Thursday, March 16, 2006

The Curse of Crankenstein

PREFACE: Please note that Incrediboy isn't a complete monster. He's actually a very good boy. The following just cites a few worst case scenario events, relayed here simply for amusement. :) Thank you and enjoy at my expense!

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Something disturbing is afoot in my home.

My sweet, adorable baby is being sporadically obsessed by an evil entity. Without warning and with greater and greater frequency, Incrediboy morphs into Captain Tantrum. On a hair trigger, he can go from zero to hellcat in about 1.2 seconds. The Terrible Twos have arrived.

He’s been really accelerating with the talking. One-word exclamations and short phrases are being replaced with long winding sentences. Some sentences are easily understood. Others can’t be deciphered with the Rosetta Stone. If he doesn’t feel like reiterating a thought he’s expressed and you don’t quite catch it the first few times, you’d better look out – a conniption may be in your immediate future.

This one’s kind of understandable, though. I mean, certainly it must be frustrating for him to try and communicate ideas and we just aren’t getting them. But other explosions are not so justifiable.

He loves for us to draw pictures with him on his Magnadoodle or his pad of paper. But if you select the wrong color crayon or don’t draw the moon in the designated area or place the nubbies on the tractor wheels just right, you’re going to have a spinning Tasmanian Devil on your hands.

On our daily commute, there is a stretch of road that has speed bumps. Sometimes he’s cool with the gentle jostling. Other times he blows his stack about the disturbance of the smooth sailing.

“I don’t WANT 'peed bumps!”

“I’m sorry honey, but they’re there. We have to go over them.”

Cue the grousing. I guess we should purchase a jackhammer and an asphalt grinder so as not to disrupt his majesty’s preferences. This is assuming he’s not already furious about having to deal with the shoulder straps in his car seat, another recently overly-magnified inconvenience for him.

Any time a clothing change is in order, there’s usually drama as well. Incrediboy has developed favorite items in his wardrobe. If you try to get them off of him before he’s ready, he’ll clamp into a ball tighter than a clam and wail like a police siren. Nevermind that he’s peed out of his diaper’s capacity overnight and has gotten it all over his pj’s, or has dribbled Spaghettio sauce all over his shirt and pants, or stuck his sleeve in the toilet up to the elbow, or has already worn it for 2 days. He wants to wear that garment till you have to peel it off with a paint scraper. Don’t even think about suggesting otherwise.

Since he was a little guy and first realized how fun splashing around in the water can be, bathtime has been an activity that is looked forward to and enjoyed. But recently, I’ve thanked the Heavens we’ve moved to the country – because otherwise the neighbors might call social services. I put my little angel in the tub and he screeches from start to finish as if I’m boiling him in oil. By the end of it all, he’s red faced and blotchy, Most Beautiful Dog looks as if someone’s been setting off firecrackers next to his head, and I’m ready for a straight shot of Everclear. Make it a double.

I then do my best to dry off the writhing octopus and get his diaper on in some reasonable fashion. I’m sternly instructed that I forgot the powder, and or the diaper cream, whether I have or not, and woe to us all if the proper butt-preparing steps are not fulfilled. PJ’s are struggled on with much protest, as it is realized these are not the same crusty clothes he had on before. Then, just like that, the delightful boy I once knew is back – he flits off, chortling and giggling. MBDog and I look at each other as if to say, what the heck just happened here?

Incrediboy has never been a picky eater. Until recently. Foods once loved – even ham and macaroni & cheese, which have ALWAYS been favorites - are now shunned, and the list of acceptable menu items is very short and ever-shifting. If you place an item on his plate that is not on his mental list of the moment, a fit of apoplexy ensues. And suddenly, when he used to eat happily at the same time as Momma and Daddy, he now vehemently protests any suggestion that he stops for dinner until about an hour after we’re through, and sometimes as late as almost bedtime. We’ve thought fleetingly of coming down on a firm eat-now-or-wait-till-breakfast rule, but feel he’s a little young for that yet. We don’t want to put him to bed hungry at his age.

He’s NOT too young to be consciously testing us though. Obviously. It’s infuriating for all of us.

While I’m an easygoing gal, I’m not an advocate of children calling the shots in a home. Sometimes you do what you can to keep the peace. Other times you have to crack down on the fits and let them work it out within themselves (while putting everyone else through temporary hell). Most of all you have to be consistently consistent. Which is excruciatingly tedious and no fun. At all.

You should have seen the look on Hub’s face when I told him that pretty much everyone I’ve consulted has told me this stage often lasts a couple years or more while they learn to control their id and learn proper manners and patience, even with rank pulling, hand smacking and butt cracking.

Lord deliver us from the Terrible Twos.


Nelly said...

My little princess has moods too. She will be two on the 27th of this month. I'm tellin ya that I can probably calculate NOW when she will have her period every month! NO JOKE!!!

She LOVES the bath...doesn't much mind the whole getting dressed/undressed thing...when she wants something, she wants it NOW or you will hear it!

I could go on forever about different stories!!! I may have to post about it...maybe tomorrow!

