He can do it all, or maybe not?

‘Timan’s ‘terrible two’ are striking with full power these days, one temper tantrum one after another. Sometimes for reasons I can understand, like he wants something but he’s not allowed to have it, or he wants to do something himself and I don’t let him because it’s too dangerous for him, or he’s being naughty and has to sit on the naughty chair. But sometimes out of the blue because of nothing, he’s not hungry or thirsty, he’s not tired, he’s not overwhelmed by anything and he probably doesn’t even remember himself why it started, maybe it was just because an ant crossed his path, I have no idea.

However it’s never because he is not capable to do a thing I came to realise. The little monkey, as little as he is, thinks he’s the one. The one and only who has the ‘golden fingers’ and he’s capable of doing anything he wants with them. A very dangerous situation we have here. Maybe I always fear for the worst but I cannot help it. He’s not even 2 3/4 years old and has a very limited sense of danger. We keep telling him ‘don’t do this, because …’, he stops, thinks, walks away, comes back and does it anyway. And I have to admit, normally nothing happens. Either I see him in the attempt and manage to stop him or he’s just lucky, strong enough, a too good climber, you name it.

… I really want those DVDs up there, they are so shiny to look at, the covers have a cartoon character on them and I’d love so much to tear them apart, like the ones I did the other day …

But with all this said, there is another thing that’s getting a bit out of hand in the little monkey’s head. ‘Timan’ is getting somewhat bossy there days. Now that he’s back to his old self, he wants to organise the household, run the show and have Mommy and Hubs dance when he says dance. Well, actually more the Mommy, the Hubs is not around so often because he’s at work.

I was told ordering around others is part of this developmental stage as well. It’s not surprising when you are told the whole day what to do and what you should not do that you start to do behave the same way. I try not to tell him too often what he should do or not, unless his action is dangerous for himself or others or he is destroying valuable things. But because he’s almost constantly testing his limits I actually end up giving him orders more often than I would like to.

I see no other way out than to relax, close my eyes on it (but not completely, keep watching the little monkey under my eyelashes, danger is lurking everywhere) and let it pass. Hopefully it will pass soon, very soon, otherwise Mommy’s mental stage is in real danger.

How about you fellow Mommies (and Daddies)? What measures are you taking to keep you sane? Please take a heart and give me some ideas, I run out of them.


Posted on April 22, 2011, in 'Timan', Developmental Stages, Parenting, Tantrum, Toddler and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. JDaniel4's Mom

    Stopping from Mom Loop! I have a three year old that sounds a lot like Timan. Happy Easter!

  2. The terrible 2s didn’t hit our house until after she was 3. But they have tested every bit of our patience, and I “lose it” way more often than I would like to admit. I try to be reasonable with her first, ask her nicely, say please, etc., but if she refuses to behave, we resort to time-outs, or in really bad cases, spankings (when she won’t stay in time-out). Lately, I have just started sending her to her room “to calm down.” That has been working pretty well for us because it’s not phrased as a punishment even though it’s really a time-out. I just tell her that when she stops crying and can talk to me calmly and is ready to listen, then she can come out. So how long she is in her room is completely up to her…and she normally climbs in bed and goes to sleep while she is there.

    Good luck! I think this is one of the most challenging phases because they are SO stubborn at this age and their communication skills are so limited.

    • Unfortunately the sending off to the room until he calmed himself down doesn’t work with our little one, but sometimes he’s realising himself, he has to go somewhere to get calm and runs outside, leaving the house on one side, shouting ‘Timan’ is running away, ‘Timan’ is running away’ and coming in again on the other side, smiling as if nothing has happened. That’s my toddler.

  3. Toddlers. It is a difficult time because they are learning new things and want to do it by themselves but they don’t understand they are still young. My little one and I struggle with this all the time. I don’t really have tips for you other than stay strong and show him you are in charge.

    • Yes, and the goal I have to (re)set every morning is ‘whatever happens today, don’t freak out, smile and stay calm while you think how to react and than do it without using to many words’. It actually works, for my inner self and for ‘Timan’ too. He calms down after a while anyway.

  4. This is currently the bane of my existence as well. I’m not good at this at all, but here are a couple of things that work:

    – Come and do x and then you can do y
    – If he doesn’t want to brush his teeth I tell him to show me how Max, or Caillou, or Diego (or whatever character he currently likes) would brush his teeth
    – If he’s really not listening, threatening a time out can work (but you have to be willing to follow through of course)

    Overall, I’m finding that he responds better if I phrase it as a request with a “please” rather than an order (which makes sense, of course, but it’s hard when we’re in a hurry or I’m at the end of my rope or whatever).

    Good luck! And thanks for linking up with me!

    • We used to have a lot of brushing teeth problems when he was around 1 yo, not anymore, I found t.h.e. perfect toothpaste (tasting of melons) and now he likes it. Once I had to switch to orange flavor, that’s ok too.
      I definitely agree to use please, I try to say it as often as I can when I want him to do something or to stop doing something. At least at the beginning. The feedback: He uses it too in his response. E.g. ‘I please want to watch the cartoon’, ‘But I want please this one up there’, ‘Mommy I want please …’, ‘Mommy please don’t …’ even when he’s screaming and screeching. And I have a hard time not to crack up. Even when he’s angry, he’s polite.

  5. Wine. That was the first thing that came to mind. 😉

  6. I have four little ones and have been through this stage many times. My girls did not get into as many things as my son did. He wanted into everything. I would explain why he couldn’t and the temper tantrums would start. We used the naughty bench and the time to sit there was equal to the age, it still works. I also saw his need for independence and knew it wasn’t going away. So I gave him a little bench to reach for the things I knew he would be able to get. But he was only allowed to use the bench, if he still couldn’t reach it then he had to call me for help. It helped him feel like he was able to do something and not feel helpless. It worked for a while until that stage was over, he needed something to feel like he was able to get things and I needed a safe way to show him. Boys are an adventure on their own. You will love the stages that are coming your way. 😉

    • Oh oh, do I have to fear for the worst? I really hope it’s going to get a bit better, especially when he starts going to pre-school next year and other adults are starting to tell him what he can do and what’s out of limits. Or maybe I’m wrong. I’m trying to take one day at a time, feeling lucky and happy when I fall asleep and everything is ok.

  7. We aren’t at this stage yet. Ours is only one. However, I think all of this is normal and if you handle it just as you are youll be fine.
    Also? Your little dude looks tall! Is that just the picture?

    • Thanks, I’m trying my best to keep my head up. Yes, everybody says he’s tall for his age. But actually he’s not, he’s in the 50th percentiles. But he’s slender (around 30th p. and I think he lost some weight because of the recent hospital episodes) and often he behaves beyond his age.

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