When Gary Barlow wrote the song “Patience” I’m pretty sure he wasn’t talking about dealing with a two year old, but this is what song goes through my head on a regular basis when dealing with the terrible twos. One thing Rae has taught me is that I have more patience than I’ve ever given myself credit for. I can’t talk for everyone who has, or has had, a two year old but mine is seriously head-strong. She knows what she wants, and isn’t shy about getting it. When a two year old wants something they don’t quite understand the reasons why you say no, and one thing I always have to tell myself is that Rae is learning, every day, and it’s my job to teach her. It would be so easy to shout at her every time she kicks off over something that to me seems so trivial, but to a two year old seems like the end of the world, but what would that be teaching her? That losing your temper is the best way to act? The terrible twos won’t last forever, and it’s not like she’s constantly screaming at me, but it’s safe to say two year olds don’t have much patience. Over the last few weeks I’ve made a list of a few of the things that have made Rae cry:
- I wouldn’t let her kick a pigeon
- She didn’t want to get in her car seat
- She didn’t want to get out of her car seat (same journey as above)
- I gave her a banana instead of letting her take it from the fruit bowl
- I wouldn’t let her pour boiling water into a mug to make tea
- She couldn’t put her own socks on
- I wouldn’t let her sit in a muddy puddle
- I stirred her weetabix
- She wanted her milk in a cup and not a bottle before bed (great!)
- I told her off for throwing a whole cup of milk over the kitchen floor (not great)
- I took her bobble out of her hair
- I wouldn’t let her draw on her leg with pen
And the list goes on.
The pigeon incident was fun. When I’ve told my friends about this each and every one of them have said ‘are you crazy?!’ and yes I must be. Because I believed my two year old when she promised me she would walk like a good girl if I didn’t take the pushchair into town with us. She actually pinky promised me, and everyone knows you don’t break pinky promises, but apparently Rae didn’t get that memo. We had an appointment at the bank to open her an account. I paid for up to 4 hours in the car park because I thought we could have a walk around town after the appointment (ha!). It was a lovely sunny day so I wore white jeans in an attempt to feel summery (again, I now know this was a bad idea). Rae has a back-pack with angel wings and reins attached so I thought it would be a good idea to use them, and I promised her a new sun hat for nursery if she was a good girl. She walked lovely from the car to the bank, holding my hand and saying hi to practically everyone who walked past us. Even in the bank she was relatively well behaved, although the bloke had left his banana on his desk which she spotted when he left the room to photocopy her documents and I had to all but get her in a head lock to stop her from climbing up and getting it. Anyway, once that was over I got a bit too confident and thought I would walk to my hairdressers further down the road to book an appointment. We crossed the road and she decided she didn’t want to go that way and star-fished the floor in an attempt to stop us going any further, just as a bus full of people pulled up to watch the display. I picked her up, watermelon style again, and stormed into my hairdressers telling her she could forget about the sun hat. Before we left the hairdressers I once again made her promise to be good. It lasted about 2 minutes before she spotted the pigeons. These pigeons are the type of pigeons that are so used to people that they don’t fly off when approached, they just totter away ridiculously slow. Recently Rae’s favourite toy to play with is a football and for some reason she thought a pigeon was similar to a football as she ran after them shouting ‘Kick! Kick! Kick!’ while I ran after her holding onto the reins looking like I had no control over my child whatsoever. When I tried to pull her in the direction we needed to go she started crying and screaming even louder. And this was right in the middle of town so there was a BIG audience. I scooped her up, telling her through gritted teeth that she was definitely not getting a new hat any time soon. Halfway back to the car I couldn’t carry her any longer so put her down to walk, at which point she sat on the floor, in the gravel, refusing to go any further. So I picked her up again, getting dirty marks all over my white jeans and practically threw her in the car. There was a girl with a newborn baby about to buy a car park ticket so I stopped her and gave her the remaining 3 hours and 15 minutes on my ticket, assuring her I didn’t want any money, whilst smiling and telling her I just wasn’t as long as I thought I would be in town. I got back in the car, shut the door and as the girl walked away my smile turned into the death stare as I turned to Rae in her seat. When I was finished telling Rae how naughty she had been (and by telling I mean shouting at) Rae spent the whole journey home looking very sorry for herself.
All kids are different though, some are quiet and shy, others loud and a handful. I’ve lost count of the amount of times people have said to me “You’ve got your hands full with that one” but one thing I don’t want to break is Raes spirit (although it’ll be a while before we go anywhere without the pushchair again), because she’s so confident and sure of everything and this is how I want her to grow up. I’m not bringing up a princess, I’m bringing up a Queen.