Saturday, September 23, 2006

How Old Are You Exactly?

  Posted by Picasa

Pip was 2 on July 17th. I don’t know whether to be impressed or completely freaked out by her. A little bit of both, to be honest. Here’s a sampling of some conversations/situations the past week. No joke.

1. Me: “Pip, pick up your bottle.” Pip: “No, you do it, Mom.” (How is it that Rex still calls his mother “Mommy” but I’ve already been downgraded?)
2. Me: “A chip for me? Thank you.” Pip: “You’re welcome. Da rest are mine.”
3. During dinner last night, snuggling up to Rex after a long week of him away at work: “I missssssed you, Papa. I want a bite.”
4. During our drive out to the in-laws, “It’s hot in here. I want my window rolled down.”
5. Taking off her own clothes and flinging her diaper across the room, post-nap: “I went poo poo in my diaper. I need change.” Me: “Do you want Papa to give you a fresh one?” Pip: (insulted) "No! Yoooo do it!
6. Turning to me after a few moments of silence “You’re the BEEEEST Mom!”

I will spare you more examples, but let’s just say they involve brushing her own hair, her own teeth, changing shoes ten times/day, doing everything “self”, including climbing in and out of the car, eating and sitting on the toilet. She’s also getting quite good at tattling on her brother (when she’s not hugging him to pieces and flinging herself on the floor in protest at leaving his classroom in the mornings.) But before I make her sound too diva-ish, let me tell you that this kid is the sweetest, biggest cuddle bug on the planet - quick to laugh, kiss and hug. But, like a cat, it's on her terms. And I'm okay with that, because she's not a pushover. And since I'm one of the lucky ones she deigns to shower with affection, it's hard to complain.

This fireball is who I strive to be: unabashed, unashamed, assertive, opinionated, and topped with charm, enthusiasm and oodles of love. A head of curls and two dimples don’t hurt either.

Am I a proud mama? Hell yes!

That stated, can someone please tell me their roadmap for dealing with tantrums? I get that I’m not supposed to feed into a child’s craziness. But how exactly do you calm a two year old down when she wants to watch Dora, but the DVD is missing, and they don’t get the concept? Times this by 20 and it’s what I’m going through on a daily basis, in between the lovey dovey above. And it’s not one minute of complaints. It’s down and out fist pounding sometimes. If we’re lucky, it’s ear piercing. In public. Or right when I’m on the phone or wanting to eat dinner. Suggestions? (Other than ear plugs and avoiding public places until she turns 20. Stink’s reaction? “Woman, my ears!” Then he turns back to whatever he’s doing.)


kim said...

She sounds adorable! We have the equivalent here in BT (short for Baby Terror) he was 2 in May. The most adorable loving sweet baby one second and the next hes throwing himself on the floor in a ear shattering tantrum or hitting people as hard as possible with his cars. Im holding on for 3 when hes suddenly going to become manageable? Thats what we pray for daily :)

Toni said...

I really do think that kids remind us of who we're supposed to be.

Pip sounds just totally . . . two.

Gosh, navigating tantrums. I could write a book! On how yelling doesn't work, goddamnit! Well, we ruined the first kid but got better after that. We use time outs, and I know some parents disagree with them, but they've worked really well for us. The book 1, 2, 3 Magic!, oft-used for more challenging kids, has been really effective for us. Even Nolan, the most stubborn of the stubborn, eventually gives up b/c time outs are boring and he doesn't get the attention he wants. Aaron clued in right quick and once we start counting, he stops acting out. It's not for everyone, but really worked for us. I'm a parent who feels attachment parenting is marvelous for babies, not so great for bigger kids. YMMV.

Another thing - DON'T GIVE IN to what they want. Otherwise, you're teaching them that if they just wait it out and scream MORE, you'll eventually cave. I think kids want those boundaries set and for us to just lovingly say "I'm sorry, but x isn't going to happen right now" and offer lots of love & etc. after drawing that bright line.

amisare waswerebeen said...

I love how she shares the chips. First for Kim, it may not stop at 3. Hate to burst the hope bubble, but my son threw monster tantrums until he was almost 5. I completely agree with Toni about not giving in. If you do, they see that they can wear you down. This might sounds complex for a two year old to pick up on, but they do. I used to tell my kids that they needed to stay in their room or in one spot until they have calmed down enough to talk or listen. This can last quite a while sometimes, but it gets shorter and easier after a few times. Then when they're done, chat with them about how they felt, why they needed to get upset, and how do handle it better next time (example: "So next time your mad, maybe you can tell me what's wrong and we can fix it together instead of screaming and swinging the cat around by the tail.)Inject humore wherever possible and they'll pay more attention to you.

Mrs. Cleaver said...

Sometimes tantrums are uncomfortable for parents, but the best advice someone gave me was "it's easier for a child to have a tantrum at two than at 21", which basically translates - let them learn to deal with frustration and disappointments now before the tantrums get even bigger.