Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Terrible Two's

Ah, the terrible two's phase has arrived with a bang. Right on schedule.

My two kids (ages 2 years and 8 months) attend a weekly playgroup with two other kids approximately the same age. This is never a smooth process of course as toddlers are not prone to share and occassionally feel the need to cling to Mama. This by itself is ok. But, throw a few tantrums in there and it's the perfect storm.

So yesterday we're at playgroup at the other Mom's house. Things started ok. Both toddlers were really excited to see each other, which of course got me really excited that I might have the opportunity to enjoy some adult conversation. (In retrospect, I should have known better.) Within minutes, my son throws a tantrum because I wouldn't give him my coffee mug. So I ignore it as I normally do, which normally works. After a few minutes, he didn't let up, so I put my daughter down and got him. After a few minutes of Mommy time, he apparently felt well enough to try to hug and kiss his buddy's little sister. He absolutely adores babies, but can sometimes get too rough, which is why the other Mom placed the little girl in a nearby pack-and-play. This went ok, until his buddy tried to peek in at her little sister. My son went beserk! As far as he was concerned, there was to be absolutely no touching the pack-and-play, no coming near the pack-and-play, and no looking too closely at the pack-and-play. Not wanting to be a helicopter Mom, I watched a minute to see how this would play out, but was forced to intervene when my son began chasing his buddy around the living room - away from the pack-and-play. Obviously it was time to leave (some 30 minutes later), but trying to corral my kid to and in the car triggered another tantrum. Could this be any more embarassing?

After apologizing profusely to the other Mom (yesterday and today), I put my tail between my legs, and drove the long way home to give everyone time to calm down. Afterward, my kid was ok. We had an appropriate two-year old talk and I'm pretty sure he understood coming home early was punishment for being rude.

So what triggered this fiasco in the first place? I can only imagine he inadvertenly transferred his protective attitude toward his sister to the other little girl. (He hates other kids messing with his sister.) Or perhaps he's acting out because he thinks his sister is getting too much attention. I don't know. I do know that he's never been that worked up and I hope it never happens again Especially in public.

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