What happens when you notice your 2-yr-old taking baby steps towards becoming a man? Your heart leaps with joy and sadness. Joy because that is exactly what you want for you child. That he or she grows up. Sad because they grow up faster than you want them to. Argghhhh!!! The quintessential dilemma of a mother.
Being two is not easy on the parents or the child. For parents, their angelic, cherubic little infant has suddenly morphed into this monster whom they don’t recognize. Temper tantrums, behavior issues, and so many other good and not so good things to contend with. For Neil, the world has become a place of adventure like never before. Being able to run, jump, walk, pick things up with his hands, have control over his actions, speak like Shakespeare, (‘m not exaggerating, the kid can talk very eloquently), test his parents, and more importantly, being independent. These are things he could not do when he was younger. So that’s another version of joy and sadness. While we rejoice at his achievements, we pull our hair out when he literally flings his tantrums at us.
But parents being parents have to set limits to how far things can go. This is so we don’t have situations where Neil goes to place X dressed like a cherub and returns looking like a monster. It has happened one too many times at various locations. We are at a store, he then decides he wants to have toy X, but we refuse to fall into the trap, and give him a resounding “no.” So he decides to do the stop, drop, and roll drill. We let him play out his tantrum on the floor while a zillion people walk by us with eye-balls rolling and heads shaking. What the **^*^? Don’t tell me your kid never did that! But we rarely ever budge. So one fine day, after weeks of tantrum throwing and us ignoring him, he picks himself up, dusts his pants off, and then lets us know, “I’m done crying! We can go now.”
Not something we were expecting. A classic example of being totally stumped. Since then, we give Neil advance neb about appropriate behavior for where we are going. We make him “promise” to behave, and his response, “Yes! I will.” Every time he does, he’s been keeping his word. When he promises to behave, he actually does. I’ll have to give dada 100% credit for coming up with this strategy. This is a subtle and almost abstract transformation that he’s undergoing. Someday, when he’s old enough to understand the meaning of what it means when a man keeps his word, I’m sure he’ll beam with joy. 🙂