Me, Two

Why does Full Speed insist on threatening his brother no matter the context, no matter the object?

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T.Puzzle had a tumultuous night. He tossed, turned and cried out for his ‘Daddy!’ on an almost continuous loop. Mad Dog and I did our best to keep him in his crib. Mad Dog took the middle of the night shift (thank you for letting me catch some sleep) and I took the early morning shift. T.Puzzle has been testing his boundaries lately and we knew if we brought him in bed with us we would be setting ourselves up for disaster.

T.Puzzle is in the hard-core terrible twos (you remember my post about the grocery). Luckily (or unlucky for me depending on your perspective), Full Speed’s second year had more than prepared me for T.Puzzle’s evil turn. It’s not to say it makes it more pleasant. At least I have some firsthand knowledge that this stage is finite. Of course, with Full Speed this stage lasted until about two weeks ago (or something like that) that we occasionally have to revisit (he’s almost five now). However, I never thought I would live to see the day that Full Speed was my easier to manage child. Well, these unexpected days are upon me.

The terrible twos come and go in spurts and never completely go away no matter where you are in the cycle. I know some parents claim their children don’t go through this stage. I pose this question, “What kind of sedative was used either for you or your child?” In all seriousness, I understand some kids kind of do skip through this stage (I’m incredibly envious of you if this describes your child) and they don’t abrasively assert their independence. They sort of slide into independence in gradual stages without much confrontation. My sister and I were like that. That’s why my Mom used to marvel at the extreme nature of my boys and their emotional meltdowns. She saw it up close with Full Speed especially. Her eyes would grow wide with wonder at the intensity of his meltdowns that would shake the foundation of our house. Imagine how fun he was to take in public!

I have a couple of theories as to why the terrible two fairy ‘blessed’ our house with more than our share. It could be because I have boys. Since boys are more focused on moving than talking and it’s difficult for them to communicate as quickly as their minds would like, tantrums seem the only route to go. The other theory is their temperaments. Full Speed is strong-willed and T.Puzzle is as well but less so (that’s why I pray his tantrum stage will be shorter). T.Puzzle is still determined to show is raw edges and I’m along for the ride.

terrible two

Here’s a typical day when you are in the dead center of a tantrum cycle. First, T.Puzzle says no to everything you ask him to do. Second, he cries and screams the entire way to school (at least he didn’t throw his shoes at my head like his brother used to do). Once we arrive at school the crying and screaming continue into the lobby, on down the hall and into his classroom. He’s getting a rep as the ‘kid with the lungs’. When I call the school later because I’m sincerely worried I’m causing him severe emotional damage, they tell me he’s having a great day. They claim the crying fit lasted only the five minutes I was there dropping him off (lucky me).

Third on the tantrum filled itinerary is Karate. He’s psyched to get dressed and when it’s time for the class to line up, he runs and hides in a corner under a table and begins to scream as if his limbs were being ripped from his body (I may have thought about yanking an arm off, but I swear, I didn’t lay a finger on him). I’m mortified, as usual. The instructor saves my butt, as usual. He grabs T.Puzzle, puts him on the mat and he proceeds to have an excellent class. Of course he is exemplary in behavior for the instructor.

We get home and he won’t sit still for dinner. He’s standing up and dancing around and hyper as all get out. Mad Dog and I had another date night lined up. When the babysitter arrives and it’s time for us to leave, you would think the tantrums would continue. They do not. T.Puzzle may very well be a little bit in love with our babysitter. The only time during the day when he didn’t fight me was when Mad Dog and I leave for the night. He grabs the babysitter’s hand and waves. He says, “Bye Mommy, see you next time,” as sweet as sweet can be. He’s grinning from ear to ear.

Of course, when we get home and here the rest of the night’s events, (peeing in the tub, screaming “No!” to everything asked of him, crying when put to bed) I began to understand that he is even becoming immune to the cute babysitter. All hope may be lost….!

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