Our house has been in a load of turmoil the past several months. We are dealing with a very difficult childhood stage right now with our boy. One that our girl never really went through. Or maybe she did but certainly not to this extreme, or in a different way. Somehow I could, and usually still can, always get inside Ruby's head. I have yet to find the key to mastering Lincoln and this troubles me.
I googled, "Terrible Twos" today. Just to make sure that that was indeed what we are dealing with and not that my son is experiencing a demonic possession. Google confirms that we in fact, in the the throws of a classic case of the Terrible Twos. I'm glad because I don't know of a lot of priests will perform an exorcism on a 2 year old boy. Well, I don't actually know *any* priests at all so I guess I'd really be in trouble.
"Characterized by toddlers being negative about most things and often saying 'no', the terrible twos may also find your toddler having frequent mood changes and temper tantrums."
Except switch out "often saying no" with "repeatedly screech-crying NOOOO over and over and over" and change "frequent mood changes" with "irrational, wild behavioral swings" and replace "temper tantrums" with "psychotic breaks with reality" then you've pretty much summed up what we've got going on.
So now that I know for sure what I'm dealing with, how do I deal with it? Google suggests a few things like a stringent schedule, limited choices, and not laughing at them when they throw a tantrum.
Laughing? During a tantrum?
Don't worry, Google, I can assure you laughter is not my go-to expression when someone is thrashing and stomping and kicking and punching and screaming at the top of their lungs all because a cheese string was removed from it's wrapper in a manner that the boy doesn't like.
Google also says to never give in to tantrums. Really? Because sometimes if I just get him a new cheese string and remove the packaging properly (whatever that means, it's different every time) things settle down. Yes, sometimes it takes 4 or 5 cheese strings for me to get it right but it's so worth it in the end. So that isn't OK?? Christ, at times I would be willing to sell my soul to get him a new Ferrari if it would just make him settle down.
Compounding the trouble is that we have a tenant living in our basement suite. We have hardwood floors and it's far from soundproof. It make it ten times more difficult, embarrassing and stressful knowing someone can hear your every cry, stomp, scream, tantrum, argument and it sometimes leads me to parent in ways that I would rather not - like getting even more frustrated when I can't calm things down.
Last night, after another wild ride, Steve and I looked at each other and agreed, "OH MY GOD, THIS IS HELL!!! HOW DO WE GET THROUGH THIS???!" Near tears, my brain/heart conflict came into play again and I logically reminded us both that we are in a phase. It's just a phase. He will grow out of it. It's not forever. We just have to get through. He is a sweet, loving, funny boy and he is just in a phase.
Please tell me it's just a phase. Even if it's not true. I need to have a light at the end of the tunnel that isn't a train.