Now that Big Sister is pushing 5 and Little Brother has reached the Terrible Twos, I’m called upon once again to maintain my cool in the face of horrible upsets.
Thankfully, I learn my lessons well and my memory, once jogged, is long.
When I first encountered the Terrible Two monster that lived inside my daughter, I wasn’t sure how to handle it (like most parents, I assume).
But, after much pushing and pulling, I learned to deal with the visits from her inner monster. (By deal with, I mean ignore.)
And, like everything else about parenting, it was a phase that we ambled through to the best of our abilities; she testing my limits and me setting ever stricter boundaries.
That was two years ago. She’s now a capable school kid who knows her manners (for the most part) and follows the rules (again, for the most part).
Enter Little Brother. I don’t know where I put my brain on this one, but I was clearly not in possession of it when he hit the big 2. I guess I thought I’d only have to do it once. At the beginning of her second year, Big Sister was an only child. And she was, admittedly, somewhat spoiled. I assumed her inner monster stemmed from our special treatment of her.
I was wrong. Little Brother can kick and scream with the
best worst of them.
My specific issue with this age category: bedtime.
I had forgotten how long it took to put Big Sister to bed at that age. Looking back, that’s probably because I didn’t do it very often. Little Brother was an infant and I was nursing, so my evenings were spent with him while Daddy took care of Big Sister’s bedtime routine.
Now Little Brother is at that stage and he only wants Mommy. It’s almost an Oedipus Complex thing.
No one can put him to bed except Mommy. And he howls in protest if anyone else (Daddy) dares to try.
But when Mommy puts him to bed, he wants to be tickled to sleep. He wants 14 books read to him. He wants 32 songs sung to him. And he wants six glasses of water.
Don’t get me wrong. He doesn’t get any of that. Ok, he doesn’t get about half of that. But no matter what I do, he screams when I finally leave the room.
It has taken some time to wrap my mind around his behaviour, but essentially, he’s just acting like a normal two-year-old. Nothing more, nothing less.
And in another six months or so, he’ll be past this phase and onto something new. Repeat parenthood mantra: This Is Just A Phase. It Too Shall Pass.