There is no denying that the twos are a trying time. My mister has truly followed suit to the terrible twos, throwing tantrums for no apparent reason and causing a scene without notice. I recognize this is all age-appropriate, but it’s exhausting.
I picked Evan up from school and we greeted in the sweetest of ways, like always. He asked me where we were going and I said home. That’s when he lost it. He didn’t want to go home but he also didn’t want to stay at school. I didn’t understand where this came from but I didn’t have time to figure it out, because he was continuously throwing his body down on the ground screaming and crying. When I walked to get his belongings, he would run into me, hitting me and throwing his body at me. He didn’t want me to get his stuff, he wanted to get it. When I left it up to him, he said he didn’t want to get it. The whole situation just kept repeating itself.
We finally left the classroom and continued this fun tantrum in the halls of the school. I continued to repeat what we’ve learned from his behavior therapist; I don’t respond to that, this makes me sad, tell me when you’re ready, etc. He wasn’t having any of this. When I tried to have him sit in time out and take deep breaths in the hallway, he was resistant. Teachers and parents walked by, stared but didn’t interfere. I knew all eyes were on me, I could feel it. I so desperately wanted to sit down and cry, right then and there. I kept it together, fighting every single tear with every single breath I took. Evan’s 3-week-old sister was in the stroller that he was trying to pull down because he wanted to push it alone. I kept my cool and continued to walk, ignoring the behavior and allowing him to be completely out of control on his own. I managed to make it to the front hallway and he finally settled down.
I came down to his level, on my knees, and just held him. We didn’t talk, he was calming his breathing, and I just held him tighter and tighter. I told him I love him and that he’s a sweet, kind boy. Then, it happened. A sweet woman at the school walked past us and said, “You’re doing a good job, Mom, I know it’s tough, but you are strong.” She left the school, and I was left crying. I don’t ask for reinforcement as a mom. We don’t do what we do day in and day out for an “atta boy,” but in that one moment when you question your ways and you question if you’re doing it right (is there such a thing? Can we do parenting right?) a simple word of comfort is just what I needed. She didn’t stay to console me, she didn’t stop to try and act on the situation, she simply showed me compassion. I put both the kids in the car and cried the entire way home.
Certainly these tears can be blamed on the sleepless nights with a newborn and early mornings with a toddler, or even the hormones… right? —Jennifer