Yes. Yes I of course love my toddler. He can be the most amazing tiny human on the planet. He melts my heart with his love for his baby brother & his fur siblings, and his curiosity about the world. I find it absolutely adorable that he pronounces the letter “d” like the letter “g” calling doggies “goggies.” Sometimes, I think it is actually painful how much I love him. Then, insert sigh, there are other times, where I can say with certainty that I don’t really like him. Let’s be honest for a minute… Toddlers are assholes. They are miniature versions of the douche bag adults that we all roll our eyes and at complain to our co-workers about. However, we’ve created these beings and therefore find that we love, and often times even laugh at, their assholeness. How exhausting!
My motivation for this particular rant came to me a few days ago, when my toddler swatted at me, for lack of better terms, while yelling “lello” at me, which is his way of saying “yellow.” Why he yells “lello” at us when he is angry is beyond our comprehension, and as hilarious as it may be, it is equally infuriating. We’ve tried numerous methods of deterring this behavior, included but not limited to time out, rational talk, yelling other colors back to him “RED, you little gremlin, RED!” Still, much to our disappointment, the “phase” continues and we have determined that while we love him to the ends of the earth, we don’t always like him.
In another instance, I am standing in the kitchen, most likely preparing the 2nd dinner plate of the night, after the first one was tossed onto the floor and I hear the aforementioned tiny human yell “Hey Kate!!!! More milk.” First of all, it is MOMMY to you and second of all more milk PLEASE you inconsiderate little…Again, this behavior is rather hilarious, because he is two years old, but there is nothing funny about a grown adult demanding milk, or anything for that matter, in this manner.
After taking the “rationalize with the toddlerbeast” approach and explaining that ‘yes, my name is Kate but I would really feel better if you called me mommy and we use nice words like please,’ I was able to bring him back from his demonized state to our kitchen. However, in the 2.5 seconds it took me to reach for the cup, he quickly retreated back to toddlerbeast and started exclaiming “Freen, Freen tup! FREEEENNN tup!!!!!” For the love of all things holy dude, the “freen,” aka green, cup is in the dishwasher and I’ll be damned if I’m taking it out and washing it when you have a perfectly fine, and clean, orange cup right here! I refuse to be bossed around by a miniature person I willingly created. Orange cup it is and mom for the win!
Have you ever been laughed at by your toddler while trying to seriously discipline? Welp, I have and nothing angers me more than when I’m raising my voice and instituting a solid time out while being laughed at. Trust me kid, you’re only adding fuel to the fire. The cute smile and giggle, which usually melt my heart, are only turning me in to the female version of the hulk. It has now become my mission to win this battle. Time out is supposed to be “one minute for each year of age,” you’ve just earned yourself five times that! Ha! Now who’s laughing??
In all honesty, I find this whole motherhood, mom of two boys, thing quite ironic. As I sit here, with my glass of red wine, writing and pouring my thoughts out, I can only reflect on my own childhood. Now, as most adults from my childhood would agree, I was a pretty good kid. I didn’t test my limits too often, generally followed the rules, and did as I was told. However, I grew up with my two cousins-I’ll call them my brother-cousins. We lived on the same street and spent a ton of time together, hence the term brother-cousins. They were consistently pushing the envelope. I have distinct memories of playing upstairs in their playroom, and my aunt storming up the stairs, and very rightfully so “redirecting” them. And what did they do? They LAUGHED! Back then I remember thinking ‘yup, they’re gonna get in trouble for that one’ then ‘no, don’t laugh you’re only making her more upset!’ But now, let me tell you, I have a whole, entire, new respect for my Aunt K. Raising two boys is no easy task. I love my toddler, I don’t always like him and I now understand exactly why my Aunt K would stomp and get upset. Thankfully, both my cousins have turned into truly awesome people. Guess that stomping wasn’t for nothing…she did an incredible job and I just may take up some stomping of my own!
Altogether, they win us over with their quirkiness… Who doesn’t love a kid who says “tiss tiss (kiss kiss)” then “all bedda” when he gets hurt and you kiss the boo boo? Whose eyes don’t roll while their heart melts as they’re singing “Jingle bells” well into March? Who doesn’t feel the near physical hurt that ensues when redirecting your child and all you want to do is hug them? It’s simple: They won us over the day they were born. They’re cute, funny, sensitive, and everything we’ve ever dreamed of. Still, we have to do our best to keep the little jerks from turning into big jerks. So, as easy as it is to laugh it off when the toddlerbeast drops his toy and says “oh shit” we have to correct the behavior. Can we all agree on the fact that while we love our babies, more than life itself, we don’t always like them?! Now, allow me to get back to my google search on ‘effective toddler discipline’ so I can survive these terrible twos!