Terrible Two’s Times Two: Follow Up

Rewind back to a couple of months ago where I wrote an entire blog on trying my hardest not to threaten the girls in order to get them to behave. For example; I was going to try my very best not to say things like, “If you don’t get into bed, mommy won’t sing you lullabies tonight.”

Well, it’s been two months of honestly trying my best…and I have to admit, I feel like I’ve failed.

The girls’ tantrums and tempers are unpredictable and pretty terrible some days. They whine for nearly everything and fight me on anything and everything it seems.

I completely understand that this is what the terrible two’s (and I’ve heard three’s) are all about. I realize they are learning boundaries and limits and figuring out just how far they can push to get what they want. I am completely fine knowing this is why they are acting the way that they are. But just because I understand it, doesn’t make it easier.

In fact, I recently read an article that studied children’s behaviour. It showed that kids behave 800% worse when their mothers are in the room, and that number goes up over 1000% if they’re under the age of ten. Something that all mommies who commented said they would agree with.

In a day I will hear them cry over spilt milk (literally, they cry if they spill milk out of their bowl of cereal), whine if they can’t find something or if they want to watch or read something specific. Thankfully (and I hope I’m not jinxing it) they have stopped fighting me on getting dressed in the morning and are very eager to dress themselves, however, they are very specific in terms of what they want to wear. They fight me on wearing jackets, sweaters and sometimes their mittens (if this keeps up it’s going to be a very long winter).

Bedtime (as I’m sure it is for many) is the time of day that they seem to be the most headstrong. They’ll insist on showing me one more dance, one more spin, one more jump; things that I would love to encourage them on…just not when they should be sleeping.

They’ll tell me that they have to pee in the toilet at least two more times before getting into bed; how do I say no to that? I want to encourage them in this regard, but I definitely feel that I’m being played.

Once in bed, songs sung, lights off, one will ALWAYS get out of bed and knock on the door for no reason other than wanting me to come upstairs; something a part of me loves, but is it really because she wants me, or just because she doesn’t want to go to sleep? I try to ignore it but then she’ll just keep knocking on the door. Eventually she stays in bed but not until I’ve gone up at least twice.

I know I said I wouldn’t do it. I wouldn’t resort to idle threats in fear that it would scar them and have them doubting my love for them, but sadly it’s come to that on a few occasions.

If I don’t threaten to take their bedtime songs away, they won’t get into bed. If I don’t threaten (I repeat this is an idle threat) to head out the door without them, they won’t get their jackets on.

I look back on that blog from two months ago and wish that I could do everything that I said I would, but I’ve been slapped in the face with the harsh reality of the toddler years. Wonderful years full of learning, but that learning is accompanied with tantrums and tears and I, like all parents, am doing my very best.

I’m sure that when many of you read my previous blog you just chuckled to yourself and said “good luck” knowing that it would get harder before it gets easier. There are many moments in a day that I feel pretty defeated, but I just keep thinking to myself “this too shall pass.”

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