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it has happened

February 19, 2008

I knew this day would come, despite all my efforts to prevent it. This same day comes to all parents, almost always long before they expect it to. This is the day that I realize that my baby has turned into a toddler. I think God must do something to moms to make us forget about the toddler years with our previous children, similar to the way He makes us forget what childbirth feels like. If He didn’t, no woman would ever have more than one child.

Whoever came up with the term “terrible twos” really didn’t know anything about raising children. The terrible twos actually begin long before two and end well after three. In my experience, it usually begins shortly after the child can walk easily, sometime after his first birthday. He begins to realize that he has an opinion about his life. He is no longer completely under the control of his mom, being carried around wherever she goes. No, now he has freedom…

That freedom turns the sweetest, most innocent little baby into a complete monster, almost overnight. The tiny, fragile little creature becomes a tornado of destruction, going from room to room leaving nothing untouched. At only 14 months old, my little one can turn a room completely upside down in a matter of minutes. He walks into my bedroom, for example, and before I can utter the word “no” he has thrown everything off of the night stand onto the floor. In the kitchen, he can unload an entire cabinet before I can get across the room to stop him. The cooing, babbling bundle of joy is now a fit-throwing, screaming little tyrant. If I scold him or say “no” to anything, he runs to the nearest wall to bang his head in frustration. If no wall is within reach, he drops to the floor and screams. The sweet little gerber face that used to open his mouth to any kind of food I offered, now spits out anything that doesn’t please his sophisticated palate. If he’s had enough oatmeal, he slaps the spoon away, covering me and the wall in sticky goo. Then he laughs. I can’t really blame him for his behavior. I mean, we have all spent the last year convincing him that he is the center of the universe. It was bound to go to his head eventually.

Now, since I am not a first-timer, there are some things I know. I know that the easy days are over, that now is when the real work begins. I know that I can’t let him out of my sight. I know that if he is quiet and not sleeping, then he’s getting into something he shouldn’t. I know that for the next two or three years I will live just on the edge of exhaustion and insanity. But I also know that with patience, love, and discipline, one day he will understand that life is better for him when he is not a monster. Then I will be able to relax. Until then, I will put away anything I own that is breakable, stock up on coffee, and prepare for the long haul.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 20, 2008 7:17 pm

    Oh, so true! I always said that my boys were overachievers, since they entered the terrible two’s way ahead of time.

    They also perfected the spoon-blow right about that age. You know, where open their mouths real wide, and then blow right as the peas are going in, creating pea-shrapnel that will take you weeks to track down and clean off the walls!

    I think they created Red Bull just for moms, “Hi, my name is Hannah and I am an Energy Drink-o-holic. ” Let me tell you, the detox is nasty! Being pregnant again, I could really use some hard stuff, like a Rock Star… it’s like liquid Speed for moms. Good luck! H

  2. February 22, 2008 12:19 pm

    on behalf of the nursery, we don’t love that your baby is turning into a toddler either! that means we have to let him go & that’s our least favorite part 😦

  3. Dawn permalink
    February 24, 2008 5:56 pm

    You couldn’t possible be talking about your 3rd son! He is always so pleasant and sedate when we see him. Usually by the time the others have reached his age, they are every where in the room and it’s time to promote, but not him. He’s great! He just sits and plays with his toys and is perfectly content and behaved.

  4. scrabblenut permalink*
    February 24, 2008 8:42 pm

    We’re all on our best behavior in church, aren’t we?

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