There’s no denying it. Baby C is definitely in her Terrible Two stage, but it’s not without hope (as we know from Rogue One, there is always hope). We didn’t have to deal with the Terrible Two’s with the older girls as much as we had to handle the Tumultuous Three’s (yep, I coined that just now). However, applying the same consistency we do in the classroom and going with immediate consequences seem to work. It’s all a matter of knowing that YOU are the parent, the child DOES NOT control you, and to pick your battles. Don’t ever let the child take over. I’m serious.
Baby C’s language has developed fast and furiously (yes, I’ve seen many movie trailers this holiday) so it’s funny and appropriate when she exclaims, “I don’t want to” or “I don’t like it” in her cute high-pitched baby voice. However, I know she’s just not saying those words and there is meaning behind them. On Saturday afternoon, she didn’t want to eat her egg and instead plowed through her toast, cheese, and blueberries. She kept saying, “No no no! More berries!” I could’ve just given up and said, “Fine…here’s more berries.” Instead, I went with our old standby negotiation tactic, “Eat your egg and I will give you more berries.” She said no a few more times, I looked her hard in the eyes, and said, “Yes, after you eat your egg.” We played the game of eye chicken for a few more seconds, and yes, you guessed it! The teacher won! Cluck cluck.
Unfortunately, the Terrible Two’s are not geographically confined. Baby C had a crazy meltdown during our trip to Niagara. We arrived at Walden Galleria and the first thing we wanted to do was a diaper change. She was good in the two hour car ride so I will give her that, but she screamed bloody murder in the bathroom. It wasn’t just a yelp or whimper. It was a full out murderous rampaging type of scream. It was as if we were trying to smear poop all over her instead of removing a dirty diaper and getting her all fresh. (Who understands the logic of babies anyway?) We looked at each other and said, “This is the moment we say how we should’ve had a staycation instead.” LOL. Yet after that epic meltdown (seriously, the people at the other end of the mall must’ve been looking around trying to see the source of these terrifying screams), Baby C was pretty good. She didn’t sit in her stroller (gone are those days) very long, but she was probably a 7 / 10 the rest of the trip. We will TAKE that happily. 7/10 is a Level 3 in a teacher’s world and I was happy with it. Seriously me, I was HAPPY with it.
A part of the Terrible Two’s is knowing that it’s just a stage. Babies are now toddlers who understand a bit more and yet not fully comprehend it all. They are essentially in between a child to be reasoned with and a child without common sense. I have to say, it really does take patience, a sense of humour, and yes sometimes, a glass of wine. You will get through it. All the testing, the pushing, how far they can go without being reprimanded. The thing is, you cannot let the child walk all over you (or literally run away from you…she does this a lot). The meltdown will be bad. It will be loud and embarrassing (we’ve removed ourselves from the mall once with Big H and Middle A…it wasn’t pretty, but we did it. We put our foot down and now, we’d like to say that they are pretty well-behaved.), but you have to keep talking, reasoning, explaining, and do it consistently. Never give up. If you want that respectful kid who listens to rules, it’s about consistency. Be firm, but fair (just like in class). They are babies, they don’t know better. They need to be taught, and guess what? Parents ARE the FIRST TEACHERS. Keep at it. Don’t give up. Vent to your family, text your friends, scribble in your journal. Whatever you need to get you through this stage because that’s what it really is. There IS always hope.