I know, I know you all have kids and have gone through it...but, I'm sending out an early warning since we are headed to both Tennessee for Thanksgiving and Wisconsin for Christmas...we have entered the Terrible Two's.
We love Jack, we just don't love the being that occaissionally overcomes our sweet, tenderhearted child. And lately, that being has been making an appearance on a more regular basis.
We have stepped up the discipline, and although we feel we have been consistent in our parenting "techniques" and he has been getting the "benefit" of regular time-outs in his chair in his room (and in the hallway at daycare among other places), we still have some learning going on - both on his part and ours as we muddle through the method. He reacts quite well when told he must calm himself down before he can come out. And although he always ends his fits with, "All done crying, I sorry", which is quite endearing, we are both slowly learning this "baby" is a lot smarter than what we have been giving him credit for.
However, do not be dissuaded. He is definitely a toddler, and a stubborn one at that. He can still drive us both to the edge of our nerves and we are not perfect parents. So please be prepared for some awkward moments as we all get together over these next few months. We are figuring out day by day what works to quell the fits, but each day brings a new challenge.
Today for instance, his teacher shared that he would not sit in his chair when directed to do so for lunch. Nothing new for him, he just didn't want to. So, after a few attempts to get him to respond, he was put in time out, sitting in a chair facing a wall. And, true to form, he began to kick the wall. His teacher told him to stop, he did not, she told him a second time, he did not. She moved him further from the wall so he could not kick it. He pointed his toes as far as he could toward the wall and looked straight at her and smiled. Reminded me to share with his teacher that at 15 mos, when his teachers told him to "stay on the carpet" (a common instruction for the kids to remain in a certain play area in the room), he would walk right up, his toes just touching the end of the carpet/start of the linoleum, look up at them and smile as if saying "C'mon, say it again and I'm gone!" Let me just say, he does not get this from his mother.
And for the final blow for me today, with Daddy on a trip since Monday and after a few long nights with Duke up with a cold and ear infection, he decided that he could not walk out of daycare but rather must throw himself on the ground and scream to be carried. Needless to say, since I cannot possibly carry both children at one time, and there is only one me and I cannot very well leave one child in the car to go back and get another or some parent would probably call Child Protective Services on me, I had to figure out how to coax him from a flailing, kicking, screaming fit out of the building and into the car.
After 30 minutes of ignoring, walking away, and other such attempts, I was finally rescued by one of the staff who offered to take Duke with her to the front desk while I calmly (but wanting to pop him like you wouldn't believe!) picked up Jack, buckled him in his seat in the car, gave a quick recap on why he would not be watching any DVD on the way home as he screamed now for Elmo, and went back, got Duke and drove the lovely rest of the 45 minutes home. Suprisingly, he whined for Elmo for only another 5 minutes before he got the point, it wasn't going to work. And then, an angel the rest of the night. Hmmmm...consistency works, it's just not working fast enough for me and Daddy!
So, consider yourself forewarned.
You can stop laughing now.
(And trust us, a popping will happen eventually, we just can't see how he would make the connection quite yet :P)
See you all soon.