Sunday, July 27, 2008

...across the room for two year olds....

Grandparenting brings me back to my days of raising two bright energetic youngsters who drained me dry, ran me ragged, brought me to my knees, infused my very being with love and joy beyond measure, and taught me more about love than any book ever could.  
Going back there, I don't know that there were any years more frustrating than those terrible two's!  It's like having a multiple personality being in your home.  Sweet as sugar most of the time and completely and utterly unreasonable and unconsolable the rest of the time.  And why do they have no trouble understanding what no means when they use the word and yet seem to be mentally incapable of comprehending what it means from the next person!  This was the predicament at the dinner table last night.  We both knew she was hungry.  She begged for food while I was cooking.  I knew she liked what I made.  For some reason she got messed up in her head and had the idea that dessert ought to be the first course.  I won't divulge what transpired for the next 1 1/2 hours but will tell you that ninety minutes later I held her like a baby, with one arm behind me (her arm, that is) and fed her.  She ate most of what was on her plate.  
This child tried everything to get me to do what she wanted me to do.  Anger expressed in various ways, regret expressed through "I so sorry Nana" and reaching for me, mournful yet forceful sobbing into her hands with her elbows on the table (this was heart wrenching to watch!!... and almost did me in!) and a few other tricks that didn't work on me either.  It reminded me that a two year old is a control freak and MUST NOT win this battle.  She had no idea that I have many more years of stubbornness on her and recognize the games.  Hard to believe that a little person like this can even come up with all the tactics.  Food and bodily functions are the two control issues that I think most children will use against their parents for as long as possible.  No wonder the potty training and introducing all the food groups are so frustrating for most parents. 
Breakfast and lunch today were calm and serene.  She gobbled down her food and gladly went down for her nap.  She really is the sweetest little thing in the world and happens to find herself at that very tough age of life!  I am confident her parents are also well aware of the two year old tactics, have experienced many episodes and are in control of the situation.  I had forgotten just how intense things can get until she jarred my memory!!
The life of a seven year old is certainly more calm than a two year old.  He understands rules (we only had was enough) and once he decides to comply life is pretty easy and enjoyable.  He did make a comment to me that brought back memories of his Mom who was much older than he is when she said the very same thing to me in almost the same words!!...."I want to make my own rules!"  (incidentally, Mommy, I suggested he speak to you in depth about that!!  Ha!)
We take them back home with mixed feelings but it is always good to know they are intensely loved, taken care of and blessed with their Mommy and Daddy who are anxiously waiting for them at home!!


Jobina said...

Oh, I remember those days with Trinity! Parenting a four year old is hard enough, but when she was 2 I really thought I might just lose my mind! Thank goodness they are also so lovable and loving that it gets you through those intense times!

Stacey said...

Thank goodness you can't remember your own "terrible twos"

Hard to believe someone so tiny and cute and sweet can test the limits that hard! ha!

What a cutie-pie.
p.s. i accidentally deleted your last email. if i recall it was all "commentary" so I don't think i missed something but sorry if i did. I'll see you soon enough!

Elayne said...

I don't even want to go there Stace! I cannot imagine what I might have been like as a two year old! Ha!
Can't remember my last email either so no worries! We'll catch up when we see each other. Can't wait.

Jobina....can't wait to see that "hard to parent" four year old again!!