My son was so sweet as a young toddler. Happy, affectionate, compliant, funny. You could just eat him up.
Then he turned two, and indeed became a two-year-old.
Now he’s three-and-a-half, and I thought the “terrible twos” baloney was supposed to end. Instead, we’ve got a throbbing case of threeyearoldism.
It’s a rare day he doesn’t melt down half-a-dozen times. Some days we get that many meltdowns before noon, and we just want to throw in the towel and send him back to the manufacturers. (Wait. We ARE the manufacturers. Sh*t.)
Of course, he’ll cry if he “stubs” his head or knee or toe or finger or whatever. That’s understandable, even if he’s rather over-wussy about it. We get it: he’s got a baby sister and needs some reassuring attention.
Also, he has to cry over spilt milk. It’s, like, the law.
Other potential reasons for using the piercing whine and/or collapsing in a weeping pile of limbs, with possible bonus screeching:
- he doesn’t want to go to the babysitter’s
- he doesn’t want to go swimming
- he doesn’t want to get dressed
- his iPad time is up
- the Lego came apart
- the person he drew doesn’t look right
- I gave him a kiss
- he can’t find Mater
- it’s not time for lunch yet
- it’s time for lunch
- I messed up his hair
- his boot isn’t on all the way
- he can’t watch Cars twice in a row
- he doesn’t want to wear socks
- I helped him with the step-stool
- I didn’t help him with the step-stool
- he needs to pee
- his nose is running
- he needs a kiss
- it’s too hard to put the lid on the marker
- it’s too hard to pull the Hot Wheels track apart
- it’s too hard to get his shirt off
- he doesn’t like cheese
- he wants more cheese
- it’s bedtime
On some days, the simple act of waking up in the morning can be too much for his little psyche, so he’ll start whining pre-emptively right off the bat.
How did we get here? Where did we go wrong?
I mean, I understand. I’m grumpy too sometimes. I have days where I’m all, “Boo hoo, poor me, life is hard. My son is melting down for the eleventeenth time today, and I don’t have the patience to deal with him because my baby daughter is up a jillion times a night with hunger/teething pain. And she won’t take a bottle so I can’t go to the movies and I’m tired and my neck and shoulders are all full of knots from night-nursing but when will I ever have time for a massage?”
Classic first-world problems.
I know they’re relatively shallow and preferable to an infinite number of other problems I could have. I try to keep things in perspective. My son is healthy, smart, and, underneath the angst, still very sweet. My daughter is alive and well and adorable, and honestly, she grins way more than she fusses. And if I think I’ll go crazy because my hair is coming out in handfuls in the shower, I remind myself that it’s post-natal shedding, not chemo. Suck it up.
And then I think about E’s list of problems, and it gives me perspective in the other direction. At least I’m not as shallow as my preschooler.