Yes, that is my normally happy, contended child.
At some point over recent months, The Terrible Twos have arrived. Sure, they crept up on us at first. Largely there didn't seem to be any rhyme or reason for the outbursts but that could be forgiven, after all two-year olds do not have the capacity for reasoning. For a short while distraction had a success rate of 100%.
Not any more. In fact it rarely seems to work now. We just have to let him just scream it out before trying to calm him down because no one, not even Peppa Pig can come between H and his tantrums.
My little boy has become clever. Perhaps it's because we are both at home at the moment but he now attempts to play us off against each other. I really wasn't expecting that so young. Why did nobody warn me?!
This afternoon H asked for sweets. I said no and explained we don't have any. H wandered into the lounge and asked the husband. The husband said the same thing. H ran screaming back into the kitchen and again demanded sweets. Then pointed to the cupboard where treats are kept, shouting "DAT DAT DAT!". Then the tears and shouting and pointing started. And didn't stop for what felt like an eternity (although in reality was less than 5 minutes). Shortly after the above snap was taken (yes, mean mummy laughed and took a picture), H threw himself on the floor, kicking and screaming being worthy of a scene from a film I saw, where I was convinced the director was simply trying to scare those of us who hadn't yet had children and was being typically Hollywood OTT. How wrong was I?!
The thing is, I'm not sure what's worse. The tantrums, however long or short they last (H has been known to continue for 20 minutes, I timed it!), or the whingeing. Sitting down for a cup of coffee because he is happily playing with one of the noisy "nee nooor" only for him to creep up to me.
*H takes one hand then points the other towards nothing in particular*
"What do you want H?"
"DAT!" *proceeds to attempt to pull me up*
So then I have to follow him.
"Do you want to read?" *picks up book*
"No! Dat!" *pointing in another direction*
"Oh you want Ernie?" *picks up Ernie*
"No! Dat!* *pointing in yet another direction while dragging mummy out of the room*
"Oh you want some water?" *gets cup from cupboard and fills*
"NO! Dat!" *points to the fridge*
Repeat ad nauseam until I've been dragged around the entire house, having picked up almost everything within the house (and sometimes the garden too) only for him to settle on the book I picked up the first time.
Yes, there are times when I am not sure which of the above two scenarios are the most exhausting. Although having fun, playing in the park, having tickle fights and seeing smiles like the one below remind me just how much of a bundle of fun a toddler is for the vast majority of the time.
Parenting a toddler might well be the biggest test of patience and the most exhausting job in the world but it certainly comes with more than enough smiles and laughter to make up for it. If only they came bearing gifts of hair dye for those greys and gin for the nerves! 😉