Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Either/Or Stage

I’ve decided that calling Michael’s current stage the terrible twos doesn’t really capture the true nature of what we are going through. I’ve decided it’s the Either/Or Stage. He’s either amazingly cute, sweet and funny, or he’s really obnoxious and upsetting. There is no in between. It’s all or nothing.

Saturday night we needed to run out so Andy could buy some sneakers. I’ve taken Michael to DSW shoe warehouse before, and all of those loose shoes everywhere are too much temptation for him. Fortunately, it’s right next to Barnes and Noble. So Andy went shoe shopping while Michael and I played with the trains.

I set my expectations for Michael pretty low after several of the tantrums he threw last week, but I was hopeful. Imagine my surprise when he and a somewhat older boy started to play trains together. Next, a little girl approached the table. She grabbed a train from Michael, and he didn’t even bat an eye lash. He just picked up another train and continued to play. In the past, he used to try and push his way around the table, but on Saturday, he would pick his train up and walk around the child that was in his way. What a relief.

After the little boy and girl left, Michael played by himself for several minutes until another little boy approached. He was pretty young, and was sort of shy. Michael looked up, said “Hi, I’m Michael,” and than handed the little boy a train. It was such a sweet moment, and I was so proud of him.

Andy checked in once he was done shoe shopping, and I could see the tension on his face as he approached. He didn’t ask how things were going. He simply asked, “Are you OK?” I guess he was as concerned as I was.

I was sitting back, relaxed in one of the chairs. “Michael has been great. I’m fine. Why don’t you go look for those books you were interested in?” I said, nonchalantly.

As my dad would say, “It don’t get much better than this.”

Then it was time to leave. I gave Michael the normal 5 minute warning, but he ignored me. I asked him to go find Daddy, and he rejected the idea. I explained that he could walk out, or I could carry him out, and he started begging to stay. After several other attempts at logic, I picked him up and carried him – crying- to the car.


I’m starting to think it is a conspiracy to drive us all insane. They lull us in with a sense of security, then bam – craziness. That way, we never know what to expect. We spend all of our time worried about when they are going to let loose, and what they are going to do. We live in constant uncertainty. They are trying to break us now so that someday we will be crazy enough to hand over a set of car keys to them. An added benefit is that they lower our standards as to what good behavior is, so we’ll tolerate much more than we ever thought we would.

You think I’m being paranoid? I’m not. I used to say the same thing about Bill Gates and Microsoft. For years, no one believed me. Then, they released Windows Vista. I was vindicated. I’m sure I will when it comes to two year olds as well. Assuming I survive.


Beth said...

You have completely nailed it. LOL! Great post!

LauraC said...

My expectations are always low. Always.

But I will say 2.75 is really kicking our hineys. I'm hoping this is the storm before the calm.

Maria said...

I like to think of this age as crazy and generally difficult, that way, when we have nice times, it is like a nice surprise, and break from the insanity instead of expexting normalcy and getting lunacy. I expect lunacy and embrace the bouts of sanity.

Zoey's Mommy said...

GREAT post! I think anyone with a two year old can relate. Everyone keeps telling me that three is worse than two, and I'm hoping that they are wrong.

Steph said...

You captured this toddler stage exactly!

Mel said...

At least we with the 2.5-2.75 year olds know that we are not alone!

Heidi O said...

I am having a break from my screamer at the moment but I miss hearing her sweet voice say I love you Mommy. I am glad he did so well in the store even if carrying him out wasn't so much fun.

Stacey said...

This is publishable. Have you considered writing a parenting book?

For the past several weeks mornings have been a nightmare in my house. Cole battled every single aspect of getting ready to leave. Then, suddenly, this week he has pleasantly and quickly allowed me to get him dressed, brush his teeth, etc. I was so happy driving to work yesterday thinking about how he outgrew the morning fights. But of course I truly know better than that. I'm off to wake him up...