Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tackling the Terrible Twos


Yesterday Austin came home from work at the hospital and I informed him that I would be buying Ben and Jerrys that night as soon as the girls went to bed and there was nothing he could do to stop me. Luckily he's a really good guy and understood what that meant. Being the wonderful hubby that he is, Austin tried extra hard to help out with the girls and even volunteered to go get my ice cream for me later that evening. Seriously, though, how did I get so lucky? 

The past two days we have slammed hard into Lydia's terrible twos. It was just in time for my first solo adventure to church with the girls (since Austin has to work most weekends now). I was expecting it to be hard, but that was something else. We stayed in the hall for all of the first hour and by the end of church I had the diaper bag slung over my shoulder, Brynn in one arm, and Lydia kicking, thrashing, and wailing in the other. My legs are covered in bruises from this escapade. When I thought my arms were gonna fall off and I finally let her down, Lydia ran and hid in a bush and the only reason we finally made it to the car was thanks to our sweet sister missionaries who braved the prickly bush to retrieve her. Then on our half hour drive home, Lydia screamed almost the entire way and only stopped when she somehow managed to escape from her car seat. We had to pull over and fix that, which led to another thunderous tantrum. I had tried so hard to reason with her, ignore the bad behavior, and kept going through all the positive parenting tips I've read about in my head, but nothing was getting results. My nerves were shot.

That was our jump start into the terrible twos. I'm honestly quite terrified by this transition. It's like Lydia has transformed into a whole new person. Not even a person - a little monster on steroids. It's scary! Ever since then it's been a cycle of tantrums, timeouts, apologies, repeat. The only good news is that Brynlee still adores Lydia despite all the bullying she's put up with. Brynn gets very upset whenever I put Lydia in timeout - even if Lydia's doing her time for hurting her sister. She'll crawl up to Lydia's door and tap on it with her pudgy fist while making these sad little whimpering noises until Lydia is ready to come out. I'm so thankful that Brynlee is always there to remind me that babies are sweet, cute, and definitely worth it.

I keep telling myself that this is just a phase and it'll pass - but it's been a whomping three days and it feels like an eternity. I can deal with sporadic tantrums, but nonstop... that can't be the whole year, right? I think her top molars are still working their way in, which might be putting her more on edge than usual. Hopefully that's the cause and she'll snap back to normal once they break through.

In the meantime, I'm trying to survive and maintain as much sanity as is humanely possible given the circumstances. Thank goodness for beautiful autumn weather! Last night for family night, I decided to teach a lesson on how to talk about our feelings. Lydia loved holding up all of the different faces and identifying what each one was feeling. I told a little story about a girl named Sally, who talked about her feelings when she had a friend over to play - and needed to share her toys and say good-bye when it was time for her friend to leave. Lydia seemed to really empathize with Sally. She's been playing with the faces ever since, so hopefully it'll sink in and she'll start to communicate a bit better so we can prevent future tantrums.

Sometimes I feel guilty when I admit that I don't love every aspect of being a stay-at-home mom. There are definitely moments and parts of it that I cherish, but it's really not all that glamorous all of the time. That's just life, I guess. Some days/weeks are wonderful, and sometimes you just gotta survive and trust that things will get better.

Now this is the face of the Lydia I know!


  1. It will get better!! Hang in there and eat a lot of ice cream!! Seriously, the twos are a terrible transition for everybody but knowing your there with her to guide her and teach her about herself is the best thing a grandmother could wish for. You are a great mom. Prayer works too!!

    1. Thanks Joni! Prayer and ice cream really do work wonders ;-)