dumplings turn into some kind of hissy-fitting monster spawn. Moo is almost two and a half. Last week she was polite, kind, gentle, prone to the occasional meltdown. This week is a whole different world. And it’s a world of pain.
She’s rude. Blatantly, outright rude. You’ll tell her she’s hurt you (usually by smacking or generally being boisterous) and she’ll laugh. Right in your face.
She’s destructive. Letters and paper are torn, CDs removed from cases and littered on the floor, food and drink deliberately tipped out of bowls and cups. The house is in a state of continual mess.
Her once gorgeous chirpy voice is now a constant whine. She’s also developed a huffy snort type noise to show her absolute contempt at what you’ve asked her to do.
She’s very demanding of attention. You cannot talk to another person without her insisting that you be quiet. She flits from one toy or activity to another and you must immediately participate or fetch or follow.
I know that this behaviour is a normal developmental stage. She’s just testing boundaries and asserting herself. What I’m most unhappy about is the way that I’m dealing with this. Not very well. I want to gently guide her, at her level, use distraction techniques and talk things through. Instead I’m snapping, raising my voice and doing all I can to avoid spending any time with her. I know that I need to be on the ball with this or things will get worse, but I’m struggling to summon the energy.
And then of course, there’s the relentless guilt. Knowing that I should be doing better. Sigh.
I’m stuck with this. Her behaviour can only change with some input from me. I need to be consistent, which I’m struggling to do with low moods that come in waves. My energy levels fluctuate, I can go from being engaged and calm and firm, to needing to just zone out and focus on the most basic functions and tasks, like feeding her. I need to get a grip somehow or things will deteriorate and then I’ll really be swamped by it all.
So, if you see me in the supermarket, flustered, gritted teeth, swearing under my breath, with a screaming toddler rolling around on the floor screaming for chocolate, please don’t judge me. I’m doing my best.