May 31, 2011

The Terribles

Out with The Terribles
 There were two little girls.  Who had some little curls, right in the middle of their foreheads.  And when they were good, they were very VERY good.  But when they were bad, they were HORRID!

It's amazing to watch babies turn into people.  More and more, we're reaching these landmarks that tell us for certain that we have gone from having babies to having children.  Last weekend, we rearranged our house quite a bit.  Instead of having the safe area we referred to as "the grubling cage," we now have a new enclosed space= "the Daddy cage."  The girls have free run of the house, with the exception of a gated area that encompasses M's computer desk, the door to the balcony, and the DVD player.

But this comes with a down side.  They are now aware of the limitations of their own tiny bodies.  They are aware that I have far more power of their lives than they.  They are suddenly lashing out at both of these humiliations.

SI's motto: If you can't beat 'em, destroy 'em
I know people refer to it as, "The Terrible Twos."  I think of it as just plain terrible.  Suddenly, SI will decide that the fact that she's having difficulty fitting a puzzle piece together is a grave injustice.  She is filled with a rage untamable by man or beast.  Her anger is mighty, and terrible to behold.

DD doesn't get angry at the cruel joke that fate has played upon her.  Her tiny hands, her awkward fingers, these are not cause for ire or wrath.  They are the great tragedy of her life.  She becomes inconsolable, pounding her tiny fists on the ground, bashing her head into furniture.  Anything to make the incomparable pain of her little existence seem less all consuming.

They both try so hard to assert their independence.  DD says "No!" to anything and everything, even if she really wants it.  She has to be in control, if only for a moment.  SI simply does things her own way, determined that she'll MAKE IT WORK, until the building frustration reaches its peak and she instead decides that if she cannot make it bend to her will, the only other option is to destroy it utterly and completely.

On one side, a toddler determined to outsmart or decimate her environment.  On the other, Emo child.

And then there's me.

I alternate between laughing at them, soothing them, or desperately trying to distract them.  The freedom they now enjoy in the house, being able to move freely across our entire shotgun flat, makes this so much easier.  If we're in the living room I can suggest a cup of juice or a cracker, and by the time they've made the commute to the kitchen all is forgotten.  If we're in the kitchen, the suggestion to watch cartoons sends them scurrying so far away as to escape all memories of the previous frustration.  But it's an endless game.

DD the little girl
They want to learn so badly.  It's inspiring and exhausting.  And they're more and more aware of how much they still need to learn in order to learn.  Before they can master the alphabet, they must become more verbal.  Before they can put their own shoes on, they must learn to navigate their fingers more dexterously.  Before they can brush their own teeth, they must acquire a better sense of spacial reasoning.

They want to learn.  And they want to behave.  But it's hard.  And that means that where there's an obvious solution to a problem, they want to SOLVE it.  The wrist-leashes I put them on when we're out, for example.  If they just TAKE THAT OFF, they could go farther.  See?  Solution!  But they don't understand that the real problem is that they need to stand still and just wait in a damned line.

They're still remarkably easy children.  I still can't imagine what I'd do if they stopped being easy children.  But it's exhausting nonetheless.  And I find it really saddening.  They're just going to keep finding new things to rebel against.  And I'm probably going to be the one they rebel against for the next decade plus.  And I don't particularly like being the villain.

Still, at the end of the day, they seem to forget just about all the wrongs I've inflicted upon them, from not picking them up while I grate zucchini to closing the bathroom door.  Each morning they wake up somehow oblivious to the fact that their worlds are filled with a million little frustrations.  Every day is a new day, without any of the baggage of the day before.

I could really learn a lot from them.


  1. Yes, it is exhausting. It was a -long- time before my baby learned the concept of waiting in line.
    However, they want to learn, and they want to behave! They will not rebel against you for the next decade. You're the one who will help them learn to find solutions.

  2. That is a very good point, at the end of the day and the beginning they are happy and hug you because they love you. My daughter is 21 months and we are feeling the terrible twos very much. It's amazing that it doesn't actually wait until they are two. It is a constant struggle and the lack of words doesn't help. I try to remember it is as frustrating to her as it is to me, maybe even more so. But in the end, they do learn. I know my daughter is a lot better (and worse) than she was a month ago and next month will be a whole new set of different. Kids are cool that way though, they are constantly learning and growing.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Vote for me!

Visit Top Mommy Blogs To Vote For Me!