It goes without saying that becoming a mother changes you. We’ve all heard it, and once we go through it, we know it to be true. It’s wonderful and amazing and I’m obsessed with Harvey. But nothing can truly prepare you for just HOW BAD the terrible twos can be. Granted – I’m 7 and ½ months pregnant while Harvey is hitting the worst of it., but still – it is crippling and defeating nonetheless. My husband and I find each other asking ourselves, almost every day, if this is normal?! Harvey is one thing these days, and that’s FRUSTRATED. And that frustration is typically targeted at one specific person – ME.
Let me take you through a typical day.
I wake up, and go get Harvey from his crib. He LOVES sleeping so he’s never crying or whining to get out, if anything, he prefers to stay in until HE decides it’s time to get out. But you know, life, jobs, getting the day going, we need to get him up and off to daycare. Usually upon sight of me he immediately screams NOOOO and won’t even let me touch him or take him out the crib. I’m bigger and stronger, so of course I can and eventually do take him out of the crib and change his diaper and clothes while he either whines or hits me. Pants? He’s like WTF, why do I have to wear those?
Next is the real doozie. Breakfast. The food must be ready for this tiny dictator. He cannot be expected to wait. And, it doesn’t matter what food has been prepared. He doesn’t want it, any of it. And even if he does show signs of wanting it, he’ll still scream when it’s placed in front of him and hit it away/throw the spoon/shame you for messing up. If we give him milk, he wants juice. If we give him juice, he wants milk. And HURRY UP parents. Harvey may have changed his mind but he doesn’t have the time or the patience to wait for us to go get him what he decides he now wants. And this might not sound that bad, but I’ve left the best part out. Harvey can’t speak of course, so he communicates all this frustration and impatience through blood-curdling screaming. Not whining, SCREAMING. If you come near him, he slaps you.
We can usually convince him to eat a bite or two of one of the many things he’s requested, sorry – DEMANDED before we have to break the news that it’s time to put on socks, shoes and coat. More screaming, throwing himself on the ground, throwing his shoes, and being so insulted that we’ve asked him to do yet another thing he doesn’t want to do. By some small miracle, I get him ready to exit the house and into the car. He again screams until I start playing his music of choice (Trolls, Moana, Elmo) And it has to be the EXACT song he’s wanting to hear or you guessed it, more screaming.
He also at some point will realize that daddy, his HERO, his BFF is not in the car and he’s being driven to daycare by the parent he wants absolutely nothing to do with. Once we get to daycare, he’s again usually calmed down. But whether or not he wants to go inside the classroom is always a toss up.
Once I get him dropped off and I’m back I my car, I guiltily feel relieved and relaxed, at least for a minute. I then spend the next 8 hours without Harvey, and ultimately missing him madly even though he drove me insane all morning. If he’s not traveling for work, my husband usually picks Harvey up and brings him home. I’m so excited to see him by this point, and sadly the feeling is rarely mutual. He hears my voice or sees me when he enters the house and immediately screams NO. NO NO NO NO NO. He wants nothing to do with me, again. He does NOT do this when I pick him up and we get home to see daddy, FYI. Nice little knife through the heart there.
We wade through dinner, followed by playtime before bath and bed. By bedtime, he’s my baby boo boo again. Ready to snuggle and read books before he kisses me and tells me he loves me too. He sleeps a blissful 12 hours every night. Then morning comes and we start the entire process all over again.
I know this is a phase. I know my son is normal and I’m just whining. But do any of you moms have any tips? Words of encouragement? Tricks? Bait? Bail money? Ha – just kidding. But seriously, any guidance in the wild world of toddlers would help us out, or at least make me feel like I’m not alone and we ALL have had crazy 2-year olds.