Not this time said...

So I sort of gloat inside when I'm in public with my daughter because she's perfect, right? I mean she never throws temper tantrums, she listens very well, she understands consequences, yet she's not all robotic and devoid of personality...

but then I read your post. And I identified with every single item. And apparently! I have some really awesome rose-colored glasses on.

I liked it that way, though.
I'll forgive you, Clew. Great post.

Cheryl said...

Yes, a couple years. At least. If it helps any, I've read that brighter children tend to be more tantrum prome. So he must be REALLY smart! My Boy is 6, and is just now outgrowing this stage. I thought it was never going to happen, but I have my sweet child back!! ...Most of the time.

Kodijack said...

It goes in stages, this will last for awhile and then it will be something else. Parenthood can be a little exasperating at times. But as long as you continue to see the hilarity in it then it will just be a bump in the road.

Bainwen Gilrana said...

"woe to us all if the proper butt-preparing steps are not fulfilled."

Not to make light of Incrediboy's tantrums, but that is one of the most hilarious phrases I have seen in months!

Michelle said...

I'm sorry to laugh at you because this may be in my not too distant future. I'm mostly laughing at your description of it, not your experience with it.

Maybe he just needs breathing treatments. I got my nice calm little boy back after we got a Nebulizer.

i used to be me said...

ah, the joys of motherhood

Michael Lehet said...

Well I don't know why you lied to your husband like that....I've been going through that stage for 35 years now!

Martie said...

One thing Ilearned a long time ago, Clew, and that is to "pick your battles!" Some things you can let slide without the child calling the shots.

Another thing to try is to let him choose what he wishes to eat for lunch, dinner, etc. within reason. Give him a choice between a couple of his favortie foods and I found that often they think they are in control with their choice even though they really are in a way, you have made the choice for him between two healthy things while letting him feel "in charge" of some things in his life.

Good luck!

Lori said...

I don't remember my kids being particularly rotten at 2, but they had their moments. There were a couple of 'lay-on-the-bed-and-kick-the-wall' bouts which really flared my temper and there were several times they got sent to the quiet corner or to a rather dull spot of the house where they got no attention during these outbursts. I remember putting my daughter in her room (she was probably 7 or so) and telling her that she could come out whenever she could be pleasant. However long that was was up to her....2 minutes, 2 hours...her choice.


Ca... said...

Gosh, it looks like you have a very normal kid. That's good.
When he gets older, whatever you do, don't teach him the song, "Three sailors went to ay-ay-ay,(pronounced-eye) to see what they could ay-ay-ay, but all that they could ay-ay-ay, was the bottom of the deep dark ay-ay-ay-. Then it goes to sea-sea-sea, and repeats, then to chop-chop-chop, then to , then to you-you-you, then to sea-chop-you then I think they make up everything else that'll fit to the tune. When we used to go on car trips with all our kids, by the time we got there I hated that song. They did it all the way there and back. Kinda like , " 99 Bottles of Beer on the wall."

bigwhitehat said...

You need to enjoy all of it that you can. This age also comes with at cuteness that is gone to quickly.

juanitagf said...

As a non-mom, I am going to sit back and enjoy your posts about tantrums. Sorry, it's just how I am...

Anonymous said...

Fussy kids are your punishment for having sex. LOL

Rebecca said...

Aaaah yes. The exercising of free thinking and independence. My son at 5 (well, will be 5 in May) is just starting that now. I was very, very fortunate with him. Princess, however, at 20 mos. has just started this phenomenon. I don't laugh when she tantrums because clearly - its a frustration and I don't want to hurt her feelings - but it is pretty darn cute. She sort of gets mad, throws herself on the floor, and....rolls.... ;) She doesn't do it in public, she rather enjoys being out - and both kids are great about not asking for things while we're shopping. But at home, she tends to get upset. So I just ignore her, and tell her she better get used to the floor - because she's going to spend an awful lot of time there! ;) And then after a few minutes if she doesn't straighten up on her own, I can distract her into forgetting what she was even upset about.

Sigh... Kids, aka little people... They're struggling so hard for their independence. I feel your pain... :)

Anonymous said...

“I don’t WANT 'peed bumps!”

“I’m sorry honey, but they’re there. We have to go over them.”

LOL That's funny. Well, its funny and I'm not a mom. LOL

Anonymous said...

Sounds like he needs more naps. Incredible what a 1 hour nap will do for a 2 Year Olds attitude!

clew said...

You got that right, Anon. He's a whole different boy when he gets his naps! Naps are goooooood. But, sometimes he doesn't get 'em, especially during the work week ... You sound as if you speak from experience, so I'm sure you know how it goes ;).

I should add (for everyone) that Incrediboy isn't a complete monster these days. I'm relaying worst case scenarios here simply for amusement! But thanks to all for the advice!

Anonymous said...

Enjoy the two's. Beware of the three's when they really get bossy. Then on the bright side He will probley be totally potty trained at three if not already. So yeah there's always a sweet smile, hug or cute little saying that takes up the sack of the menist in us all :)