Friday, January 3, 2014

Terrible twos

We are in it. As in, stepped off the edge thinking we were in the shallow end but turns out there is no shallow end in this temper tantrum-filled pool of hysterics. The Babe went from eating everything to eating nothing; from diapers to peeing her pants in Starbucks after repeated attempts to go on the potty; from picking out her clothes to kicking the bejeesuz out of me when I try to put pants on her. For the record, I could care less if she wears pants, but it's January and people tend to think you're a crappy parent if you send your child to daycare without pants, in any month for that matter.

Not that she was a wallflower before, but at least The Babe didn't constantly use her body as a weapon of pain up until a month or so ago. What happened? Is it me? Is it her? Is it something in the water? She has begun refusing to get out of the car when we get home, which would be fine with me if she was still in diapers. I could vacuum and she could hang out in the car, everyone's happy. Just kidding? She also has begun to throw her food. Yep, and she started with oatmeal, my personal favourite to wipe off cupboards. I love that she chose a food which turns into cement when it dries. When inflicting damage, my girl goes for the good stuff. She is also refusing to go up or down the stairs unless she is carried. I'm not sure why. She weighs almost 30 lbs, so it's not cute anymore. I have tried just leaving her at the bottom of the stairs with promises of treats if she walks up unaided. Half an hour later I caved because I needed to make and eat dinner, and so the cycle continues.

Why does this happen and what do we do about it? I have read all the articles about pushing boundaries, testing the limits, blah blah blah but I need real situations and solutions. Patience is a virtue I often lack, and I realize my behaviour and reaction in these situations affects the outcome as much if not more, than hers. Do I be firm and realize she may end up sleeping at the bottom of the stairs because she is too stubborn to climb them? Do I only feed her food that can be cleaned up easily, such as Cheerios and raisins? Does using her body as a weapon result in a timeout, which I am not a big fan of for her because she doesn't seem to see it as a form of punishment? GAH! What's more frustrating is the lack of control I feel, the sense that I seem to be making it worse, not better.

I shall continue to read, consult my peers, and maybe accept that I may have a few bumps and bruises before this thing is over. I shall continue to try fun activities with her, even though the markers seem to leave the page and end up on her face and the Playdoh seems to leave the table and end up in the carpet. Maybe we can try cooking together again, as long as she doesn't smack me in the face with the spoon.

~ H

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