There’s nothing like officially becoming that mom while your child runs out of the library with only one shoe on. Never fear, mamas of tiny manic terrors, you’re not alone in your battle! The struggle is real. I too have one of those kids who make other parents, grandparents, and the kid-less stare in awe and shook all while shaking their judgmental heads.
The terrible twos arrived well before my daughter’s second birthday. By 18 months she was already throwing herself to the floor and screeching the vilest sounds I have ever heard. I had half-expected it since she was a high-needs baby just like her older sister. Still, you’re never really prepared for the tantrums when they hit. Just Google “surviving the terrible twos” and you’ll find site after site, ready to prep you for withstanding your own battles.
But I’m not here to dish out a list of tips that I have yet to master myself (even though I’ve had plenty of practice with my first two kids). Instead, I’m here to share in your misery with a few of my own mini-terror’s funny (looking back on them) tantrum moments.
Ahhh, the library. The place of quiet reading, calm children working on their puzzles, and little artists making kindergarten-quality artwork. Except that’s not our story. In fact, I’ve decided we’re not going back to the library for a long, long, long, (did I say long) time.
Just last week, we took a well-intentioned trip to the library that included me following around my toddler while she pulled book after book off the shelf. I explained over and over: One book at a time. You would think she’d like me to read her one of the books she kept pulling off the shelves; but no, throwing them suited her just fine.
The trip to the water fountain was equally entertaining when she decided she would rather play with the water, then refused to walk away or allow me to carry her away from it.
Our departure from the library was the most exciting, though. Somehow she managed to wiggle her hand out of mine (I’d finally convinced her to hold my hand since she refused to be held) and went running for the doors. There I was, the idiot running after her, hoping to catch her before, God forbid, she actually made it out of the doors.
When I caught up to her, she again refused to walk, at which point I carried her out. Tossed over my shoulder, she screamed bloody murder all the way down what felt like the mile-long hallway out of the library.
The highlights: She lost a shoe; the stares from the onlookers watching were epic, and I still can’t hear out of my left ear.
Grocery shopping: Someone’s gotta do it. And sometimes that means having to bring along the kids. Being a mom of three, I’ve learned how to zip in and out with a week’s worth of groceries in under 20 minutes. That doesn’t mean I can do it without being the center of attention, though.
Usually, shopping with my toddler entails her trying to climb out of the cart; climb into the back of the cart so she has easy access to the food; or better yet, just start eating the food with the plastic wrappers attached.
If I didn’t have just a little bit of pride left, I’d let her eat the whole carton of unwashed strawberries before we even get to the register. But, sigh, I’m the good mom who wants her to wait until we get home. So instead, I get to listen to her scream, “I want it!” over and over again while I pray, “Please let me get through this!” and avoid the looks.
Oh, then there’s the finicky part about how she insists she is the one to push the shopping cart. Yes, the same cart she’s currently sitting in.
Ever seen a tiny terror go after her older siblings? No? Well, you should come over to our place. My 2-year-old runs this place! All she has to do is start wailing, and the big kids instantly bring her whatever it is that her little heart desires at that moment.
I once found her sitting on top of my 5-year-old, scratching and screaming at him because he wouldn’t give her a toy he was playing with. Yep mamas, I’ve got that child: the one who pushes other kids around, big or small, to get what she wants.
During her worst phase, we stopped going over to home playdates after she pushed over a 9-month-old. There’s nothing like being too ashamed to bring your miniature bully to play nicely with friends.
So next time you are the center of a terrible twos moment, remember me. I stand with you, mamas! I’m not judging you. Take comfort in these words: “This too shall pass.”