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my toddler, the terrorist

You’ll have to trust me that there’s a toddler under that blanket. Talking to some necklaces.

I’m fond of joking that Charlie is our very own teensy terrorist because of how often she reverts to scare tactics–screeching at the top of her lungs, crying, sitting down in the middle of traffic–to get what she wants. Sometimes I’m not sure even she¬†knows quite what she wants. Add to that baby-psychosis that she is stubborn as the day is long. Often I have trouble finding the humor in my terrorism joke. Yesterday after a moment of such megalomania, I consulted the Interwebs and found that a humorist blogger I like, How to Be a Dad, has a post on this topic too. A few laughs later, I at least see I’m not alone in my occasional torment.

When the tyrant in her comes out, I say a little “Serenity now!” prayer and try to summon some compassion for her. I realize she isn’t crying to manipulate me–at least not usually–and that it must be very tough to be the little sister. So much of her day she hears the word “NO!,” from Vivi as much if not more than us. I vacillate between wanting to strengthen her patience muscle and just wanting to shut her up. While I feel like I fail at times more than I succeed, I have on random occasion achieved some success at calming the tiger.

When dealing with the terrible twos, I try to look at the bright side; for the most part, she’s still my easy-going kid, eating pretty much everything that’s put in front of her and using the bathroom since before the age of two. I count those wins as major victories. When she does fight me, I assume she is trying to gain some control in her world and offer her some control when I can. A choice between two options is often the solution, and if that doesn’t work, distraction is my second favorite tactic. Talking to her in the voice of one of her favorite stuffed animals works quite well–Alligator says “Charlie, I really hope you’ll put on your sweater because I think it’s so pretty!”

I keep an arsenal of snacks at home and on the road to keep her blood sugar up, I try not to skip her nap when I can, and I keep TV and sugar to a minimum. From trial and error, I’ve learned these tricks help me most, although calamity still comes around despite my best efforts.

Do you have experience with this territory? How do you keep your tiny dictator at bay?

p.s. Because I loved it so much, I’m also sharing Design Mom’s Olive Us episode called “How to Be Two.” If you don’t know Gabrielle Blair, her current two year old is her fifth or sixth child, and in my visions of what their life is like in France, I imagine them taking her tiny tantrums in stride, laughing and clucking about what an adorable soul she is. Meanwhile, I am sighing and playing another round of Candy Land

How To Be 2 from Olive Us on Vimeo

p.p.s. I liked up today with Works for Me Wednesday because this (sort of) works for me. Winky face!