Sometimes I wonder, is this really my child screaming at me at the top of his lungs because I wouldn't give him another biscuit?...
Although I was spared from an episode like this today at home, we did however venture out this morning to the Toy Library (which is a play session for pre-schoolers and their parents) and I had to deal to some very undesirable behaviour in public. Hate it when that happens...
No screaming matches today, but it was more along the lines of hitting and kicking other people's children.
So when I signed up to have children I obviously didn't select my preference for a child that doesn't scream, kick or hit when playing with other children... Damn. (Actually, it all happened quite unexpectedly so there wasn't a whole lot of thought put into it... just a night of reckless abandon... and then there was Luca!)
Today was my first day I ventured outside since the big dump of snow in London 1 week ago, and it my was first time taking the children out on my own since Beni was born 7 weeks ago.
So on the walk to the play group I did a prep talk to Luca, explaining how the toys are not his but are for sharing with the other children blah blah blah and once we arrived there it was all going fine until another child started to play with the cars Luca was playing with. I mean, how very dare they!!... Yeah, Luca wasn't too happy about this whole 'sharing' thang and so screamed at the child and then hit them on the head.
As you do...
Fortunately Beni was sleeping at this time so I was able to deal with this little scenario quickly and explained once more how "I know you don't want to share but these toys are for sharing" (I did good aye mum!).
Not that this made any difference because it happened a few more times, more I'm sure when I was pretending to be busy looking for something in my bag or checking on the sleeping Beni...
The worst was when I was feeding Beni and Luca had been bouncing on a mini trampoline but had hopped off to do something else and so another boy gets on the trampoline and sits there but Luca sees this and runs over and starts kicking and jumping on the boys legs!... I'm sure everyone in the room stopped what they were doing when I hollered "LUCA STOP THAT RIGHT NOW!" and ran over, still holding Beni to my breast and dragged him away from the scene.
Now let's be honest - if you were witnessing this as one of the other parents in the room, wouldn't you secretly be feeling glad that wasn't you and your child and then reflect on how well your little angel was behaving and how that woman obviously is doing sometihng wrong with disciplining her son and teaching him to share? Hmph. Fair enough.
I have avoided labelling this stage Luca is going through as the 'Terrible Twos", but I have finally come to admit that, yes, it really is terrible being two. So many boundaries and other children to push!
But in amongst the pockets of time-outs and tantrums, when my screaming two-year-old seems very alien to the child I gave birth to, know and love, there are many many moments when I absolutely delight in the little boy Luca is developing into. There are many moments when I look at him and think my heart will burst with love for the little guy and when I'm so proud of what a lovely little boy he has turned out to be.
Luca has a wicked sense of humour and loves to laugh and be tickled and cuddled and smothered with kisses. He is so wonderfully gentle with his little brother and loves to give him such tender little kisses on his head, shh-shh Beni when he's crying while gently patting his tummy. My heart ends up in a puddle on the floor... (or is that because I haven't been doing my pelvic floor exercises?...)
And best of all he adores his Mamma & Papa (phew!). So we must be doing something right huh?
I know Luca will come out of this stage eventually and I want to be able to guide him through it with as much grace and understanding as I can muster - easier said than done but I'm working on it!
It's good to know that every other two year old goes through this phase and that it's incredibly important for them to experience their 'big feelings' and learn what to do with them, to test the boundaries in order for them to feel secure and know that mamma & papa are in control and they don't need to worry. And it's good to know we are not alone as parents having to deal with this.
So to all parents with two year olds - here's to you! Hang in there, we can do this!!