It’s Either the Terrible Twos, or We Need an Exorcism.

As of today, Tori is 21 months old. That, by my math, is still three looong months away from the arrival of her second birthday.  Three months in which we’re still supposed to be able to coo over her cuteness and marvel over all the new words tripping off her tongue.

But my Tori? Is apparently a little precocious. She has suddenly become a Tiny Demon from Deepest Depths of Hell, her 25-pound body now home to a whole host of evil spirits determined to wring the last drop of sanity from my bones.

You want examples? I’ll give you examples.

Every mealtime is another battle in World War III. First, she made it clear (via insistent shrieking)  that she did not want to sit in her high chair anymore. So we bought her a booster chair. Then, she decided that no one could help her into her booster chair. Nope, little Tori had to climb up and  in all by herself. And once she won that battle? She decided she didn’t want to eat at the table. At all. Ever again.

This evening, we actually put the buckles back on her highchair, pulled it up to the table and strapped her in. It was the only way we could get her to sit down. She, of course, proceeded to scream throughout the entire meal and refused to eat a single bite. It was beyond awful. We’re hoping tomorrow night goes better, but…she’s my daughter. And thus, very stubborn. I have very little hope.

Sesame Street has become my Nightmare on Elm Street. It started innocently enough. When I needed five or ten minutes to just. get. something. done., I’d turn on a Sesame Street playlist for Tori and do my thing. Then it became a morning routine. Slowly, Sesame began taking over more and more of Tori’s mind. And now? It’s almost an obsession. She wants Sesame when she gets up in the morning. After she eats her breakfast. As a reward for getting her diaper changed. Because she blinked.

Which, of course, is not okay in my book. So now we have showdowns – at least five times a day. She says “deet deet.” I shake my head no. She says “DEET DEET!” I walk away. She throws herself down on the floor and screams. Loudly. I stuff my head in the toilet. You get the picture.

She is channeling her inner teenager. And I am not prepared. Suddenly anything I ask her to do is the Worst Punishment on Earth. Brushing her teeth. Taking a bath. Getting dressed. Going to bed. Putting on her jacket. Picking up her toys. Getting into the car. All these small tasks infuriate her. Almost before the words have left my mouth, she’s running for cover, screaming “NOOOOO” and throwing things as she goes.

I was prepared to deal with this level of defiance in, oh, another twelve years or so. But at this point, I am not nearly tough enough to handle it calmly.

So, tell me, Internet. Is this the terrible twos? Or do I need to find a priest? And if it is the terrible twos, how on earth am I supposed to get through the next 15 months with my sanity intact?

22 Comments on It’s Either the Terrible Twos, or We Need an Exorcism.

  1. Jen
    January 4, 2011 at 9:44 pm (5 years ago)

    Since I have a mix of boys and girls, I have realized that little girls start the stages aka terrible twos, early than boys.

    So yeah, this is the terrible twos. But don’t worry, three is much worse.

    Reply
    • Amber
      January 5, 2011 at 9:00 am (5 years ago)

      Ahh, good to know. By the way, having more than one doing this at once? Would suck. You deserve a medal.

      Reply
  2. Andi
    January 4, 2011 at 9:49 pm (5 years ago)

    OMG that is hilarious because we are DEFINETELY in the throes of Terrible Twos as well. And I’m dealing with two out of three of those.

    Sesame Street was my saving grace when I needed a cup of coffee to get my eyes cracked open. Now, its “Wee-wee. Wee-wee.” so I will turn on the TV almost the second he gets up. And all he wants is “Melmo” and “Teet” (Elmo and Sesame Street). It gets me through the mornings and with coffee before I have to deal with much.

    The high chair thing? We dont’ know what to do about it either. Is it enough to know that its a battle for us too? That others share in your misery?

    Reply
    • Amber
      January 5, 2011 at 9:00 am (5 years ago)

      Oh I’m so glad I’m not the only one dealing with the high chair. I wasn’t sure if it was just bad parenting or what. But damn, I’m tired.

      Reply
  3. Rebecca
    January 4, 2011 at 9:56 pm (5 years ago)

    You poor thing. Was she a pleasant baby? Mine were ‘call an exorcist’ babies. They were pretty mad that they were evicted from my uterus…..for about the first 18 months. Once they hit two, they got oh so well behaved and amazing. So for me, it was the terrible first TWO years. Just stay consistent and find her currency. Kids can be bribed with the smallest things….”If you do yadda, I will build a castle for you and we can play princess” My time was always the best currency. Coloring with markers another biggie…going outside to scribble with sidewalk chalk……..

    Reply
    • Amber
      January 5, 2011 at 8:59 am (5 years ago)

      She was an angel baby. I guess the free ride had to end somewhere. Sigh. Thanks for the advice.

      Reply
  4. Nina
    January 5, 2011 at 9:08 am (5 years ago)

    I am SO glad you wrote this! My youngest won’t be 2 until March and she’s be an absolute terror for the past few weeks. She was such a sweet, easy going kid and then –bam–now she’s lost the handle. OR I have, I guess! We have the Elmo issue. And now whenever something doesn’t go exactly her way she freaks out. . . like literally screams. Because she’s my 3rd, I’m certain she’ll grow out of it. In the meantime I try not to give in to anything. It’s the only way! Must. Maintain. Control. Of the madhouse.

