My question is: who came up with the term “The Terrible Twos?”
Someone please let me know so that I can charge that person with being the biggest liar known to moms. Terrible is when someone dents your parked car and does not leave a note. Or eats your lunch that was stored in the office fridge. Or when you take a day off from work expecting cable service to be installed in your new home only for the cable guy to show up the next day.
Trying to tame a two-year old is not just terrible. It is downright horrifying. Exhausting. It can break you and make you cry. I adore my son, but this little guy is giving me a run for my money. Those of you who floated through the toddler years with overall ease and delight, kuddos to you. Know that you are one of the lucky ones. Those of you who are living this exhausting existence as I am, may the force continue to be with us.
Countless veteran moms have encouraged me to enjoy every stage of my son’s childhood. They warn that the years pass so quickly. Well, this phase can get on. Like right now. I love my son, but I do not love this stage of his life (cue all of the perpetually peachy moms: you many now clutch your pearls). From the moment he opens his eyes in the morning until he closes them at night, there is incessant whining, crying, resistance, falling out, screaming, and scene-making. Before I had a child of my own, I used to be the woman who shook my head in extreme judgment of moms whose child behaved like mine now does. I was annoyed by their lack of control over their tyrannical tot. I wondered why they were unable to take control of their child. I dismissed them as incapable overly indulgent mothers. But now that I have had to quickly vacate stores, make impromptu exits from birthday parties, quell melt-downs in the middle of parks, and frantically run out of restaurants with a screaming toddler in tow, I get it now. Regardless of how superb ones parenting is, a toddler is a toddler. In their little world of curiosity and exploration, rules are made to be broken and every want is to be granted–immediately. It is that simple.
Day after day, I pray that the tide turns. That I am given a reprieve. My son has never been an easy child, but there was a time when he was at least manageable. Now, I feel like he is managing me.
These are the days that I am easily reminded that I am a middleaged mom. That I tire faster than before. Stress more easily. Do more emotional eating. Need more rest that I can never seem to get.
Right now, there are no answers or solutions.
I simply tell myself, “Stay the course girl, just stay the course.” Because this too shall pass.
Photo: Leslie Kahan Photography