Guest Blogger: Would you like some ketchup with that?

>> Friday, April 16, 2010

Katherine over at The Bagley Circus has been a great resource on toddler advice. Her son Landon had a lot of the same ear infection problems as Lily so I was constantly annoying her with baby questions. He is about a year older so she had already been through it when I was just a rookie. Should I do this? What about this? Blah Blah Blah. I am sure she is so sick of hearing it. But when I mentioned the Terrible Twos she laughed and told me she had seen it all. Katherine has beaten the odds and decided to procreate again so I figure it has to get better eventually right? Go check her blog out by clicking here to see some adorable pictures of two little boys that will melt your heart!

Here is a hysterical story of Landon at Lily's age as told through the eyes of a mortified mother:

Welcome to Terrible Twos…the world of tantrums for no apparent reason. Buckle up…it’s going to be a bumpy ride. But nothing that some Mommy time-outs, ear plugs & Heineken Lights can’t handle! As a surviving mother of terrible 2s, I can tell my story from the other side & provide hope to those of you on the front end.

My husband and I both are strong disciplinarians. I don’t let my child run wild. I talk, I give time-outs and I whip. We are consistent. I don’t let my child talk back. He says please, thank you, excuse me, yes mam and no sir. I know those of you out there who glare at a parent and think “get your child under control” and “if that was my child, I would …” and “that kid is a spoiled brat and needs his butt whooped”. You obviously have not had a 2-year old of your own. There is no reasoning with them. There is nothing that a time-out or a spanking will fix. I can promise you. Give those parents a little slack. Pretend not to notice. They are mortified, trust me.

There was a timeframe where the hubby & I didn’t even leave the house. We were too embarrassed. But we had to venture out sometimes with demon-child in tow, and we always arrived back home with our tails tucked between our legs and heads hung low. We took an out-of-town cousin out to dinner once for his birthday. We purposely picked a louder restaurant. It was going pretty good until our son stood up, turned around and threw the chewed-up French Fries (fresh out of his mouth) into the ladies hair behind him…all in a millisecond before the words “Landon, sit down” could leave my mouth. O.M.G. I wanted to dig a hole all the way to China. Of course, my husband grabs him up and takes him outside to discipline him properly while I apologize profusely to the innocent victim and try to get the fries out of her hair. Luckily, she was sitting at a table with her husband & 2 teens of her own. She looked at me (with sympathetic eyes, God bless her) and said “He’s 2, isn’t he?”.

How can you reason with a 2 year old? There’s no way to even understand what they are thinking. Exhibit A: My son wanted ketchup. Gave him ketchup. Then he went into a fit because he had ketchup!!!! WHAT?!?! What do you even do with that? The first few times, of course, I took a napkin and scraped off all the ketchup off of his plate. Then he screamed again for ketchup. I learned quickly that no matter what I gave him, he wanted the opposite. You’ve just got to let them work it out on their own & ignore it. I truly believe they are trying to figure out who has the power. If I want ketchup, she’ll give me ketchup. But then if I cry and scream that I don’t want it, she’ll take it away. Let’s see how long I can boss her around and pull her strings like a master puppeteer. Oh no sir, Mommy is the boss here. There will be no pulling of my strings.

Hang in there Moms and Dads. Try to keep your cool, even if you have to walk away. Let them work it out and ignore the tantrums. They’ll learn that they don’t get them attention. It may take a few headaches to get there, but you will get there.

And it does get better (not to sound cliché) & I have proof. A 9-month old bouncing baby boy.

And PS – if you think 2 was bad…just wait til 3s!!!!!