Thursday, August 2, 2012

The United States of Toddler: A Nation (Sanity) Divided?

It's no secret that two-year-old humans present a unique, festive level of Code Red terror.

We've recently covered how, despite that well-deserved reputation, there's also a secretly sweet side to Year Two.

What has snuck up on me this past week - and grabbed me by the throat with bipolar glee - is how extreme the mood swings are, and how swiftly one mood changes places with the other. The highs are unlike any other, Disney-levels of saccharine in their sweetness, and the lows . . . well, to badly butcher Dickens, it is the best of times, it is the worst of times, often at the same time.

It's a bit like watching a nation at war with itself. Unlike Lincoln, however, I have no inspiring Gettysburg Address to rally my countrymen (man). Alas, I have but a camera, a computer, and a deep inner need to complain:

The very picture of Two (with thanks to our friend Z for snapping this)
Witness these recent good/bad Toddler Whiplash incidents:

BAD: A half-hour tantrum - believe me, I was watching the clock - in which my chief crime was suggesting to Master P that we go to his favorite indoor playground (which is a summertime thing here in deathhellheat Texas). He would not put on his shoes, he would not leave the house, NO NO NO.

This was immediately followed by his being furious that we were not in fact at said playground; he waited to launch this counterattack until after it had closed. Of course.

GOOD: That same evening led to this  . . .

With apologies for the Twitter repeat, but . . . but . . .

BAD: A three-alarm screaming fit (see a pattern here?) occasioned by the supreme offense of my eating breakfast.

GOOD:  After I finished said breakfast, doing my best (and failing utterly) to impart some French parent-style patience as I hurriedly choked down my Oatmeal Squares, we went outside to play. The wee CEO suddenly presented me with this, gently chirping "Heart!" as he handed it to me.

I mean . . . I can't even make this stuff up. After all, in the screenplay of my mind this would be some sort of ironic heart gently poking fun at the sugary schmaltz of it all. Cynical ol' me is secretly grateful for this innocent, and better, toddler version.

BAD: This Hollywood moment was swiftly ushered out by Master P face-planting at a full run, and then a morning full of what our sitter kindly described as "testy behavior".

GOOD: I had a sitter that morning - holla! - so I could run some drama-free errands. And, um, he eventually fell asleep.

And so it goes. A telenovela has fewer plot twists than my average day at home lately, which is why I crack up when I still get the "Are you bored at home?" questions. Bored = rarely, in need of a soothing champagne IV = frequently.

I have absolutely no words of wisdom here to impart - do you any of you? Have any favorite Tales of Two like these?


Jessica said...

My little one, J (21 months) will only wear articles of clothing that someone else is also wearing. Like, if I'm wearing flip-flops, she must be wearing flip flops. Same goes for everything else one could possibly wear - dresses, shoes, sunglasses, bows, belts, etc.

I also have a 3-month-old, L. The issue arises when L and I are wearing different things. Say, L is wearing a shirt and I'm wearing a dress. It's like living with a crazy person.

"Ok dress, here we go."
*puts J's dress on*
"What? Fine, whatever."
*peels dress off, puts shirt on* "DREEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS?!?!?!"
"No. We have to leave the house."

.... And meltdown.

So now, we all go out wearing the same thing all the time.

AEOT said...

Your first one about the shoes was us on Tuesday morning. We both wanted to go the library but SYT would NOT put on his shoes, hence no library. Full scale meltdown, screaming, crying, throwing himself onto the couch until I finally picked him up, put him in his booster seat with food and forced him to eat lunch (at 11a.m.) He rubbed his eyes through the whole meal and was upstairs napping by 12:02. #toddlersaretough

Samma said...

I love reading HOnest Toddler and seeing what I have to look forward to!

Karen Jacobs said...

I havent hit toddlerhood yet (Im only 9 months in) but I already completely understand the roller coaster. My husband and I have a saying, " He giveth and then he taketh away!" He will be so freaking good one minute and then cause me to consider maiming myself the next. ARGGHHHH.

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