My sweet, easy going, baby girl, turned two one day.
On that very day, yes, the exact day of her second birthday, something happened to her. Maybe she was abducted by aliens and replaced with a clone. Or suffered a head injury we did not witness. I’ll never know, but suddenly she had a new personality!
Oh, she was still her smiling, sweet, cheerful little self….. as long as she got her way. But something had snapped inside that precious little body the moment she turned two years old! Now, when I was taking too long to hand her a snack, when she was told she could not have that extra cookie, or grab a toy from her brother, terror and anxiety filled the household where peace used to rein!
She screamed till she turned red, stomped her feet, threw things, and finally threw herself on the ground, arms and legs flailing! It was shocking and difficult to get used to this new Boo. It took the rest of the family quite a while to adjust, if you can call it that. It was so disconcerting to see my once easy going, mellow girl, turn into a banshee!
At first I thought I would, of course, nip this behavior in the bud. She was not my first child after all! I had the tools from experience in my belt already. When my son was two, I had heard of the terrible two’s, but I thought it was overrated. As long as I took the time to really listen to what he was upset about we could usually head off a tantrum.
Most melt downs happened when I was in a hurry, barking orders, and not listening to how he wanted to put his socks on himself! If I stopped to hear what he had to say I could reason with him and
manage to calm him down. Monkey saved his attitude till he was three. Even then, it was more of an I know it all attitude rather than tantrums.
But now, with this one, there is no reasoning
whatsoever! It’s either her way, or no way.
I tried everything I could think of! Everything I knew to do and yes, some not to. (Don’t judge! Never has anyone pushed my buttons so perfectly or brought me to breaking point so quickly!) I even spanked a few times, I hate to admit, and I’ll have you know it did not faze the little creaton in the least!
I researched other suggestions and tips from the so-called experts (who have probably never had a two year old!). Nothing worked. I eventually came to terms with the fact that this is the way she is (for now, praying it’s just a faze!) and I just have to ride it out.
When nothing worked I accepted that she just needs to scream herself out and calm down before she can be expected to listen to any kind of reasoning. Sometimes it even take a few cycles of this until she’s too tuckered out to fight! She’ll come out of her room when finally calm, but when she hears the verdict is still no, she still can not have ice cream or paint on the wall- look out- all out tantrum all over again!
This is especially embarrassing in public! I have been the receiver of many a disapproving stare, head shake, and under the breath comment from moms (and everyone else) who “know better” how to teach their kids proper behavior.
Somehow along the way, though, we’ve gotten used to the situation and my husband and I have a new mantra:
Deep breathing and more wine
These are great traits to have when she’s grown,
they’re just difficult to deal with now.
Knows what she wants and not afraid to fight for it
Will never let anyone walk all over her
Won’t give up or back down from a challenge
Not easily discouraged or distracted
Speaks her mind
These truly are great strengths to have! What more could I want for my child? But they are extremely hard to deal with at two years old! And I am absolutely dreading when she’s a teen! Maybe I should start researching now where I can send her from about age 13 to 17? A convent? An all girls boarding school in the Arctic? (kidding)
Did your kids go through the terrible two’s (or are they now)? What was the worst tantrum over?
Helicopter Mom and Just Plane Dad says
I remember these days. Pretty soon they pass and you'll be wishing for them again!
Lush Fab Glam says
A little late but congrats on your SITS DAY! Thanks for sharing your terrible two's with us, they grow out of it but it's quite the experience, one day you'll sit back and laugh at the memories.
See our latest Mommy Tips To Help Tackle & Overcome Bedwetting: http://www.lush-fab-glam.com/2013/09/stylish-mommyhood-tips-fun-way-to.html
Bumblebee Days says
This is going on in my house right now. Good times! They most frequently revolve around putting on clothes, changing diapers, or watching tv. Though it could be anything. That's a nice way you have of looking at it. They are good traits to have in an adult.
My daughter just turned two on Saturday and we're definitely sensing some attitude. She'll immediately answer "no" to any question, (even if it's "do you want a snack"), then think about it, and change her answer to "yes". It's a challenging phase, but they're also so much fun at this age. You can have little conversations with them and they're so adorable. I really do love two-year-olds. It sounds like you're doing everything right. Keep it up and enjoy your SITS day!
Stacey @NurseMommyLaughs says
Beautiful blog design and I feel your angst like it was yesterday. It wasn't believe me! The good news is that usually for most kids they have terrible twos or they have terrible threes. Look at it this way…she is getting it over with early! The light and rainbows are to return next year.
I completely understand! For my sweet, calm, relaxed little boy it started when he was about 18 months. Yes, it was quite shocking when it all changed. Loved hearing your experience as well. Happy SITS day. I hope you have a great turn out!
Sheila Skillingstead says
Oh, yeah the memories. One of my daughters started at 18 months and lasted until 3. I even went to the pediatrician who said in her experience if the twos start early they last long. We survived. You will too. Nicely written. Enjoy your SITS Day.
