The Terrible, Terrible Twos

After a few weeks of almost tearing my hair out, I have to vent a bit. Forgive me, I’m human.

My child has got a SERIOUS case of the terrible twos. One of the worst things a parent can hear from another parent – or sometimes even strangers will chime in – “just wait until they’re two! then you’re really in for it!”

I swear I have been “in for it” for about a year now. Why is two the magical age of discontent? Because I’m pretty sure it is all ages. This boy of mine has got to be the most strong-willed little child… Mom, I think I’m gonna have to borrow that book you had when I was little. You know, the one about how to raise a strong-willed child. Dig it out. I need it. Whew! I just don’t know what I’m going to do with him if he doesn’t go back to being my little sweet boy for more than 5 minutes real soon. I know what I’ll do. I’ll take him to his Mimi. She will straighten him up. He will have her so wrapped about his mischievous little finger. And he is just so opinionated – and without an ounce of self-consciousness. He could care less where he is when he’s screaming “no” or trying to run away from me. Those people who can go to a store and not put their children in a cart, how do you do that?! I am pretty sure Mr. L will be 6 or 7 before he gets to go in a store uncontained 🙂

That boy wants to run constantly! We were once at the bounce house inside the local mall and he got out of the bounce house and ran full-speed out the door, into the mall with no shoes on. I chased him and once I caught him, he was just laughing hysterically like it was a game. Oh, I was so mad. Or the time we were walking into Target and he pulled away and ran into the (thankfully empty) traffic lane. I think God really wants me to learn the virtue of patience with this one 🙂

And he’s so damn independent! I mean seriously, Mr. L?! Just let me help you! You’re only 2!! It’s a daily battle – do you want me to help you go to the bathroom or do you want me to leave you alone? Do you want me to race your cars with you or am I not allowed to touch them? Would you like to take a bath or would you like me to get out so you can just do it yourself? Sorry, I’m talking to Mr. L here. I think he is quite confused about some things.

I remember being woke up once in the middle night by a screaming Mr. L, except he didn’t want me, he wanted my ♥. WHAT?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I do virtually everything for you, but you want him over me? It broke my heart. After my ♥ returned to bed, I started crying telling him that I must be doing something wrong – that I felt like I was failing as a mom. He told me that kids usually only do these things to their moms.

I think he’s right. I think Mr. L only does these things to me and no one else. I think he is starting to come out of his shell for my parents, and for our babysitter. Bless their little hearts. I don’t mean to make him sound like a little monster, but I can’t handle many more howling puddles of misery in public. We went out to lunch and shopping for a few hours today. Oh man. People must think I’m the worst mother in the world. By the time we got to Steak and Shake for lunch, he was sitting on their dirty floor playing with his cars and I didn’t say a word. I just let him do his thing. Can I interject for a moment to discuss how gross I think Steak & Shake is? I will not be returning to their establishment unless it is 2 a.m. and I am drunk. Even then I will probably choose IHOP.

The highlight of our lunch was once our food arrived, and Mr. L was eating (quietly!) He then started pushing around his cars. He asked me to race his car for him so he could jump the thing with his monster truck. I picked up the car to move it and he literally screamed like he was being kidnapped. I’m talking ear-piercing scream. In the middle of a packed Steak & Shake. It startled me so much that I just picked him right up and took him into the bathroom to beat discipline him. I explained that screaming in public is not okay unless a stranger is trying to give you candy or put you in the trunk of their car. I was so embarrassed. I was mortified walking back to our table. At that moment I was thankful we were at Steak & Shake vs. Olive Garden.

Not two minutes after we got into the car to head home, he was passed out. I think the “terrible twos” should be renamed the “tired twos,” “hungry twos,” “cranky twos,” or all of the above. He woke up happy and sweet, thankfully. Because that’s what makes it all worth it. Now that I’ve thoroughly scarred everyone, I’ll say it again. The sweet moments make it all worth it.

Mr L

The moments when we’re cuddled up together reading a book, or when he’s telling me his ABCs, or singing to me. When he tells me, “give me hug, mom,” or “I love you so much, mommy,” or “thank you so much, mommy – yay!” That completely erases all those other not-so-pretty moments that I just laid out there for the world to see 🙂

We have got a lot to work on in the attitude department, but I hope and pray we will get there. I’m not giving up yet. I know their attitudes probably get worse when they’re teenagers, so I’ll just savor my defiant little two-year-old. At least I can still lock him in his bedroom if I need to.

Later, I saw this on Facebook.
granted
It inspired this post. This post is honest, but I wanted to use this post to remind myself that no matter how many “terrible two” incidents we have, I wouldn’t trade Mr. L for anything. He is my purpose in life. There are so many others out there praying and working their asses off to have a little terror child of their own, and I don’t ever want to be someone who doesn’t appreciate this miracle I was given.

So Mr. L – if you ever read this – I can assure you that I love you more than bacon, Diet Coke, chocolate everything, my (sometimes) sweet little boy.

xo, Jess.

{moment of honesty} I secretly want you all to chime in and tell me this is all normal. And please feel free to share some of your favorite “terrible two” moments with me!

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3 thoughts on “The Terrible, Terrible Twos

  1. amberperea says:

    It’s normal. I look at mothers at the store that can actually KEEP their child in the cart and am green with envy :). Mine is wild, crazy, and right after his second birthday we went to have professional portraits taken and he SMACKED ME IN THE FACE IN FRONT OF THE PHOTOGRAPHER. I actually have a picture of this :). Smile, breathe, and just know that they grow out it…I hope..

  2. Christi Sylvester says:

    Coming from the opposite end of the spectrum….my kids, as little ones, WEREN’T terrible 2’s participants. My children were always very clingy and shy…sometimes painfully shy!…I can’t tell you that I ALWAYS wished they had been more independent and explorative, but there were days when it was just as trying dealing with 3 preschoolers who all wanted to just sit on my lap or hold my hand…so while it may look inviting to have that child who is “contained” or seems “behaved”, looks can be deceiving…I say treasure your child the way he was created because God makes each child perfect and for a purpose….someday, the independence and strong will that is so trying now will serve him well!!

  3. kelly saenz says:

    Stay Strong Jessica!!! We ALL go through these issues with our little ones, it’s just part of being a parent. I will say this.. I doubt ANYONE thought you were being a bad parent as those are the ones that “give in and throw in the towel” so to speak. c; MAD PROPS for you being “That Mom” that takes her kid places to show him HOW to act in public.. some honestly don’t. Keep up the good work, for you (and Luke) will definetly be rewarded in the end for doing so.

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