Toddlers: A Thought on Tantrums
From the moment my daughter hit 18 months, we have been cautiously awaiting that time. The time all parents notice that their children, their adorable, sweet little children turn into stubborn, chaotic, vicious balls of terror: the Terrible Twos. I long thought that my charming daughter would not enter such a stage. She had such big innocent doe eyes, and the sweetest softest little voice that I just couldn’t imagine it morphing into a fearsome creature. How wrong I was. Be warned, you parents of angels, there is a demon lurking just under the surface.
It started with a little back talk, and a little whining every now and then. Occasionally when she got angry, she would smack things. Never you, or any person, simply the table or even her own leg. At first, it was a little comical, but not to worrisome. As time progressed, those cutesy antics progressed. Then it became the look. Yes, even her facial expressions communicated her rebellion. She would give us the look after we told her to do something, or if we did something she did not like. Normally, I can combat her artfully crafted look with a perfected one of my own that sends her scampering off to do my bidding. My fiance, the strong man that he is, has little hope against our precious angel. Men, such tough exteriors and yet such mushy interiors.
She generally ignores him when he tells her to do something, and then laughs if he gets angry. Now I know she is only two, not even two and a half yet, however there is something so utterly infuriating about a toddler laughing at your frustrations! And the talking back, sometimes I am rendered speechless at the things she says or does in retaliation.
Take for instance my Saturday morning. I had just returned from overseas, and was eager to spend time with my demon… err daughter. I poured a bowl of cereal for her, and one for me. Well she did not want the bowl I poured for her, so I gave her mine. Such a good little mommy, she thought. At least that’s what my mind thinks she was thinking. Well I did not like the cereal I gave her (was her favorite) so I decided to make some english muffins. I should have known better, I really should have. She decided, halfway through the cereal, that she did not want the cereal anymore, that she wanted my english muffins. So I informed her that she already had breakfast. She looked down at her little cereal bowl still half full of coco pebbles and milk, picked it up, and threw it on the floor. My jaw hit the ground along with it. She then looked at me. Right at me and said, “No I don’t.”
It was this moment the truth became clear to me. My daughter has gone from being a toddler with a slight attitude to a full on terrible two. I calmly put my perfectly toasted english muffins down, out of her reach of course, and walked into the other room. I counted to ten to ease the torrent of emotions within me before leaving the room with a tight smile. She did not get my english muffins, and she most certainly did not get any more breakfast. Instead, she sat on her adorable little rump and picked up all the coco pebbles and wiped the spilt (thrown) milk with paper towels.
Take this as a warning, all you in-denial-parents, your adorable little baby has a dark side! The cute laughs and bright eyes are just tricks to weaken you! They will get you when you least expect it. And yet you will love them all the more for it.
What about you? Do you have any funny terrible-twos (or beyond) stories to share?