It's been a long time since I had a terrible two (my baby is fifteen). But whenever something any of my kids are doing makes me crazy, I try to figure out how that trait is helping them grow up and define themselves or how it will help them as an adult. Yes, I still get frustrated, but it helps. This time will pass quickly. Enjoy the moment.
Mommy's Heart says
It would have been great if it just stopped at terrible two's…I am currently experiencing terrible three with my son 🙁 And he will be almost 4 in couple of months but there is no reprieve in sight.. and my worst nightmare is at the point of to become a reality..that we will indeed have a terrible four in our house!!! I wonder, will it ever stop? lol.. but at the same time, I must say that I do enjoy my toddler's personality at the moment because I know that this is what that is going to define him as a person eventually… btw, your daughter is a sweetie pie 🙂 Have a wonderful SITS day 🙂
Great traits! Don't allow pressure from "better knowing moms" bother you, or you will kill the gifts in her. Just firmly insist on what she should or shouldn't have and leave the rest. She will come around soon when she sees she cannot bend you. Congrats on being featured on SITS, enjoy
Oh, I pressed the wrong button, didn't mean to delete your comment! You said good traits for an adult, yes it's a good way to look at it. Helps to remember when you're in the moment
NIGHT OWL VENTING says
Oh my, I remember that with my second child (I swear the first one never had a single tantrum). She's six, almost seven now, but at two years and three months she had the first tantrum in a series of about four months of hedonistic, screaming, door-pounding, exorcist-like fits. I remember being eternally grateful when they ended, just in time for spring, and open windows. I was terrified Child Protective Services would be at our door. Before and since she has been sweet as can be, eager to please, rarely a trouble at all. But I haven't forgotten those four months…
Yes, I have visions of CPS coming as her screaming rattles the windows of every house on the block! At least it was only four months for you. We went the whole year, but now she's three and mellowed out a lot. Phew!
I've got four kids, and with the first three – I wasn't sure what everyone was talking about when they said "Terrible Twos." Now with my fourth, my baby girl…I KNOW what they mean! She's 2 1/2 right now, and it feels like she's been two for way too long (I mean, that attitude…Really?). About 3 months into it, I said what you said here in your post (after also trying everything!) – that's just the way she is.
I'm a new follower via bloglovin and a fan on fb. =0)
Can't wait to read more of your blog.
Take my advice, stock up on wine, no, I mean try to see the good things in your little spitfire even through the tantrum. Not easy, but good luck to us both! Thanks for commenting and I can't wait to check out your blog!
Leah Mastilock says
Thank you! Hard to stay calm in the moment, but great to have so much support!
Antionette Blake says
oh my….just remember, "this too shall pass!"
The Do-Gooder Mama says
I love your take on this behavior! I have two girls that fit your description of Boo perfectly and it is quite true that these characteristics will be valuable in their adult lives, but boy do they make parenting challenging now! We handle tantrums the same way you do – they go to their room and emerge when they are ready and calm. Sometimes it takes a few tries but this is the best approach for us. Stay strong Mama!
Leah Mastilock says
They all have their own unique personalities. It's fascinating to me how different my two little people are from each other. Hmm, maybe I do not want a third!
Leah Mastilock says
Yes! She's a spitfire! I hope she keeps that to some extent, but mellow out just a bit on the full out tantrums. There is hope…
Leah Mastilock says
Thank you! I'll try not to worry. She'll be who she'll be and hopefully we'll be able to communicate better when she's older. LOL! So something Boo would do, throw her toys out! I don't like to draw attention to myself in public, but both her and her daddy are more outgoing. It doesn't bother either of them a bit to make a scene! I'm trying not to be so anxious! Thank you!!
Yvonne Spence says
Letting the tantrum run its course sounds like a good idea.
And, from my experience with 2 girls who are now teenagers I'd say don't worry too much about how she's going to turn out. I remember our younger daughter at the age of 3 going on a rampage one evening. It got past our bedtime and my husband said if she didn't settle down he was taking her toys out of the bedroom. The door opened and all her toys came flying out. I remember us thinking, "If she's like this now, what will she be like as a teenager?" But she's fine.
Briana Floor says
My little one is getting ready to turn 2. She is very much her own little soul, as well. Her way or watch out! lol
Sonya Sparks says
She's a cutie!
Spirited is the word =D
My son was same as your little girl when he was at that age. Does it makes you feel relief if I tell you that they will grow out of it, like when they are 4 yrs old? *oppss* At least that's what happened to mine.
Hang in there~ they will pass, really.
Carin Kilby Clark says
My oldest son was the worst terrible-two's experience ever. He would throw himself back whenever he did not get his way and I was honestly terrified that he was going to kill himself by hitting his head or breaking his back — it was definitely terrible! My daughter and younger son were not as bad. Although, the third one has been terrible from the start…LOL…but I've been told that is just how thirds are. Constantly fighting for what they want and demanding their way; for life.