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terrible twos

Last week or whatever I was writing about how we had so much snow I had to "work from home". I put this in quote marks because my productivity at home is NOTHING compared to the quiet office, it's an arrangement that works great for some people and maybe with time I'd figure out how to balance it, but with just a day here or there I basically felt like I got half a day of work. If that.

The only thing good about it is that I can start my day at 4am or whatever, if I'm planning to head to the office at 7 am I usually don't even bring my work laptop home, I make myself breakfast and putz around in my craft room and take showers and all that. But if the work laptop has to be started up anyway, and I'm sitting there with my coffee and egg sandwich, my head starts spinning about work just seeing the computer and I jump right in. It's productive, it's nice, I'm focused.

Until Josie wakes up. No amount of "mommy has to work" keeps this child from running laps around the dining room table. And part of it is my fault... she's cute! And I feel bad telling her I won't play with her, especially when she's walking up to me with her happy face magna-doodle pretending to be a waitress asking me if I want ice tea or lemonade (we go out to eat way too much these days). So I play along.

But there's another problem: she is two years old, and psychotic. I mean I've heard of the terrible twos but looking at my friends kids I can't decide if Josie is a little overdramatic for her age or not... she is intense. She likes to go play by herself now which is a big deal, I remember when she was a baby and marc CALLED ME to say "She looked at her mobile for TEN MINUTES!" and we were practically throwing confetti, we hadn't seen any sign of that sort of self-reliance in the months since she'd entered the world and demanded two hands on her at all times. Now she'll sit and read a book, or play with blocks, or play in her kitchen.

Until she loses her mind. Anything can set her off, and she screams and cries and begs for help and you sit there trying not to look and thinking "Should I ignore her to help foster independence? Or is her leg being cut off?" It's that bad. If she can't get the latch open on her little play toolbox she'll start up screaming and eventually you'll go investigate and JUST THAT SECOND, she'll go "Oh, I got it!" in her cute voice. And marc and I just look at each other like oh. my. god. The child is batshit crazy.

Here's this video to illustrate my point... it's 45 seconds long. 30 seconds is of her calmly stacking duplos. Then something bad happens, no matter how many times I watch the video I can't figure out what, but she screams and throws herself on the floor and sobs. Ten seconds later, she decides it'll be okay. This was easy for us to get video of because it happens continuously...

(turn your sound down, otherwise the shrillness will blow you out)

I have found comfort: this past weekend I was on pinterest and saw a picture of a baby elephant throwing a tantrum. Apparently we're not the only species who has to put up with this crap!

and their parents ignore them and let them play on and don't bother pointing out the fact that "you know what? you're a toddler and your life is not that difficult" because we know it won't get us anywhere. That's all we can do.


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 5th, 2013 11:39 pm (UTC)
Oh no, this is normal. I'm surprised that she doesn't keep it up for longer, but then I had a pair of two-year-olds and a three-year-old (goodness, a decade and a half ago) and they just kept each other going.
Mar. 5th, 2013 11:56 pm (UTC)
Clearly she put them on in the wrong order! Or the wrong way. Or they were the wrong color. Or they looked at her funny.

We used to call this "being two is hard."
Mar. 6th, 2013 07:26 am (UTC)
This list of 46 reasons why my three year old might be freaking out was circulating around my corner of the internet recently, and it's hilarious.
Mar. 6th, 2013 12:08 pm (UTC)
I saw that list, and think he's a ligtweight for not making it to 100.
Mar. 6th, 2013 12:10 pm (UTC)
I have to wonder if he didn't just pick an arbitrary place to stop, because I bet it could go on to infinity (and be different for every child!).

It made me laugh, but the "he's hungry but cannot remember the word for hungry" made me pause; it hadn't occurred to me that such a situation might occur, and I'll have to remember it for when I reach the delightful 2's in another 8 months.
Mar. 6th, 2013 04:04 pm (UTC)
I was impressed he got to 46 before he had to stop writing to deal with a tantrum... ;)
Mar. 6th, 2013 01:55 pm (UTC)
lol...my daughter actually quietens down when I offer her that suggestion, "is it in the wrong order?" sigh.
Mar. 6th, 2013 01:17 am (UTC)
LOL about the elephant
Mar. 6th, 2013 07:25 am (UTC)
That elephant is the most adorable thing!
Mar. 6th, 2013 08:47 am (UTC)
It looked to me like she was unhappy because her tower reached its maximum height for easy balance. She'll have to learn to widen the base.
Mar. 6th, 2013 01:54 pm (UTC)
it's amusing to watch their melodrama. It's even more "fun" when it occurs in public. People look aghast when I sit by her side and do nothing. It only makes it worse when I try to help! sigh.

Comforting to know we are not alone!

Do you notice though the meltdowns are for different reason now? It's clearly "I want to do it on my own and I am not getting it!"

Edited at 2013-03-06 01:56 pm (UTC)
Mar. 6th, 2013 02:54 pm (UTC)
Looks to me it was because the blocks weren't stacked in the two rows she'd be building.

Mar. 7th, 2013 01:19 am (UTC)
Clearly the blocks are not stacked the right way.

By clearly, I mean who-knows-what-two-year-olds-think-of.

And Josie's behavior seems on par with Erika's, FWIW. Maybe we science people are generating hypersensitive freak out monsters, or we just got defective ones and need to return them to the factory (j.k.), or maybe we don't notice the freak outs as much in other people's children.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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