Wednesday, December 18, 2013

T2 - Is she the Terminator or my child??

My two year old daughter is driving everyone in the house out of there freaking minds right now. Yes the terrible 2’s have reared their ugly head in our house again and terrible is an understatement. They should call it tyrannical twos or something else more profound, because sometimes I feel I should try to perform an exorcism, standing over her with my rosary, chanting “The power of Christ compels you” “The power of Christ compels you”. My son is four so we have been through this before and he survived, and what I mean is he grew out of it before we killed him. My son was much easier to deal with during his time of internal frustration because with him, ignoring the behavior worked. He would throw himself on the floor into a tantrum and we would ignore him and I mean really ignore him. If he was in the hall flipping like a fish we would just walk over him like he wasn’t there and in a few minutes it was over. It was so much about the attention that we caught him several times abruptly stopping the fit to see if anyone was watching and as soon as one of us came into view the devil would amazingly reenter his little body. Switching it on and off like that is going to win him an Academy Award one day. This girl child demon, on the other hand, has the stamina of a triathlete; she can go all day, through the night. My son, Max even walks around with his fingers in his ears. The smallest, most trivial things set her off. If the covers aren’t properly tucked around her feet, BOOM, she’s on the floor kicking and screaming. We can’t change an activity without plenty of forewarning. Ok honey in 5 minutes we are leaving , ok 2 minutes, ok times up, ok times up, ok one more minute… In the effort to help her grow out of this properly we are constantly fighting off the insatiable urge to just give her what she wants and not say or do anything that would allow the anti-Christ to reappear. Her need to be independent, which is a part of her frustration in this developmental stage, is also raging. The other day we got home from the store and began to go through the same routine: open her door, unbuckle her from her car seat, pick her up and take her inside and all the while she is kicking and screaming “I do it myself daddy, I do it myself daddy”. So she runs past me screaming and crying back outside to the car, gets in the car, closes the door, gets back in her car seat, buckles herself in, then unbuckles herself, climbs out of her seat , opens the car door, gets out, walks past me again huffing and puffing and says “I do it myself daddy”. Now, when I go to get her out of her car seat she says “Go away Daddy, I do it myself” so I oblige, but if I was just to get out of the car and go inside, a meltdown would surely ensue because she was not given the opportunity to tell me “go away Daddy, I do it myself”.
Do Costa Rican children go through the T2’s because I have only seen one meltdown at the grocery store in the 8 months we have lived here? The truth is my daughters T2’s are starting to taper off lasting about the same time my son’s did, a year of challenges for all of us, just part of a child’s developmental process. When I see a child losing it in the grocery store or restaurant and I can see the look of embarrassment and failure on the parent’s faces, I wish I could do something for them because those of us with children have been there. We can’t do anything but let you go through it. Sometime my wife and I giggle because it is fun to make light of others peoples struggles that you endure as well. My children are the best things that have ever happened to me and the most wonderful things on the planet until they’re not. Oh, did I mention my wife and I are 8 months pregnant with our 3rd child? Maybe by the time Sophie begins her T2’s, Max and Sara will be ready to handle the situation and let me get some sleep, but I doubt it. 

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