Monday, January 12, 2009

The Toddler Tyrant

There comes a time in the life of a toddler when it's his way or...well, it's just his way. I think most folks call this period the terrible twos. I've heard that the threes and fours can be just as bad, however. Now there's something to look forward to, right? Meltdowns occur for just about any reason. At our house tonight, Justin asked Duncan to give him the cord he was holding. Duncan handed it over nicely. But then he screamed as though his Daddy had just grabbed it from him, and it hadn't been voluntary at all. Duncan came running to me in tears and wanted comfort. When he gets in trouble with Mommy, Daddy gets the snuggles. Sneaky!

Backseat Driver
I read in books about building up the child's ego. "He should have a Super Ego" they say. Seems to me most toddlers are pretty sure of themselves already. Duncan knows he's the boss. Period. When he points a particular direction in the car and exclaims, "That way!" he expects to be heard. We make it a bit of a joke when we go the other way, so our "disobedience" doesn't meet with angst. But he's not always so complaisant.

Duncan in his bed...for once!

When Duncan would wake up in the night a few months back, we used to take him downstairs to watch a little TV and have a snack. We'd all be up for 30 minutes to an hour. One day Justin brought Duncan back to our room instead of downstairs. And a miracle occurred. Duncan slept the rest of the night. Since then he's come to our room if he wakes up in the middle of the night. We've all been getting more sleep. But now, Duncan has decided that his bed is not good enough and he wants to sleep in Mommy and Daddy's bed all the time. It's not just a middle of the night thing anymore. We'll put him to bed in his own room, he gets right back up, and tears down the hallway to our room. Well, it worked last night. He fell asleep pretty quickly and we all slept through the night. Tonight he did the same thing, but he kept coming out of our room. I went up the stairs, took him back in there, and said, "If I have to come back up here, you're going back to your room." Well, not five minutes had passed before he was out in the hall. I went back up, reminded him of my threat, and put him in his own room. He cried for a bit, and now he's quiet. I imagine we'll see him later tonight. Ugh!

All of Duncan's antics remind me of Evan going through the terrible twos.

We got Evan a bouncer firetruck when Duncan was born as a sort of peace offering. He loved it. The trouble with bouncers is, it's more fun when a friend is jumping with you. Evan would insist that Mommy or Daddy join him. Ignoring the 100 pound limit, we complied with our little boy's demands.

Evan in the midst of a meltdown

Evan was a backseat driver, too. Instead of telling me what to do, however, he was more interested in what Duncan was doing. As we were driving home from the park one day, I heard Evan say, "Duncan! Get that finger outta there!" We were still in the parking lot, so I stopped to see what was going on. Duncan was sucking on his finger, like most babies do at his age.

Evan was always beckoning us with an excited, "Come on, guys!" And if his little brother was missing, he'd insist that we go get him. "Go get Duncan!" he'd tell me, as if he didn't understand what was taking me so long. "Grownups!" he must have thought.

"I Rule!"


Mezzo Forte said...

Well I didn't want to delete my comment...just edit it...wrote the wrong word. Annnywho, I'm pretty sure you have set up surveillance at my house and have changed the names to protect the mostly innocent! LOL

Pam said...

Hee hee! you, too, eh? Is it just a toddler thing? Or a kid thing I wonder.

Mezzo Forte said...

I think it's just a BOY THING! LOL