Hello Readers! Our good friend, Pamela, is sharing her experiences dealing with the terrible twos as a stay-at-home mom of two kids – Aubrey, 2 1/2, and Evan, 9 months. The terrible twos – that dreaded stage where tantrums can hit without any warnings, test your every nerve, patience and sanity and leave behind a trail of destruction. No shelter can shield it, no parent is immune to it, no discipline/punishment/method/medicine/bribe can prevent it. You just have to buckle down and weather the storm as best as you can. To Pamela and all the parents of toddlers – godspeed.
I think it is safe to say we are in full fledge tantrum hell. Our little soon to be threeanger is a completely different creature than the sweet baby girl who graced our lives these past 2 ½ years. Don’t get me wrong – she is still my best friend and the sweetest girl that I have ever met (of course I say that because she’s deliciously mine). However, this sweet baby girl has an attitude of a teenager girl and no fear of public shame.
I think my all-time low came in the parking lot of Home Depot. It was a beautiful day, one of the first warm days of 2016, Aubrey (my soon threeanger) and I were out pretty much all day. It was as perfect as it can be. With a 9 month old baby boy, it’s rare to get any alone time so I really relished this girls day for us. We picked out some flowers then walked a few doors down to get some pizza together. On the way back to the car, I needed to change her soiled pull-up. As I removed her pants and diapers, she decided she didn’t want to be clothed from the waist down. She threw a tantrum in the middle of the parking lot. With safety and sanitary means in mind I couldn’t just leave her to throw her tantrum. It was nearly impossible to physically hold her up so I gave her a warning then a spanking. At this point, she really didn’t care about being spanked or the punishment. She was going to have her tantrum.
Strangers stared as I struggled to physically hold this demon possessed child in my arms, trying not to restrain her too hard so she doesn’t get hurt. Finally I managed to get her pull-up on and into her carseat. A mere seconds later she was cheerful, happy and snacking on her gold fish crackers. I looked back while driving home and gave her a smile all the while thinking in my head, my child is certifiable.
Sounds familiar? Well, it’s our life right now. A tantrum of some sort or intensity occurs at least once a day. I used to be confused and try to reason or discipline her during these outbursts…bribery, coercion, yelling, threats, etc. What I realized is that my emotions only added to the steam and made me regret my own behavior later on. I’ve learned what works for us for now, is for me to pray in silence for patience and God’s grace. Then I wait for the tantrum to run its course.
I often feel defeated and a failure as a parent. However, Aubrey and I are starting to discuss her misbehavior after a fit. She and I agree that she was not listening and obeying. Sometimes she will even imitate her own hysterical behavior. We’ll laugh and then I set forth the privileges she’s lost due to the tantrum. At best, we have found a way to cope with these dismays. At worst, I dread the imminent coming of the next tantrum. I try to stay positive and think about the countless parents who have endured and survived. My husband and I encourage each other to look forward to the end of this phase. After all, God’s promise is that “this too shall pass”, right? In the meantime, I find myself anywhere between laughing or crying at the thought of my daughter’s terrible tantrums.