“Now, Eddie, tonight I really want you to stay in your bed all night.”
My delightful 2.5 year old, stops and ponders before responding, “why what are you going to do? Put me in the porta-cot?”
“Well, um, actually, yes that’s not such a bad idea” (baffled that he has come up with what is actually a pretty clever idea)
“I don’t like you. I only like Dad, and Billy and sometimes Gus.”
This is how a typical conversation goes at the moment with my two year old, who is in the middle of the delightful terrible twos. Only it’s worse than normal, because he has a big brother who he was able to model his behaviour on. So it’s actually more like the terrible twos and the threenager have morphed into some devil child.
It’s a total barrel of laughs. Not.
“Eddie, can you pop your shoes on, we need to go in 5.”
Eddie “No. You put YOUR shoes on.”
This is another typical exchange, and this tends to happen, oh, around 500 times a day, about everything I ask of him. Every. Thing!
Eddie is defiant. He is ruthless. He is thigh high and completely terrifying.
His behaviour doesn’t go ignored, believe me.
I take stickers off his rewards chart, I put him into time outs, I try and reason with him as much as you can with a two year old. But deep down I know, this is something we all just have to ride out. I know this because Gus (my now 4.5 year old) has recently just been through it himself. And now we are through that huge, long tunnel, and the light is starting to shine (for the most part).
Eddie is hard work right now, but I see glimmers of the sweet little boy hiding under all of this angst.
After a rough day he’ll snuggle up to his dad for a cuddle, quietly rubbing his arm, like the carer he has become. I’ll catch him whispering “you’re my best friend” to Billy, in between the crash tackles. And i’ll spot him sharing his Lego with Gus and watching him in awe and wonder as he easily assembles a superhero cave.
And then there’s the way he is with me. After the talking back, and the pouting (my god can that kid pout) and the throw down tantrums in the middle of the supermarket, my darling second son will look up at me with those big eyes, and I see the struggle, and I offer him a hug, and feel his body relax.
“I love you mummy, rainbow, sunshine.”
And all is forgotten, because I have him back. For maybe a minute, or maybe the rest of the day. And it’s all I need to get me through.
Are you going through a difficult stage right now? How do you cope?
(image thanks to Creative Vue Imagery)