Friday, 1 June 2012

Terrible Two's, A Mother's Woes

My first encounter with the term Terrible Two's was while watching a child care programme on TV. I did not pay much attention to it since my daughter Anushka was just a few months old then. I will cross the bridge when it comes, I had thought.  I have reached the bridge now. Anushka turned two few days back and this birthday has brought a load of new nuisance and surprises with it.

For those who are not aware of this funny jargon, let me make it simpler for you. Terrible Two's is a phase in a child’s development where s/he plainly refuses to understand the meaning of NO and throws some unimaginable tantrums. This so called definition is just the tip of the iceberg. There is so much more to it if you try to fathom it.

So, how can my daughter be different in that sense?

For a start, Anushka is becoming fiercely independent. She no longer wants her mamma to feed her. She wants to see how she can create a mess with food, eat less and drop more on the floor. She wants to try a particular food with spoon though it is meant to be eaten with hands, chappati being one of the examples.  And if you hand over a spoon to her for dal or vegetables, she would poke the food as long as she can and till it starts dancing out of her plate. She wants to soap herself during the bath. She wants to wear her dresses on her own. This is a good development but exasperating when you know that she will take half an hour for a job which you can do just in 5 minutes!!!

Next, she is jealous of her mamma relaxing and taking a break from household chores. The moment I sit on the sofa and close my eyes for a while, there she comes with her preschool books, nudging me to teach her. Before you think that she is such a sweet child who is interested in books from so early days, hold on. She has learnt every book by heart and knows each picture in and out. I am tired of teaching her same thing repeatedly. And I do not want to buy new books because they will meet the same condition as the old ones –each page dissected from its original place.

What do I say about her mood swings? One moment she goes gaga over the new crayons her papa bought her and next you know, she throws them away, crying at the highest pitch of her voice because mamma refused to let her paint the walls.  And I thought it is only us women who have mood swings thanks to the games that our hormones play!!!

How does she vent out her anger or frustration? She loves to watch us scream in pain when she would appear out of nowhere and bites us anywhere she pleases to choose.  And I must say sometimes she makes interesting choice of our body parts to dig her teeth into.

She is a big time attention seeker. Her highness needs to be entertained and kept engaged every second of her waking hour. Or else, the TV remote control would be snatched away. Newspaper and magazines would be pulled out of our hands. Laptop keyboard would be hammered nonstop till we switch it off. And so on.

Anushka has mastered the art of switching between being an infant and toddler. She would listen to the instructions carefully and execute them thoroughly to your utter surprise. You would think that she has matured. Few minutes later, she would not heed anything I say, no matter what. As if I am talking Latin and Greek to her. As if I am talking much above her intelligence level. She would look innocently at me and just give a million dollar cute smile. I fail to comprehend if she is mocking me.

Exploring things around her is her latest pastime. Fearlessly. The word dangerous does not ring any bell to her. She would precariously sit on the armrest of the sofa seat or climb on the edge of chair to get hold of something on the dining table. As if some sixth sense tells her that there is someone behind her back to look after her. I wish we adults had the same liberty and daring to act before thinking. Her favourite amusement is to play hide and seek games with her mamma. Especially during  brushing the teeth, potty training, changing diapers and change of clothes. She makes me run to and fro after her. I have a gut feeling that she is challenging me into losing all those extra kilos piled up on my body after pregnancy.

This girl drove me crazy even before she was born and hasn’t stopped yet. She was born 17 days after her due date with a C section operation. She would not sleep a single wink during the day during her early months. She crawled at 10 months. She walked at 17 months. And now, she hasn’t started talking much yet. I mean I sometimes feel adult abused by her. I wonder why people just talk about child abuse. What about the mental and physical harassment games that the children play with the adults?

I understand that Anushka is just being her age. It is a normal growing phase for her. I also know when and where to discipline her. These days would soon be sweet memories captured in my heart. It would not be long before I miss her pure and innocent joie de vivreBUT all the things apart, this Terrible Two's thing is giving me a ride of lifetime…

I am going to leave you to read this beautiful and the most appropriate poem on Terrible Two's I came across on a website

There's crayon marks on my walls,
and toys up and down the hall,
There's something that used to be a couch, its true
now it's turned into just a cool-aid stain for two.

This morning i found a toy in my shoe,
but then again i guess that's nothing new,
There's a girl who screams" no, no!"
until my anger starts to show,
There's a girl who wants a cookie and whines until she gets,
I do have to say she's getting good at those little fits!

There's "Sponge Bob Squarepants" on my t.v. all day long,
I swear I'm gonna scream if i hear another "Blues Clues" song!
She tells me NO! when i say it's time to sleep,
and there never seems to be a time she don't make a peep!

Everyone says it's a natural thing she's going through,
But i swear i don't know what I'm gonna do!
These terrible two's are going to kill me!
i guess I'll just hope it gets better when she's three!

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