Friday, September 2, 2011

Niall, are you in there?

Aliens have taken over.  I don't know who or what has inhabited my sweet angel's little body, but it's something of a mix between monsters and screaming banshees and dying cats.  The noises that come out of his body when Niall doesn't get his way are simply not human.

I knew the terrible twos were most likely due to hit us around this time, but I had high hopes that maybe Niall would be an exception.  He's so mellow and laid back and go-with-the-flow.  Almost to a fault.  If a kid grabs a toy out of his hand, he'll typically just turn around and pick something else up.  I was worried that I was letting him become a bit of a push-over.

But not to worry, folks.  He's doing just fine asserting himself these days.  Let me count the ways.  He'll typically start by letting out an earth shattering scream-- often in the most public place he can find, so it looks like I must be physically abusing my kid to the rest of the neighborhood.... then it moves into the "hyperactive helicopter", where he flails his arms and legs at the same time so that I can't even pick him up to remove him from the situation... then he'll find something like an ipod or a work boot or a heavy toy to throw across the room.

It's really a wonderfully character-building challenge for me, as a mother. I like to say to myself "How would a confident, sane and rational person deal with something like this?" and then I try to resemble that person.  It usually involves me taking 5-10 really deep breaths while squashing visions in my head of me turning into a complete lunatic and screaming and throwing things, much like little Niall. 

But honestly, I do try to keep my emotions out of it and that has been the one thing that time and time again has proven to be the most important tactic of all.  I'm not always going to get it right- maybe I should have enforced a longer time out, maybe I should have just ignored him a little longer and let him snap out of it, maybe I should have used a more or less firm tone... but at the end of the day, I'm always decently happy with my reaction if I don't allow myself to get upset and start acting like a toddler myself. 

So, as I'm learning on this journey through "the terribles" (I hear that it hits at 2, 3 & 4; so I'm not even going to limit it to a certain age)... here's hoping I can keep my sanity and be the best example I can be.  I have to admit that when all is said and done, Niall makes me laugh, smile and beam with pride for about 80-90% of every day, so I think I'm pretty lucky that it's such a small sliver that is unpleasant.  I still love him to pieces :)

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  1. oh man, i hate those little phases they go through :( hope this one passes quickly!!

  2. dude. totally know what you mean. we just met with our soon to be babysitter and piper of course starting tantrumming. im like, okay. what am i SUPPOSED to act like in this situation? all the while worrying she is judging what kind of parent i am. and doing my best to act normal and rational. even tho you can't always be rational with an irrational toddler! its very very challenging. i feel bad for ever judging any person with a fussy child ever.


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