Thursday, January 19, 2012

Terrible Two's

There's no sugar coating it. The Terrible Two's are knock'n at our door.

Oh who am I kidding? The Terrible Two's done beat down the door & barged right in.  

Be afraid, people. Be very afraid.

I'm talking out of this world fit throwing, complete with body convulsions. Temper tantrums starting out with a harmless pouty face then quickly evolving into a top of the lungs wail. Blood curdling screams that come out of nowhere. Toys being chucked across the room sending Momma & Daddy ducking for cover. Tables, walls, & furniture being hauled off & hit & kicked at at in a fit of anger. Flailing around like a crazy person during diaper changes. Burping as loud as he can. Smiling when he's being disciplined. Flinging spit. Dinnertime wars. Spatting the word "NO!" all. day. long. 

Oh, this is some fun stuff.

I can't say that I was completely blindsided. I mean, I've taken care of many a child in my day & I've witnessed what this whole Terrible Two's phase is all about. But c'mon, I thought we could at least hold off until the birthday candles had been blown out. I thought I still had at least a few days left of baby bliss. Geesh, he doesn't turn two for another thirteen days!

I find myself questioning what in the world I am doing wrong--I mean, here I am doing the very best I know how to do as a mom-- I spend hours reading books, I stretch out on the floor & play trains, trucks, hotwheels & powertools, I rock in the rocking chair when a little extra snuggle time is needed , I kiss boo-boos away, I sing the ABC's song ninety-seven times a day because it makes him smile & say, "Again!". I stop what I'm doing numerous times throughout my day to just be present & spend these special moments with my little boy. I show love & grace & mercy when sometimes all I actually want to do is scream, yell, throw myself to the ground & show him the real stuff a hissy fit is made of. I keep my patience in check {most of the time} & I certainly don't slam my fists against the table, throw my belongings across the room, or reach out & smack somebody when I'm angry. 

Where is he learning this stuff? 

I've had to remind myself lately that as incredibly sweet as my little boy looks, he's no angel. I've even taken a look for myself & just as I suspected--no halo underneath that bedhead of his. The truth is, my Jett Jett is no more than a human being. And I have to remember that I cannot expect perfection out of him. He's just a little pint sized version of myself, really. Nobody has to teach him to do naughty. He came fully equipped with that. We all came equipped with naughty. Not one of us has to be taught how to do wrong. It's the good, the doing right that we must all learn. It all boils down to a little something called sin nature--the sin nature that makes him test his authorities & inch as close as he can to his boundaries, the sin nature each & every one of us was born with & the exact sin nature that gets me into trouble to this day. I may not be the tender age of two, but I still manage to have my off days where my behavior is intolerable. The only difference between myself & my little guy is that I can't simply toss my behavior into the Terrible Two's category & call it a day. 

Meatball is transitioning through a time in his life where he's beginning to recognize the very will that lies within him. He's figuring out that he has his own thoughts about things. He's forming his own ideas, likes & dislikes & he's learning how to express it all--boy oh boy, is he is he learning to express it all. He's quickly discovering that rules are a straight drag & that it's way more fun to go your own way {Oh, just wonderful. I now have Fleetwood Mac's "You Can Go Your Own Way" blasting in my brain. Nice.}

It's a rite of passage, these Terrible Two's. It's a phase that every parent & child is destined to go through & I have no doubt that we'll get through it. We may even look back & share a few chuckles about the whole ordeal. But I'm also not oblivious enough to believe that as soon as the Terrible Two's wrap up their visit, it'll be smooth sail'n after that. There will come another phase...& another...& another after that in which I have the responsibility to teach, to nurture, to instill good in my child's life. It is my responsibility as a mother to offset that naughty he came equipped with & slowly begin to replace it with kindness, gentleness, meekness & goodness. Just as I, myself am learning, growing, & evolving every single day into the human being I am meant to be, so is my little *almost* two year old son. I have a Father in heaven that takes all of my imperfections, blemishes, & plain ol' rottenness & he slowly chips away at it. He has softened me, changed the very person that I am & is continuing to mold me daily into a person that looks just a little more like Him. He doesn't examine at me at any particular phase in my life & question where in the world He has gone wrong. He doesn't throw the towel in on me or label Himself "Worst Father Alive". No, instead he continues to show to me a constant, steady, unmoving flow of grace, mercy, love & discipline in my life. I can't think of a more perfect example of parenting to follow.

This Terrible Two's phase is only one tiny piece of the big picture I signed up for when I took on the role of motherhood nearly two years ago. This won't be the last of the tangos Meatball & I dance--teenage years, anyone? He's going to love me, hate me, make my heart swell with pride & make it ache with sorrow throughout this lifetime. It doesn't make him a bad kid or me a bad momma. It just makes us human & nothing more than simply that. We're in this together, this journey of parent/child adventure & I believe every bump, every hiccup, every single phase of it is an opportunity for growth--on his part & mine. 

So sure, at the moment there's a pretty good game of Battle Of The Wills going on at our house.  And why yes, yes that was indeed my child you heard in the grocery store screaming his head off. And nope, I'm not too proud to admit that some nights I say a thank you prayer & take a giant sigh of relief that his little jammied butt is finally in bed & that I can actually sit down in the quiet & settle my frazzled nerves. 

But in the long-run, I know that these infamous Terrible Two's are a gentle reminder to me that we all need a little space in this world. A little space to spread our wings, a little space where we learn the consequences to our actions, a little space where we are able to flourish & emerge on the other side a better individual. 

So here's to giving a little grace, giving a lot of love, & giving some wide open space for these Terrible Two's to go ahead & do their thang.

***Disclaimer: No, I was not provoking my child to anger & tears in the above photos. I was attempting to get some two year old photos for his scrapbook & this is what I ended up with.  He was dressed cute & my finger was on the clicker so I captured what I could--Terrible Two's at its finest.***


  1. I am not looking forward to this! Gus is only 10 months old and already is defiant when I tell him no. I think I have a hard-headed little boy on my hands!

  2. Sighs... I think somehow I convinced myself that I could magically escape this phase lol... Our little girl is just over 14 months and she had her first "real" tantrum yesterday {the angry inconsolable, I have no idea how to fix this type} and I was completely caught off guard! Like you said we just have to keep reminding ourselves that it's not because we're doing something wrong as moms! They're hard wired to be little stinkers sometimes and we just have to help them through it :)