Surviving the Terrible TwosWritten by Heather Miller | | firstname.lastname@example.org
I am a good mom. I swear. Just ask me; I will tell you. However, I am beginning to question my abilities. Yes, my son has hit the terrible twos. Due to this recent eye-opener, I have noticed I am slowly beginning to become one of those parents I spot in line at Wal-Mart. You know, the just-you-wait-until-we-get-home-you will-not-see-sunlight-for-the-rest-of-your-natural-life moms. Or better yet, the mom who says, “You can have whatever you want… Just sit down and be quiet.” Either way, I am now the mom I swore I would never be.
The worst part of realizing you are not a perfect parent is that you feel every person in the world is judging you based on your child’s behavior. I, by nature, am a people-pleaser. Therefore, to keep my darling boy well-behaved, I keep a purse full of gummy fruit snacks and Dum Dum suckers. (God bless the Spangler Candy Co.) But even sugary treats that are sure to cost me millions in dental appointments in the future could not tame my wild two year old this weekend. Of course, it is partially my fault. Why would I ever believe he would behave at the mall? Sure, it was a dumb moment. But I had gift cards to spend! So, after an hour of trying to contain my no longer little bundle of joy to a stroller, I took him to the kids’ play area while my husband was off searching for the deal of the century at a store we normally can’t afford to shop in. This was a dumber move yet. I don’t know why I thought he would listen once I let him loose with several dozen other youngsters, but by now I was desperate for a little peace. It lasted for about ten seconds. As soon as I sat, he was off.
It started with pushing. My darling, perfect boy suddenly became a bully. He was pushing a little girl twice his size out of a fiberglass vehicle while screaming, “Mine car!” The girl’s obviously more attentive mom was there in an instant only to tell her daughter to stop picking on the “baby.” I tried to defend the little princess, but the good mom would not listen. She just ushered her girl away. That is when my devil took flight. In a flash, he ran out of the play area and into the mall concourse. Man, that little guy is fast! By the time I hurdled a dozen or so other toddlers behind him, he was just a flash of red. Thank goodness I dressed him in a bright color.
The other parents just gawked as rushed after him, screaming and flapping my arms. I am sure I looked like and overgrown goose chasing her fleeing gosling. I eventually caught him with the judging eyes of the other parents following me the entire time. I was mortified. I slumped back to the play area and deposited my kid on the bench. My husband arrived minutes later, but it seemed like hours. I confessed that I nearly lost our son. Hubby knew I had done my best, but even as a team we are no match for the terrible twos.
Here is the worst part: My little boy is not even two yet! I still have a couple weeks to go, so I am sure the whole “mall experiment” is just the beginning. In fact, other parents I know assure me that it only gets worse. If I am feeling this defeated now, I just cannot imagine what I will be like by the time he is sixteen. I guess I am beginning to realize why my mom forced me wear a snow suit to school until the eighth grade. It was not to protect me from the elements at the bus stop, as she claims. Just as I had thought, she really did want to embarrass me! Pay backs really are hell. After all, she was the one who always said, “I hope you have a child just like you someday.” I guess I did. But I am okay with that. I still love him, just as my mom loves me.
Heather Miller is a reporter for FOX Toledo.