Monday, April 20, 2009

Why Didn't Anyone Tell Me?

That the terrible two's get even terribler as they go on? 

Maggie is absolutely hilarious, adorable, and delighful. But boy is she determined. We spent the weekend picking dandelions, playing in the wagon, drawing pictures of Maggie sucking on her binky while playing in the wagon (at her insistance), and watching Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. But the majority of our time was spent being kicked and screamed at by Maggie whenever we interfered with her agenda. What am I doing wrong? She won't get into the car, then she won't get out of it. She won't come to dinner, then she won't fold her arms for prayers. It's a fight to get her dressed, then I turn my back and she's naked again. I love her. But I'm going insane. And thinking about the fact that I have twins yet to pass through this makes me want to curl into the fetal position and never emerge. Ever.

P.S. Her latest tactic? At church she's taken to screaming "Maggie poop! Maggie poop!" as a way of getting carried out of the meeting. It's not true--so we can't even look at it as a bonus that she might be potty trained soon. We don't want to take her out and let her win, but we don't want to stick around while she's yelling that either. Lose/lose.


Rachel said...

My daughter is 8 and still going through this...... :) I am finding that she gets real honory when she feels I am not paying enough attention to her. Do you have any one on one time alone with the Mags?

jwise said...

The terrible twos last until about 4 when you can actually reason with them. At the same time, though, I've got 3 kids with 3 COMPLETELY different personalities. My first is extremely independent, stubborn, and determined. He came out that way, and he's still that way at 11. He does calm down a little each year, but I'm sure he's going to be this way forever. My other two are much more obedient and willing to do what they're asked. My second is a control freak like I am, but at least we understand each other. My youngest is extremely calm and patient, so his "outbursts" are so few and far between that I hardly even care about them. And it's a good thing because I still have my oldest to deal with! LOL Anyway, that is a LONG way of saying not to worry about the twins because you may or may not have to go through this "terrible two-three-four" thing with them to the same extent. Each child's personality is a thing of its own. In a way, it's too bad because by the time we get used to parenting one type of kid, we have to re-learn everything in order to parent another one. But it's really a good thing because the chances of us killing them go down.

Tigersue said...

I am so sorry this is so hard. Each child is different and you must be consistent.

Naughty spots are our friend you could say. :) Also lots of loves, hugs, kisses and explainations as to why they go there, and to see if they can verbalize it.

Tempertantrums are all about control and communication. Sometimes they have a hard time communicating what they want. My kids often get more irritable when they are hungry, tired, or both.

Give her lots of choices, and pick your battles wisely.

As for church, I made sure my kids were miserable out in the hall. Make her sit on the couch or a chair, don't let her run around or have fun. Let her come to the realization it is more fun to be in the meeting with her books, or what ever quiet things you bring to help entertain her.

It can be hard to be tough when you need too. Michael has sat in the car many a times with an out of control child during church hours. Eventually they do learn that good behavior is rewarded over bad behavior if you are consistent enough. I am sure it is harder when your attention is divided with the twins.

Take care. Take advantage of her running around naked, that might get her potty trained faster than you think!

jwise said...

By the way, one way you could deal with the "Maggie poop" thing (it being lose/lose, as you mentioned) is to address the LYING aspect of it. You kind of do have to take her out of the meeting, but maybe you can tell her that if she tells you something that isn't true, she will have some kind of no-cupcake or no-whatever consequence.

Just an idea. I really don't know any more about this than you do! :)

the fellers said...

ugh...I am sorry....I feel your pain, I wanna scream all the time! I dont get it either!

Andrea said...

I call this the Great Awakening--when you realize that parenting is much harder than anticipated. My oldest, Miriam, was . . . there's no way to say politely what she was like as a two, three, and four year old. However, now that she's almost six she's an absolute DELIGHT. My current two year old is a pain in the neck--but in a normal two year old sort of way. Thank heavens. For the record--I think it gets easier the more kids you have. You don't notice as much or something because you're too busy to notice anything.


Beth said...

keep calm and carry on.
I have no advice for you, really, because you're doing better than I ever would. Maggie is everything you said: so cute and funny and silly and a handful. You're an awesome mom. Don't ever let Maggie or anyone else make you feel otherwise!

Ashley said...

Oh, no! Hopefully this is just a short-lived phase that the twins will never enter. Fingers crossed, anyway! Hehe!

