Thursday, January 13, 2011
Working Hypothesis: Most alcoholics have two year olds.
Has lost his will to live, for no other reason than the sun chose to rise again that morning.
There is a general rule of thumb in parenting, kind of sort of, that girls tend to experience the Terrible Threes and boy children stick to the more traditional Terrible Twos. Many a play date was centered around discussing this theory: the moms of boys watched in horror while their little darlings laid in the middle of the parking lot and screamed bloody murder, while us girl parents looked down to see our now-horrified precious little angels watching the whole spectacle, no doubt wondering what in the hell was wrong with that kid. Same scenario, one year later, but flip the gender roles on their heads. Girls screaming and crying and sassing it up at age three, three year old boys playing tag in the background. I used to think, Hey! Things are pretty even, every kid eventually gets around to the Tantrum Stage in life. What does it matter when it happens?! I will tell you what the hell it matters, people. Ever talked to a two year old? And then talked to a three year old? Now tell me which can talk more clearly, can say more words and articulate what they want or need. Also? Three year olds, while still very much works in progress on the whole "Controlling My Emotions" front, are just that much better at, well, controlling their emotions than their 24-month-old peers. So while Ella's tantrums at age three were pretty bad, Charlie's at age two are, well, indescribable. There is no logic. There is no reason. There is only screaming, crying, throwing things, RAGE. If you have ever tried to reason with a legitimately insane human being (one who also has the tendency to throw their body on the floor and writhe about as if they are repeatedly being stabbed with a fork) then you might have one speck of an idea what two year old tantrums are like.
Yesterday was an epic day in Tantrumland. Epic, I tell you! Let's examine all of the "reasons" that Charlie decided that he hated his life and everyone in it. And probably a lot of people who aren't.
1. Inferior tv programming schedule. Super Why is not on tv. This means that you should definitely throw your breakfast plate across the room while shrieking at the top of your lungs and walking clumsily from room to room because you are just too forlorn to sit still, you must pace the floors. Also a good idea is to keep walking at a fast pace even when your tears have become so thick that you cannot even see where you are going, because this will ensure that you run into at least one wall or piece of furniture and do bodily harm.
2. You got hurt. See #1. Injuries can include, but are not limited to, bumps on the head and/or face from walking into the corner of a wall, scrapes on your legs from tripping over something like oh, I don't know, YOUR BREAKFAST PLATE THAT IS NOW IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FLOOR.
3. You want juice, and you don't really care that I just gave you juice. This particular variety of tantrum is especially intriguing to me (Read: Horrifying and the absolute bane of my existence). While having one of the previously aforementioned tantrums the yelling and crying is just as loud as with any meltdown, but at least the parent knows why the kid is upset. You can pinpoint the problem and either fix it or not, but you know what the problem is. Oh, but in this type of screamfest there is no problem. There is only this: Kid wants juice. Mom fixes a sippy cup of juice and hands it to kid. Kid sobs and screams that he wants JUICE. Mom reasons with kid that she just gave him juice, see, it's in your hand, darling?! Kid throws sippy cup of juice against the wall, all the while screaming for juice. Mom gives up and walks away, which makes screaming toddler even more mad, so kid picks up cup of juice and throws it against something else, probably a table or a pet, just for effect. He wants you to know that he wants his juice, and he is going to let you know it by....throwing his juice across the room? Jesus Christ, kids are batshit crazy.
4. I do mysefff. There are many different ways that this particular tantrum can manifest itself, but in Charlie it is almost always the same way as #3 up there. As a stay at home mom, I usually have plenty of time to let my kids do things themselves when and how they want to do them. Want to try and master the art of zipping up your own coat? Great! We don't have to be anywhere any time soon. But Charlie is having none of it, he has truly stepped up his game in the "I do MYSEFFF" category. Last night we hit an all time high (or low? Who knows! What I do know is that this encounter left me ready to slam my face through a wall just to relieve the pain my brain was feeling at that point.): Kid wants to brush his teeth himself, Mom squirts toothpaste on his little toddler toothbrush and tells him to go to town. Kid takes one look at the toothbrush, looks at Mom standing nearby, I'm guessing he assumes mom is maybe, sort of, I don't know, POSSIBLY considering thwarting his plans to do it himself, thus kid launches into a twenty minute scream session about how he wants to "do it MYSEFFFFF!"...........WHILE HE IS DOING IT HIMSELF. He was brushing his own teeth while screaming these words. In fact, he had to physically remove the toothbrush from his own mouth so he could scream some more about doing it himself. Say what? I was standing there, blinking incredulously at this creature, this being that I birthed, that apparently lacks all common sense and reasoning abilities. I mean, what do you say to that? What I said was, "Ummm, Charlie? You ARE doing it yourself, dude." This enraged him more. He is now not even bothering to take the toothbrush out of his mouth before he wails about doing it himself. Tears are making his pajamas sopping wet, snot is running down his chin from crying so hard. Goddammit. I did the only thing I could do: pinned him down, brushed his little teeth myself, and put him to bed immediately. See, they trick you into thinking that there is a possibility of using logic with them. Like maybe when I told him that he was, in fact, currently brushing his own damn teeth, he would look at his hand holding the toothbrush, look at me, promptly stop screaming, and apologize to me. "I'm sorry, mom, there seems to have been a misunderstanding. I didn't realize I was brushing my own teeth! Wow! I apologize profusely." No, there is no logic and reason. There is only Plan B: ESCAPE.
So there it is. A day's worth of life-altering, earth-shattering horribleness in the world of Charlie. If you are past the Terrible Twos then I commend you for escaping with your sanity intact. If you have not experienced them yet, then you have my utmost pity and a pat on the back. Actually, scratch that. You have my utmost pity, and a wish that you have access to an unlimited supply of vodka.