THE TERRIBLE TWOS?

rainbow brite baby terrible twos

I don’t need you

So as a newbie parent I thought the “Terrible Twos” started when kids turned two. After talking to my mom friends, pediatrician, and my own discoveries I have realized that it happens in the second year of life and anytime after a child’s first birthday. Princess A is definitely experiencing some terrible twos emotions.

Yesterday at playgroup, she decided to push a shopping cart around the large room for a full hour and a half. She was so fast and only stopped to put puppies, ponies, or books in her cart. When it was time for a snack she refused to sit and eat. When it was time for a group art project she continued pushing her cart. When it was time for play group to be over she clung to her cart, kicked, screamed, and threw a temper tantrum when I told her to say bye bye to her cart. The teacher told me that she was asserting her independence and to let her have fun with her cart. That’s what I did and I found it both shocking that she was able to do this for so long and hilarious.

I feel like I was blindsided by the terrible twos because I thought I had a gap between baby and bipolar toddler but I was wrong. The main problem is our reaction to her. The Husband and I are comedians so we find the humor in her antics and usually laugh when she is showing us how big she is. Princess A loves to entertain so sometimes she repeats things because she sees us laughing. We are making an effort to stop this but it is hard.

In one of Cesar Milan’s books, he talks about helping author John Grogan of awesome dog book Marley and Me with his new lab. His biggest criticism of him was that because he was a writer he observed his dog’s behaviour as an outsider instead of correcting it. While it did amazing things for John Grogan’s writing career it didn’t help his dog behave. This reminds me of myself and The Husband a little. Sometimes instead of being in the moment and reacting to Princess A’s behaviour as parents, we see the funny and think about the jokes we can write. While this helps us stay calm during her fits I don’t think it is the best for disciplining her in the long run.

So while The Husband and I work on our temper tantrum poker faces, do you have any advice for surviving the terrible twos?

Stay Glamorous,

Shannon Sutherland

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11 Responses to “THE TERRIBLE TWOS?”

  1. Missy July 12, 2012 at 2:13 PM #

    Not much I can say I am in there with you

  2. Laura July 12, 2012 at 2:20 PM #

    I’m no expert but here’s what I’ve observed in my life around kids. Think of how you react in your comedy routine: if people laugh, you make a note of it and repeat it so that you can get the laughs again. Their reaction drives what you do, same as with Princess A. Technical psychology term is positive reinforcement. She does something bad, you laugh, she does it again. Right now it’s actions but soon it will be words. As hard as it is you need to not react in a positive way. Once she realizes things don’t get the reaction she wants, they’re not as much fun. Then later when the Princess is asleep, you and the husband can crack up and blog about it. That will work until she gets a whole new audience for her antics. Face it, you’re raising a performer for sure. The challenge is in channeling her performances to things you find more acceptable.

    • Shannon July 12, 2012 at 9:10 PM #

      You are right Laura. It honestly reminds me of us training our dog. We didn’t want to say bad dog to him so we ignored him when he did something bad and told him how awesome he is when he did good things. It worked really well for house training him! Back to working on my poker face.

  3. snarkysarcasticbish July 12, 2012 at 8:47 PM #

    Vodka, I recommend vodka!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Jen July 12, 2012 at 9:13 PM #

    I don’t have any advice to help, just a warning – 3’s are so much worse! Although totally agreeing with the vodka recommendation.
    My cousin told me they turn into sweethearts when they turn 4 (can’t wait till October!
    Lately it has been so bad. I feel like I’m living with a mini teenager. Slamming doors, “I don’t care”, “leave me alone”, “don’t talk to me”. Vodka sounds real good!

    • Shannon July 13, 2012 at 7:37 AM #

      “Terrible Twos” is soooooooo misleading. Not fair! # sounds bad. Princess A slams the door on me but she can’t say a lot of words so it’s more funny than upsetting. Hang in there. Good thing she is turning 4!

  5. Karen Dent July 12, 2012 at 9:21 PM #

    Yes Vodka is good! I remember at times losing patience when I had to correct the same thing over and over again. I finally learned, it is okay to take a break and give YOURSELF the time out. I would put the kids in a safe place like their beds, and step out on the porch for a few minutes, or chill in my room. I think the “highligts” of Katie’s terrible twos was when she buttered both our dogs from head to foot (I am serious covered in butter), she had a “spa day” with one dog and our kitten (the dog was covered in Axe body spray and the kitten was covered in green tea lotion), she then got into my jewellery and lost an earring and a charm made from dad’s wedding ring (Thank God both were found, the earring was a last Christmas gift from my dad two weeks after he died). At the time I remember thinking what next? Now I find the humour in all of it. Remember this too shall pass (Okay I admit I had to leave the room because I was laughing at my two buttered dogs. What tipped me off is how well they were getting along for the first time, licking the butter off each other!)
    Now you have to continue to share all of Princess A’s stories, because they make me laugh. Not in a mean way, but in a “I’ve been there way.” We will help you see the humour in all those little things she will do! LOL!
    Karen

    • Shannon July 13, 2012 at 7:36 AM #

      OMG, buttering the dogs how creative and hilarious!!!!!! Sharing Princess A’s stores helps me find the funny…. and leaving the kids both human and canine with my husband for a bit lol.

      • Karen Dent July 13, 2012 at 7:37 PM #

        Oh it was very creative, and so much fun to clean up LOL! I did learn though that if two dogs do not like to be around each other, cover them in something edible and they will be best friends as they clean each other off LOL! I locked us out of the house today, and it reminded me of the days when I would take the dogs outside. I would stand on the porch while they went to the bathroom. Katie who was 2 would then lock me out of the house, with her and David inside. She would let me after much begging and pleading (I never remembered to grab my keys). My husband was working in Alabama at the time (a fair distance from Ontario, Canada) so he couldn’t even come home with his keys and let me in. We finally put a programmable lock on the front door so that I could always get back in. She was a sneaky child. Now I sit and laugh. She is 10 now and we both survived!
        Karen

        • Shannon July 13, 2012 at 7:52 PM #

          Good to hear! I need to get a lock like that. princess A has locked me out before but my husband as always been home but she is young so who knows what the future holds.

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