The Really Terrible Twos

I had a new, unpleasant experience today, thanks to Bennett.  He threw the absolute hugest temper tantrum I have even seen this morning.  He was just starting a puzzle as it was time to leave to take Luke to school.  I’ve learned that things go much better when the boys are given a warning, so a couple of minutes before it was time to go, I let them know.  Then when it was time to leave, Luke got up and headed to the car (of course he’s excited, he’s the one going to school!), but Bennett started screaming about not being done with his puzzle.  He proceeded to throw puzzle pieces in my direction – I was strapping Jack Henry into his carseat – and tried to hit me.  I told him he wasn’t going to play with puzzles anymore today, which amplified the situation.  Then, I said, “Well, I have to take Luke to school.  I have to leave, and I hope you’ll come with me.”  WRONG THING TO SAY.  He dug in his heels, and said, “I stay home by myself!”  Of course, I assumed that me “leaving without him wink-wink” would make him get in the car; I did not expect this answer.  So I dragged his 30 pound body kicking and screaming to the van, wrestled him into his seatbelt, and listened to him scream all the way to Luke’s school about how he wanted to stay home by himself.  I finally explained that even Luke can’t stay home alone, that you have to be like 10 years old to do that, and he settled down.  I kept saying Phillipians 3:14 over and over in my head, and called Matt, telling him I needed some prayer. 

WOW.  It was horrible.  I am certain that my reaction (yelling back at him) was not appropriate, and I don’t know what he thought of my crying on the way to school, but he did settle down.  If we didn’t have to leave the house when it happened, I think it wouldn’t have been so bad – he could have just had his hissy fit in his room until he was calm.  But we had to leave, which made the whole thing 10 times worse.  Nothing makes you feel like a horrible mom, like you’re failing at everything you’re trying to teach them, like seeing your kid completely out of control. 

We didn’t really deal with this with Luke.  He can whine and carry on annoyingly about something forever, but he doesn’t get all crazy like Bennett did.  Any suggestions from you who have been there?  I just ask that you say a prayer for me; I could definitely use an extra dose of patience with this normally-sweet boy who’s giving me a hard time.

On a much lighter note, the rest of the day has gone just fine.  Ben and I had a heart-to-heart (he tried to pay attention) in the van before we left the parking lot of the school, and he’s been good as gold since then. 

We’re putting up the tree tonight, so I should have pictures of that posted soon.  And I’ll post pics of Jack Henry in a minute…he looks so cute today! 

6 responses to “The Really Terrible Twos

  1. We. Had. Heidi. (Heidi, I love you more than life itself, but . . . when you were a toddler, well, you know the stories; they’re legendary!)

    We had a tape recording of Heidi having a tantrum; I don’t know if it’s still stuck in a drawer somewhere. It was blood-curdling. I totally forgot about it, and when I found it many years later, we all laughed as we listened to it, but I could still close my eyes and remember what I felt like at the time. I cried many tears out of frustration and feeling useless as a mom!

    Motherhood is the hardest calling! It comes with rewards that are unsurpassed by any other experience, but many days along the way are very draining, boring, and frustrating. Try to remember that NO ONE can bring up those boys as well as you can! I am in awe of the job you & Matt are doing. It’s hard, I know. Expect to make mistakes, know that everyone is inconsistent at times, and don’t be surprised when you just plain feel sorry for yourself!

    You’ve already experienced this: in the blink of an eye, they will do something so awesome & sweet, and you’ll just love them so much you think your heart will burst. But also know that sometimes it doesn’t happen that way; sometimes they are obnoxious and frustrating for a long time! And often that happens when their dad is out of town and can’t relieve you and you start fantasizing about your college years!

    In my prayers, you & Matt & the boys ALWAYS get really high billing, and I OFTEN pray especially for you, Nicole, for an extra measure of grace as you mother those little boys all day!

  2. Oh, Nicole, we have been there with Norah. Not often – but it does happen. I also have those times when I feel like a useless mom – thankfully God is gracious and our kids are resilient. Although, I don’t really have any suggestions – other than sending them to their rooms when possible – I am thankful for friends like you so we can encourage each other in this crazy adventure!

    In reference to your grocery store post – I am glad you have such sweet boys – it brings a balance when we get together to play and it makes you the QUEEN! What are the chances that one of your boys marries one of my girls? LOL!

  3. We certainly hope that one of them will choose to marry a Swinigan girl 🙂

    Thanks for the encouragement, Jo (I have been fantasizing about my high school years, since I’ve been watching old home videos…that’s a post for another day) and Heather. It helps to be reminded that other peoples’ kids act bizarre like this sometimes, too. And Heidi turned into a wonderful, intelligent, not-tantrum-throwing adult, so there’s tons of hope for Bennett! Love you, Heidi!

  4. God must have a sense of humor because i am now working with teen parents and my last group session topic was “taming your toddlers”. 🙂 however, nicole, i do have to admit that i still throw mini-tantrums when i am trying to get home from work and traffic is backed up 60 minutes… i should tape record myself!

  5. Yes, Nicole, we all have feelings of “failing’ at times as a parent! I still do! But look how you and your siblings have turned out, and you’ll see that a “few” mistakes won’t jeapordize their success! Bennett is just 2, and it would be unusual for him to behave all the time!
    I called your Dad a few times at World Color when “you know who” would be acting up and I was at the end of my rope!
    Motherhood is the most important job in the world and I am glad you have such good friends that can support each other and compare ideas when these incidents happen.
    You have 3 wonderful boys that make us proud as grandparents!

  6. Pingback: The Rug Doctor + More Important Things = This Post « Here’s the Diehl

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