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Monday, April 4, 2011

Terrible Twos

At 19 months old, we're smack in the middle of Eddie's second year of life. And that means that the infamous "terrible twos" are upon us.

Until Saturday afternoon he was his normal, mostly-happy toddler self. Granted, he was still getting into everything, always going-going-going, and eating just enough to keep up his high level of activity, but he was always fun to be around.

Then he started having tantrums. Intense crying, hitting and pushing me away, refusing everyone and everything. You know it is bad when he won't even agree to going outside to see the chickens!

He gets really frustrated when he doesn't get what he wants, then gets even more frustrated when he can't tell us what it is he wants. He understands SO much of what we say...but he doesn't have the words yet to tell us most things. So we try to use adjectives when we sympathize with him so he'll (hopefully) learn to use those words instead of flipping out.

"Oh buddy...I'm sorry you're frustrated. It must be frustrating when you can't tell me what you need."

"I'm sorry you're sad and upset right now. When you are done being upset, just let me know."

Last night was a good example of his level of understanding: Dave and Eddie were on the patio collecting the wooden apple boxes so Dave could put them in the van. I had a bunch of 6-packs of plants in one of them. Dave hollered through the screen door, "Babe? You want me to take the 6-packs of plants out of the crate and leave them on the patio for you?" I didn't hear him very well so he came inside to talk to me. When he went back outside, Eddie was carefully taking all the plants out of the crate and putting them on the chair for me.

I know tantrums are part of a child's normal, healthy development at this age. But dangit, it is so frustrating. Well, for me it is mostly exhausting. I am very, very grateful that my job is flexible and we rarely have to be anywhere at an exact time so I can let him work it out if he needs to.

Here are some great articles about tantrums, from the UC Davis Human Lactation Center's blog:
And as bad as this seems, I know it pales in comparison to what his future behavior will be like as a teenager...


mu rye uh said...

ah yes. I was fairly warned from a friend though that the 3's are worse than the twos and I agree. My kids weren't terrible tantrums but Sammy does it far more than Andrew and I take the same approach.

Kaitlin said...

oh i hear & feel for you. i dont know why they call it "terrible two's" b/c from my experience it starts at about 18 months and goes past 3. i'm anxious to read those links...

Team Roy said...

This age is so hard for SO many reasons. But its awesome at the same time. Every other day I tell Kyle that I wish I could freeze Charlie at the age he's at right now (minus the tantrums). He is like a sponge and with his communication kicking up, its very cool. Just a positive thing to think about during the challenging moments.

Thanks for the links too - I'm interested to read them.