    Reply
    • Amber
      January 5, 2011 at 3:08 pm (5 years ago)

      I feel much better now that everyone’s chimed in. We are not alone – hooray! But as long as they grow out of it, I guess we’ll survive, huh? Until then, I’ll just burn off my breakfast every morning by wrestling with my daughter to get her ready to leave (I had to sit on her this morning, no joke).

      Reply
  5. BalancingMama (Julie)
    January 5, 2011 at 9:10 am (5 years ago)

    Oh yeah, terrible twos. Amelia started right around 21 months as well. Everything was about asserting her independence. And when she couldn’t physically do something herself? Watch out – major freak out! “No” was her favorite word. No matter what you asked (even “do you want ice cream?”), the answer was always NO. Two seconds later, “Mommy? I want ice cream! I want it! I want it!”.

    Hang in there. Amelia is now 3 months away from turning three, and she is MUCH better. We had to seriously readjust some things. I even met with a therapist. But we figured it out, and it’s smooth sailing – most of the time. Good luck!!!

    Reply
    • Amber
      January 5, 2011 at 3:07 pm (5 years ago)

      Light at the end of the tunnel then. Good to know its there!

      Reply
  6. Betsy
    January 5, 2011 at 9:21 am (5 years ago)

    I have no idea, but I’m scared now because my son is 19 months, and 21 months is just around the corner…

    Reply
    • Amber
      January 5, 2011 at 3:07 pm (5 years ago)

      BwaHaHaHa (that’s my version of an evil laugh). I’m sure he’ll be an angel. No terrible twos for you, no ma’am.

      Reply
  7. erica
    January 5, 2011 at 11:02 am (5 years ago)

    And this, my dear, is what I have been dealing with for the past two months.

    My advice? Let Tori eat wherever she wants to… for now. B can ONLY eat a banana while walking around (apparently), and she doesn’t even want the booster… she wants to sit on a real chair. Her little toddler table and chairs are helping though… sort of.

    And… I will take Sesame Street over “Boos Coos?” any day!

    Reply
    • Amber
      January 5, 2011 at 3:06 pm (5 years ago)

      Oh, I haven’t let her see Blues Clues yet because it annoys me. The day is fast approaching though, I’m sure. I did finally get Tori to eat at her toddler table last night – I think that might be the new game plan for a while.

      Reply
  8. erin margolin
    January 5, 2011 at 2:25 pm (5 years ago)

    Yep, sounds like the Terrible Twos! So sorry! But all of this behavior sounds normal for this age/stage, so maybe you can take comfort in that?

    I am the mean mommy, though. I never let my kids eat unless they’re at the table. And I figure if they are hungry enough? They will not only eat, but eat sitting down in a chair.

    As for the tv? I’m more relaxed about that. Probably too relaxed. And at least it’s Sesame Street, which is educational, and not Dora and all the other crap that my kids are addicted to!

    Perhaps you could try time outs for when it gets really bad? or have you already? Also, does she like stickers? maybe that could be a reward for some things instead of tv….

    Reply
    • Amber
      January 5, 2011 at 3:05 pm (5 years ago)

      She loves stickers. I’ll have to give that a try – hadn’t started time outs yet. But maybe it is time. I do feel better that everyone else seems to have the same problems, though.

      Reply
  9. Gail
    January 5, 2011 at 11:27 pm (5 years ago)

    My daughter turns 2 on Saturday and I totally could’ve written this 3 months ago. We finally started time-outs, and it helped A LOT. Just make sure that the time-out spot isn’t a place you would ever want her to sit, b/c she’ll totally associate it with badness. We also have a nanny, who is MUCH more consistent than my husband and I, and Sasm is way better behaved for her. It only took a couple of times before she figured out that Kelly wasn’t going to give in. Absolutely amazing. I am not sure if this is opening a door that you don’t want to open, but have you tried letting her pick out what she wants to wear in the morning? I finally figured out half the time she was resisting was because she wanted to wear her “meow” shirt. If it is dirty, I just explain and gave her two choices. She usually is OK with picking between two things, and I’ve noticed that goes with most things.
    Also, when she is throwing that massive fit? Ignore. Make her come back to you. Although Tori seems to have a penchant for running away…so she might not come:)
    That’s all I got. I am also dreading the terrible two’s, because the preview I got is not fun.

    Reply
    • Amber
      January 6, 2011 at 10:12 am (5 years ago)

      I’ve tried giving her choices, but all I get is “nooo!” The time outs are a good idea though. Oh to have a nanny to straighten her out for me… I’m told she’s an angel at daycare.

      Reply
  10. RevolutionBaby
    January 23, 2011 at 4:35 am (5 years ago)

    I’d take her to a development doctor. Preferrably a neurologist. My son had similar actions and we found out later (too late) that he has autism.

    Reply
    • Amber
      January 23, 2011 at 8:57 am (5 years ago)

      Thanks for the advice, but she’s getting much better. Truth is, I think it was a tooth coming through. As soon as it came up, she got better. So sorry t hear about your son, though. If this behavior continues, I’ll definitely remember what you said.

      Reply
  11. Tracy Mullins
    December 14, 2011 at 7:38 am (4 years ago)

    I’m more relaxed about that. Mine were ‘call an exorcist’ babies.

    Reply
    • Amber
      December 14, 2011 at 8:11 pm (4 years ago)

      Exorcist babies. Nice. As long as they grow up to be good human beings, right?

      Reply

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