EmmaP said...

keenan was such a good boy I thought we totally skipped the terrible two's... but no. it hit when he was almost 3. he was an easy kid. didnt last long.

kadin? sounds like maggie. i was afraid of doing bodily harm to him - seriously. I ended up sticking him in the corner and making touch his nose to the wall. yes - he was my corner child. he didn't yell poop in church, but he had a blood curdling scream. I would have gladly taken the "poop" call over that. good thing church has a lot of corners too. if i had to take him out, it was to stand in a corner. he didn't like it. he eventually stopped... but it seemed to take forever!

kienna was the mean terrible two year old. seriously. she would yell and hit and scream. I would get after her and then she would yell, "YOu dont love me!" so, i got in the habit of saying, "I love you, but right now you need to sit on your bed!" she hated going to her room. she was my "go to your room" child. luckily she didnt act like that in public, since churches dont have beds.

when all else fails... pray and pray again. *BUT* don't pray for patience- haha! just for guidance in knowing how to discipline and teach her... you are a great mom and this "two" shall pass...


Emily said...

sounds like my Bridger. :O) my advise that I am sure you don't really need or want is to keep in mind that every kid is different. Angeli is a very different two year old then Bridger. And Bridger's sacrament get out free card is giggling and singing as loud as he can whenever it gets too quite for him to stand. I just try to make being out of the sacrament meeting as awful as possible. I make him sit in a chair in a darkish room (I don't even turn on the lightsthough there is a window) and I don't talk to him at all until he asks to go back into sacrament. I tell him he can go back in if he will be reverent and then we play the reverent game...Is dancing crazy reverent? "no!" is shouting instead of singing reverent? " "no!" and then we head back in. I try it make sacrament the hot place to be but honestly sometimes they just plain win! :O) Thank goodness they are are so dang cute! ;)

PS those kids of yours are so cute!!! Really I am secretly so jealous of you. I would really love to have twins. You probably think I am totally crazy and honestly yes, I am a little off my rocker. :O) You are a great mom. Your kids are some of the luckiest kids I know.

K said...

It's not so much the twos in this case as it is just Maggie. She's a powerful little spirit, trapped in a tiny, not so trained yet body - she's a full grown spirit who now finds herself a CHILD, bottom of the ladder. You don't know who you're dealing with, really. She could be eons older than you are, and maybe was a proud little spirit administrator lady once. Now, people are telling her "no." Unbearable.

The T-T thing happens at a point when the child's understanding of this planet and her new situation start expanding - she now can start formulating opinions about things. He lack of physical ability frustrates her. So she's mad most of the time. And the more intelligent the spirit, the more frustrated. Unless you get one of those angel dispositions -

So she's like, "I SAID I wanted it this way. Excuse me? Who do you think YOU are?"

You'll be dealing with this for a long time. Eventually, she'll learn that the temper tantrum thing is not a productive strategy - you can actually point this out to her. And the edges will start wearing down a bit. This is how spirits like mine and yours and Jl's and Chaz' learn humility in this world - it begins here because we evidently hadn't mastered the concept before we came.

She's powerful, Megs. And that's your job (because you are capable and determined, too) - to teach her how to channel all of her power into the being she will someday want to be. So that power can move mountains. I hope she grows up to be a republican, though.

Ginna said...

Good luck sweetie. It's so hard. I still struggle with Max in so many ways, and I'm sure that with the twins along with Maggie it's a serious challenge/trial/frustration.

I agree with those that are saying that different kids have different behaviors at different ages. Max was actually angelic for all of two, and it was three when things really took a turn for the worse. Some kids never even really go through that whole thing.

It's also hard because she's so young--it's a lot harder to reason with the little ones. But that's what you've got to do. You've got to use rewards and incentives I think. It's the only thing that ever worked with Max.

So no really good advice, but definitely sending you my love.

Hill Call said...

I don't have children so at times like this I find it best to get a good laugh. Megan, she is your daughter after all, and you yourself are rather determined.

Mary Jane said...

One idea...I think the terrible twos are worse with your first child. Carter still has his fits of rage..but I'm hoping it's going to skip Kathryn and Kimball. So maybe you'll get lucky with Will and Cole.

Camille said...

I'm pretty sure I told you. I've told anyone who will listen to me moan! I think daughters are the worst though. My precious baby boy seemed to skip terrible two altogether. In fact, his version of a tantrum (which barely began to emerge about a year ago and he is nearly four now...) is so mild in comparision to his sister, that I almost encourage them. Good luck.

The Willeyes said...

I wish I had some great advice for you. Hang in there :)

Kirsten said...

I agree completely with you Megan...In our house unfortunately the "twos" were for getting into things and it has always been the terrible threes for us.
I have learned like many people above have mentioned giving choices in the thing that has worked the best. You choose the two best things for a situation (like what shirt she wants to wear or snack to eat) and she feels awesome because you let her "choose" between the two things you chose. Does that even make sense? The naughty chair is a good thing, making sacrament meeting seem awesome compared to being straighjacketed in a dark room (ask Am about this) like Emily said, and pray. a lot! I PROMISE when they hit about three and a half or so, the world seems like a brighter place.

On a different note you have the three most ADORABLE kids on the planet and you look AMAZING in your picture in the engineer post. That alone should be a big pat on the back to you!! ;-) Luv ya!


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