"Now you've gone and done it" she said, her screams piercing my ears. I looked around to see if glass had broken.
I had made the deadly mistake of moving her food bowl to place a table mat underneath it and for that, I paid the price.
Everyone talks about the terrible twos, and how hellish they are, and then a few moms pipe in about how "two is nothing compared to three" which I totally and completely understand.
Solidarity in the terrifying threes, mamas.
And then someone says "Well, wait until they're 16 and having sex!"
Okay, so no one has actually said that to me, but I'm thinking of doing it next time because that just makes my little baby kicking her feet on the floor over a half-eaten apple look like nothing at all.
But really, much of the months leading up to the age of two are pretty damn terrible.
It does not start right at two. And from what I can tell, it does not make her eligible for the gifted program at "Miss Mary's Nursery School."
There is no consolation for her mature tantruming skills, my friends.
Her communication skills are lacking and unfortunately adorable animal sounds don't do well in telling me that she'd prefer her cup to be turned at a 45 degree angle to her plate, that should be pink and not green because who the hell would want a green plate I ONLY WANT A GREEN PLATE ON THURSDAYS and sometimes Sundays but only in the afternoon damnit
We've done our best to institute the techniques that most experts suggest on a consistent basis.
Time outs are a regular occurrence at our house, though she tends to end up thinking it's a game and then when I actually want her to leave and go back to what she was doing she'd rather stay in the corner and so now you're fighting her to get out of time out and so what exactly do you do then put her in another time out snd by the time you figure out what to do you forget exactly why she's screaming and why you're putting her in time out and you end up apologizing and giving her a lollipop because you were a mean mommy and wait one second little girl.
I'm usually a huge fan of diversion techniques, however the whole "Look, you little screaming child who can barely breathe, it's a birdy!" just tends to piss her off even more. And anything that will actually work to divert her attention away from the huge tragedy of a piece of toast that *gasp* has a bite out of it is actually worse than letting her carry on.
"Oh look, there's your brother over there banging the crap out of his ceramic plate with a metal fork."
Cue the ceramic plate orchestra. And then me begging her to start screaming again.
And I suppose the worst of it all, other than being the asshole who is yelling at her 17-month-old baby because that is so amazingly effective (and awesome right, I mean that is the stuff that dreams are made of right there) is that no matter how much I try to be the big, smart, "take-no-shit" parent whose house is not run by little people oh hell no, I'm embarrassed to admit that I still end up doing my fair amount of egg-shell walking.
Sometimes cleaning up the pee is way easier than forcing her to put on a diaper. And reading the same bedtime story three times in a row won't actually kill me, just the last few scraps of sanity I cling to like a dirty, half-shredded security blanket.
Besides, I try to tell myself that I need to pick my battles now so I can save my energy for the big ones later, which based on her advanced trajectory should be in about 4 years, 7 days, and 17 minutes.
Not that I'm counting or anything.