Parenting: Mischievous Two’s

Our little angel is still tucked away, hard asleep this morning. I normally feel grateful for these quiet mornings while the rest of the kids are at school, but today I am clinging to every last second of peace and sanity. Angel? Amelie is the sweetest, most loving little button alive. Lately, however, I’m concerned her two year old psyche has been hijacked by demons!

Terrible two’s? Probably. She came home at 11 months old, delayed in all areas due to institutionalization, so it makes sense that her terrible two stage isn’t starting until almost three years old. She’ll be three in a month. At two, she went through all the usual stuff, including getting into everything in sight. She has always had to be watched closely, but when she did something naughty she willingly put herself in time-outs. She was always so eager to please. She still has a bit of that looming in her head, but the screaming and crying has started (albeit the spells are short-lived, thank God) and yesterday she was lying on the floor and kicking her bedroom door.

Mischief or terror? How about walking into the living room to find she’s holding a pair of scissors, has a sofa pillow unzipped, and she’s starting to cut the fabric? How she got hold of the scissors, we have no clue. The boys keep craft boxes, and it’s possible she knows how to work the latches, but I have never seen her do that. Then there was the time, two days ago, when she was under the sun room table licking the cement floor… don’t even ask me what she was licking because it makes my stomach turn a thousand times… all I’m going to say is that we have dogs.

Yesterday was insane. She was grabbing every single object off the kitchen counters, from knives to scissors, to pens to salt shakers and dishwashing soap. She’s gotten a lot taller, and while I’m preparing things she keeps grabbing everything she can. When my back is turned for even a second, she’s done something crazy. She took a large popcorn bowl, filled it up with what appeared to be spit bubbles, and then proceeded to scrub the sun room floor with our dish towel. That all happened when I stepped out to use the bathroom. Next thing I know, she’d gotten the Windex (which I was using earlier, so it was sitting on a shelf I mistakenly assumed she couldn’t reach) and was spraying it on everything, including the pets, and used pieces of clean laundry out of a nearby laundry basket. She’s also been taking items, like dish towels, silverware, and edible items, and just tossing them into the garbage. God only knows how many things we’ve lost that way.

It’s not so much what she’s doing that has us loopy (although she has upped the ante considerably, and is really testing boundaries, bigtime) but the rate in which she’s doing these things. Yesterday I made sure to remove all pens, markers and crayons from the sun room. Poor girl can’t even draw alone any more because of what she does with them- eats the crayons (normal for this age, I know) and uses pens and markers anywhere but on paper. I was getting dressed yesterday for 5-10 minutes, and the next thing I knew there were crayon scribbles all over the sun room windows, all over a large glass cabinet, on the tiled kitchen floors, and I even discovered marker scribbles on the sofa. All of that happened after she’d been told no markers and no crayons for the afternoon. She’d seen me put them all away, and even uttered a little “Okay, Mama.” My point is that she seems unstoppable! We’ve been hyper-vigilant about putting things away, but we live in a small house where stuff ends up under couches and sofa cushions, and Amelie seems to know where everything is. She thinks, “Take away my crayons or scissors? I know exactly where we’ve stashed extras.” Of course, she gets reprimanded and put in time-out. If she’s tantruming in the chair, she’s sent to her room to cool down. She cools down within seconds, and it’s all over. Not much of a consequence, when I think about it. No wonder she isn’t deterred from having so much fun!

Bottom line: Amelie is testing her boundaries, seeing what we’ll do, what she can get away with, and making sure she’s safe and taken care of within those boundaries. I get that. It’s completely exhausting, and I felt it last night when I hit the mattress.

For now, before the tornado of Amelie awakens, I’m going to be cleaning out every nook and corner, every single box and cubby hole, under every sofa cushion, and behind every cabinet. I’ll make sure nothing is within reach. How to do that is beyond me. I’m often asking the age old question that all parents ask, “Why can’t she just behave?” We could say that about all our kids. Oh, life would be so easy… far too easy, not to mention boring. Daniel and I find ourselves laughing about these antics at the end of the day, and they will make for some interesting stories when Amelie is older. She keeps life fresh and interesting. Of all our five children, Amelie has definitely won the Mischief Award!

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1 Comment

Filed under Family Happenings, Kids, Parenting, Thoughts & Insights

One response to “Parenting: Mischievous Two’s

  1. I remember hearing a funny noise one day while doing the dishes, and poking my head into the living room to find my toddler daughter gleefully sitting on the very top of the huge upright piano, playing with all the stuff we kept up there because “it was the one place in the house she couldn’t reach!”

    That stage did not last forever. Can’t say that I came out of it sane but probably not too much worse than I went into it. Hang in there!

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