Parenthood is one hell of a humbling experience.
I used to think that parents who couldn’t control their kids had issues. I thought that a kid who was misbehaving was not very well-disciplined and that the parents simply didn’t try hard enough to keep their kid in check.
I’m here to tell you, as a parent who prides themself on being VERY proactive in trying to mold an incredibly well-behaved child… it’s simply impossible to score 100% all the time.
Like all kids, DLG has had her bouts with disobedience… but until recently nothing off the charts. I diligently read “1-2-3 Magic!” (a book on disciplining your kids) before she reached the age of one. When her behavior began to reach a point where I though she might be able to reasonably understand what was “right” and “wrong”, Bunny and I started issuing time-outs. These have worked splendidly and with minor backlash.
But this Labor Day weekend… something short circuited.
She pushed a kid over in church… twice.
She bit and hit a friend of hers who came over to play.
She threw crayons, spit out half chewed bread and threw pizza across an Italian restaurant.
She dumped her plate full of ravioli all over our kitchen floor.
She kicked off her shoes and demanded to walk around barefoot at the mall.
She would go “boneless” (completely limp) at the first mention of “time-out”.
She would grab fistfuls of her mother and I’s face in an effort to literally pull the skin clean off our skull.
“What happened to my sweet little girl?” I recently asked myself over an empty bottle of Malbec.
The signs of parental abuse were there early on. I should have seen this coming.
I’ve heard from various people and read on numberous blogs that the terrible twos are “a myth” and that the concern should happen when they turn three. Well… I’m here to tell you those people are full of bullshit. I don’t think you know when the “testing” will come. Bunny and I have done everything… EVERYTHING… to ensure DLG has had nothing but love, affection and discipline from both of us. I also think we give her faaaaaaaaaaaaar too much credit sometime and imagine her as being able to overcome two-year-old tendencies because she IS such a genius.
Although… with her genius tendencies she holds the power to become an incredible turd while maintaining her puppy dog eyes sweet demeanor. Recently, after taking her blue magic marker to an expensive piece of furniture in her room, she looked up at her mother as smoke billowed from her ears and said, “I love you mommy!”
“……….” was Bunny’s response.
She looked at me and said, “SO… WHAT ARE WE SUPPOSED TO DO NOW????!!!!!” That comment did elicit a laugh from either of us at which point completely destroys the credibility of your argument with her altogether.
She’s testing her boundaries and she’s doing a damn good job of it.
Doesn’t she know that I’m twenty times bigger than she is? Isn’t she intimidated?
Hell no. Something tells me she just might be getting started.
I’d be interested in hearing any one elses horror stories. It helps ease the pain knowing that other parent’s little angels can become little turds too.