Now that Michael is two, I’m discovering that the Terrible Twos is another one of those myths of parenthood that has a hint of the truth to it, but really doesn’t let you know just what you are in for. The first one of these I encountered was morning sickness, which I had 24 hours a day for ten weeks straight. The next one was that having a child will change your life, which is one of the biggest understatements I ever heard. And now, I’m faced with the reality that the terrible twos is much worse than anything I ever imagined.
I expected the terrible twos to be something like living with a constantly enraged, tantruming beast. But, it turns out that it is a much more subtle form of torture than that. Yes, Michael does have some tantrums, but that’s cake compared to the mind games he’s playing with Andy and I.
See, the problem is that he’s trying to wear us down slowly. He starts with this cute little smile to warm my heart, and then does something horrendously obnoxious. For example, He'll look all sleepy and peacefull until he throws his binky on the floor, watches it roll half way across the room, and then cries and complains that he’s “lost” it. Or, he will go to give me a hug and after I let my guard down, he’ll sink his little fangs into my cheek. Next, he’ll ask for some milk with a pathetic hungry look on his face, only to dump it upside down on the sofa the moment I give it to him. I think I could handle a little of this, but it’s all day every day. It’s this constant roller coaster of being charmed; only to be taken advantage of the moment I let my guard down. You would think by now I would see it coming, but I always fall victim to these tiny battles.
The other night, after Michael was sleeping peacefully, Andy and I spent a little time venting our frustrations over this new stage of parenting. He actually said, “I know how frustrating this is for you, but at least Michael glances at you before he ignores you. He doesn’t even look at me.” How bad must it be that Andy is jealous of the manner in which Michael is ignoring me? Personally, I find the little devious grins that Michael gives me to be more insulting than being completely ignored. At least with Andy, he can pretend that Michael doesn’t hear him. In my case, it’s clear he hears me, and that sweet smile is just telling me to go jump in a lake.
So, I think from now on, I will be calling it the Torturous Twos. It still doesn’t catch the true essence of the this phase of Michael’s life, but it sure is a lot closer to the truth.