So it turns out, the terrible twos are a real thing. Today I have had to abandon the supermarket leaving Joe shopping (which is never a sensible idea) and frog march a screaming, red faced toddler straight out of the automatic doors as she screamed, attempted to climb out of the trolley and broke open a bag of carrots. Move along, nothing to see here folks, just a two year old juggling carrots in Morrisons. As you do.
This has been happening for a few weeks now. We get “No,” more than yes, and a particular favourite is her telling us that “No, I am NOT a good girl!” Yes, I see that Olivia, you’re making it very clear, what with your arms being folded and that defiant scowl playing on your face. Then comes the throwing things, now that’s a particular highlight now my carpet is starting to resemble Joseph’s technicolor dreamcoat. Even Joe, the calmest, most adoring father is getting to the end of his tether, we look at each other despairingly on an annoyingly regular basis. Who is going to tackle this one? What do we do now?
I have to admit that this is totally beyond me. I work with teenagers every day, I have a system for making sure they behave and in fact, my behaviour management has been deemed as good in numerous observations. I thought this bit of parenting I was equipped for at least. But I mean, how on earth do you discipline a two year old? This is not a rhetorical question, I’m genuinely asking because so far, I’m at a loss. Give me a class of 30 unruly eleven to sixteen year olds all day long because at the minute, the two year old at home is running rings around me.
As I sat in the car, reeling from the earlier supermarket experience and listening to her cry for ice cream (not a chance child) I started to consider our seemingly limited options. The naughty step is fruitless, as of course being allowed to sit on a stool or a step is more fun than anything else, and she can’t yet fully comprehend a time out. I’ve steadfastly tried to keep the idea of sending her to bed out of the equation, as we have enough trouble attempting to get her to go to sleep and stay asleep as it is. After much deliberation, we decided to start taking her ‘animals’ off her. Liv is mad for tiny little figurines, and she keeps them in a little tub and will play with them all day long, so when she is misbehaving, we have been removing them until she can be ‘nice’ again. But what do I take off her in the middle of Morrisons?
Now, of course, she’s being a complete delight, she is all kisses and hugs and wanting to read stories and I am flooded with guilt for ever removing any of her toys but seriously. Tell me this ends. Tell me I will get my sweet little baby back at some point and she won’t go straight from twonager to threenager to teenager because, well because I don’t really drink and there isn’t enough chocolate cake in the world that can help me then.