As all my friends and family members tell me, the “Terrible Twos” are nothing compared to the “Terrible Threes.” However, Max is turning two so the “Threes” will have to wait. While still cute at times, Max has begun declaring two words to every encounter: “No!” and “Mine!” Yes, it would appear Max owns everything yet doesn’t want anything. Sounds nice when you say it like that…like trying to figure out what to give my Dad for Christmas…but Dad doesn’t throw a temper tantrum when you ask him to sit down to eat with you…yet.
So far today I have been slapped, hit, pushed, stepped on, sat on, used as a napkin, and of course been told “no” defiantly more times than I can count…and its barely past midday. The idea of having two kids spaced two years apart seemed like such a great idea when Max was one…he was easy! Max was the easiest baby. He went everywhere with us, slept in sports arenas, was social, played well with others, and was just generally pleasant. Then a few weeks ago his head spun around a few times and he became possessed by the devil. What?!!! This is parenting? We’re having another one of these? What’s wrong with us?!!!
Kate and I have prepared for this and already have tactics in place to combat this stage as best we can such as…
- Only offering him limited choices
- Creating a Max-friendly house
- Having a routine for everything
- Enforcing “No, no, no…”
- Giving “Time Outs”
However, nothing can prepare you for a tantrum and I have, at select times, become the parent I vowed never to be; holding my screaming kid by the arm in a Walmart trying to reason with him. He’ll be two next month…he can’t reason. Why am I trying to reason with him? I think its the parenting equivalent of screaming into a pillow or punching a wall. It doesn’t do any good but it makes you feel a bit better.
“I know you want to see the lights on the checkout counter blink but Daddy needs to buy new underwear and the underwear is over here. We can see the lights on the checkout counter after we go get Daddy underwear but first I need you to get up off the floor and stop screaming as if someone is hitting you. Do you want me to hit you? Daddy isn’t allowed to hit you. Daddy feels like he wants to hit you but Daddy knows that its illegal and also would be counterproductive to the “no hitting” rule you so blatantly violate every five minutes. Daddy might need to go to the home section and buy a pillow and some drywall repair. Would you like to see Daddy hit a wall? Daddy is hitting the proverbial wall right now…a little more screaming and a physical wall will be required…”
Yeah…other parents out there know what I’m talking about. You parents-to-be or parents with babies who think making a hitting joke is appalling ..heh heh…just wait. It all just gets funner. No joke, I shouted these exact words at Max last week: “Maxwell!!! Stop riding the wheat bread like a pony!!!” They don’t teach you how to handle that situation in lamaze class. You can’t prepare for what a toddler will do to you…and now I’m going to have two of these things tearing around my house breaking my stuff and punching me in the “downstairs area?” Once you have kids and you intentionally have more kids I think you should have to get psychologically checked out to make sure you’re not insane. Parenting (again) is self deprecating.
In all seriousness I’m not hitting my kid nor would I…in public. I’m kidding!!! Never. Like we say to Max, “Hitting is no, no, no!” You can’t punish a kid for temper tantrums or outbursts…they’re doing it because they are developing an opinion and don’t know how to express themselves verbally yet. Don’t go calling Child Services because you can’t take a child hitting joke…unless they want to babysit him for a day while Mommy and Daddy pretend to not have kids and do grown up stuff like talk, not call each other “Mommy” and “Daddy,” or eat a meal without an impromptu food fight. Ahhhhhh…that was less than two years ago. I love my son…little shit.
*Ryan, Kate, and everyone associated with So Long Freedom do not condone ever hitting children. The purpose of this site is for entertainment and any references to hitting is strictly fictional and meant solely to get a rise out of the reader like when Max pours milk into Ryan’s shoes to see if it will get a rise out of him. Or when Max hits Ryan, Ryan calmly explains that “Hitting is no, no, no…” and Max mid-sentence hits Ryan again, smiles, and says back to Ryan, “Hitting no, no, no.” Or when Max throws the basketball at the big screen TV, gets yelled at, and then cries like he is somehow a victim of a heinous crime. Or when Ryan can’t find his wedding band in the morning and discovers Max has grabbed it off his nightstand and is trying to squash it under his feet as if to say “Mommy is mine now.” Or when Max stuck his index finger in the cat’s bum and the cat bit him…okay that was just funny and Max got what he deserved…you can’t go around sticking your fingers in a cat’s bum. Lesson learned.