I've touched on this topic before, and you know that I concede the pain, but also relish the beauty, in the moments created during the rocky road of toddler years. But man, I tell ya, sometimes...sometimes I shake my fists at the sky.
I have four children--FOUR--and Ethan has been by far the most challenging 2 year old. He has an angel face and can be syrupy sweet, but damnit if he doesn't have the sharpest devil horns. I know he's practicing his ability to communicate and learning the resulting consequences of that communication, and we'll be on the other side of it very soon. I get it. In the meantime, unfortunately, we're going bat-shit crazy.
Mornings can be rough. "PANCAKES! I want PANCAKES! PANCAKES! PANCAKES! PANCAKES!" Consoling him with, "Sure, buddy. No problem. Pancakes it is." is futile. We've long since abandoned that effort. He just keeps screaming for them no matter what we say, which in my head is often I know you want pancakes! I hear you! I'm making the damn pancakes! Don't you see me making them?! I'm right here moving as fast as I can. You'll have your damn pancakes in a SECOND! STOP SCREAMING! What actually results is me shuffling as I mumble under my breath. Keep moving and cry silently is what I recommend. Don't worry, it takes practice. I think Vern and I have mastered the technique by now.
Now, the work in progress is how to handle what follows the making of the pancakes...which is always "I DON'T WANT PANCAKES! I DON'T WANT PANCAKES!I DON'T WANT PANCAKES!I DON'T WANT PANCAKES! I DON'T! I DON'T WANT IT!" Technique on this one is still being tweaked. Because honestly, at this point, not sending the flapjacks flying takes resources summoned from the soul's core. If we take the pancakes away-- I bet you can predict what happens--I WANT PANCAKES starts up again. He'll do this a couple of times (if we let him) before he gets hungry enough to just eat the damn things. So far the approach that's winning is to just head-butt his ass. Hard. Kidding. Kidding. We set the plate down and walk away (slowly and front facing, no eye contact, head down, no sudden movements--ha!) and then ignore him completely until he succumbs to the syrup soaked discs of fluffy goodness. Oh, and we still shuffle, mumble and cry silently. Yeah, that's the winning recipe right there.
I probably need to cut the little boy some slack. He just turned 2 in July, and he's still figuring things out--oh shit--we're 9 months away from three? We have a little ways to go before he's out of this stage.
The moments between tantrums are treasured. Savored. We've paid for the smiles through the tears, and we'll keep them safe in our own secret stash of sanity savers. No touchy.