The tyranny of two year olds
Monday was shit. I like the word ‘shit’. It has no class, but it encapsulates meanings perfectly. Unfortunately my two year old toddler can say it, but I consider it better parenting than if she were to throw the ‘f’ word around. What does that say about my parenting haha?
For those of you familiar with the Shrek franchise… you know the scene where Shrek is losing his shit because everyone is up in his face and he’s sick of putting on a smile from the banalities that come with the territory of having kids? He finally cracks it and lets out a huge roar pounding his fists into the donkey-licked birthday cake!
Well, on Monday, that was me sans pounding the cake; I had one upped on Shrek and managed to keep it together. But my goodness, does Shrek resonate more with me as an adult than it ever did as a child! I really am a self-confessed ogre.
After a whole day of a tyrannous toddler challenging me on every instruction, I was feeling surly and in desperate need of isolation. Ever since my toddler turned 18 months old, the challenging of authority has escalated. Seemingly, she has a mind of her own, and a will of her own, and will exercise her right to practice it whenever and however she can. Saying words to the effect of ‘no’, ‘don’t do that’, ‘stop that right now’, ‘I’m warning you’, and ‘one last chance’ is frivolous. I’m met with that confronting cheeky glint in her eye that translates as, ‘oh yeh, whatcha going to do about it?’. And the brazen rascal usually times it so I’m busy breastfeeding her younger brother, and thus have to decide whether it’s worth it.
Any parent of a toddler knows it’s darn exhausting. Emotionally being tested at every point of the day takes its toll. If said toddler is your first born, in your naivety, you may similarly contemplate whether your child is extraordinarily challenging (truthfully, I mean naughty) in comparison to others the same age. Well I’m here to tell you, they’re probably just as much of a ratbag as any other two year old ruling their roost.
I came to this realisation after divulging all of the recent misconducts that Gemma had dared to commit this week. (For example, liberally applying half a tub of Sudocrem on herself, playing with her poo, emptying the laundry powder everywhere, drawing on her books, refusing to tidy up her toys, and so on). First, I spilled the confessions to my hairdresser. Immediately, I was comforted by the fact that her toddler was likewise. Oh sweet relief. Then I confessed to my hometown friend. And sure enough, her toddler enjoyed challenging authority too. And secretly, or perhaps not so secretly, we both looked forward to daycare days. Oh, the guilt I should feel at admitting that. Ha! Next to nil.
So fellow parents of toddlers, I urge you to come together in solidarity and fess up how imperfect your toddlers are. Let us not pretend that they are sweet little angels who always do as they’re told. Let us preach the truth about their strong yearnings for independence and dramatic objections to instructions. Because, let’s face it. How good does it feel when you find out someone else’s kid can be just as much of a little shit as yours?
I’ll tell you… pretty bloody good!