It appears that Josh got a memo over the Christmas period…. a memo that I wasn’t aware of. I believe its contents must have said something along these lines:
- You’ve just turned two years of age – this is your cue to act like the ultimate pain in the arse.
- It’s important you make a decision about which parent is going to be your favourite; make it Daddy
- In turn, you have to make it quite clear you are now going to save your horrible behaviour just for Mama – she’ll learn from it so don’t hold back
- I’m talking fighting nappy changes (especially pooey ones), refusing to eat for her, and generally screaming bloody murder whenever she is in the vicinity.
- Back this up by running to Daddy and clinging to him for dear life and saving all your smiles for him.
In short, Josh has turned two and turned into a little horror.
And as much as I might try and make a joke of it in this post, if I am honest, it is something that is really hurting me.
It all started just before Christmas. Sam had finally finished all his overtime work and both Josh and I were so glad to have him back home lots and things back to normal. But of course with Christmas, regular day to day routines went out the window. I had taken the mindset to just go with the flow for once; I’m heavily pregnant, and I don’t need the stress. I just wanted to relax and take each day at a time. Whether Josh took this as an opportunity to take advantage and run riot I don’t know. I certainly think having Daddy home was a huge novelty after a good 6 weeks of hardly seeing him, and perhaps that’s why he is now very much flavour of the month!
Over Christmas it was obviously quite hectic and overwhelming. Josh has never been great with massively busy situations; he gets overwhelmed easily and I’ve learnt to recognise the signs of when it’s getting too much for him and just take him to a quieter room where things could chill out a bit. I did this over Christmas and it had been working. But when it got to Boxing day and these days between Christmas and New Year, its got extreme.
If I put him in his highchair, a battle in itself, and try to give him dinner he will go mental. Scream at me, lash out sending forkfuls of lovingly made food flying across the room. If I try to change his nappy it’s like some sort of hysterical mama v baba poo fuelled battle. Trying to get him dressed…. what can I say – give me strength. But when Sam took over the feeding that kid ate every mouthful! I am trying to be positive; Josh not eating gives me anxiety so for me the priority was getting food in him. So I let it go. I went off to run his bath, put out his new toys, popped his pyjamas over the radiator so they’d be lovely and warm for him; anything to make him happy and content and know that Mama still adores him even though he’s acting like he hates me.
That particular evening, I brought him up for his bath, managed to undress him and put him in the bath. And he just screamed. He didn’t even want me near him. Sam quietly came up and took over and I slipped out the room, no fuss, no drama. But I did sit and have a good cry afterwards. Why was this suddenly happening. Anyone who reads my blog and follows my Instagram will know how attached I am to Josh. I make it my sole effort to do everything to make him as happy and content as possible, as we all do with our kids. Now all of a sudden he was rejecting me and physically pushing me away. And yes, he’s two, he has no idea about emotions or how it might make me feel, but if I’m being honest it just made me feel like shit.
I’ve tried to be super patient with him, but I am determined not to give in to every single tantrum. Once again parenting is teaching me lessons. It’s a constant learning curve and I am now going to have to continue learning whilst remembering how to look after a newborn. Throw in the pregnancy hormones, and well as you can imagine, the tears were in full flow. I felt bad for Sam cause it’s actually really nice for him to be having this time with Josh after working his arse off for 6 weeks and not seeing his son. He should be relishing in the bond and lets face it, once newbie arrives he is going to be the one Josh will be with most of the time. But I can see he feels bad for me.
He sat me down and reminded me that I am a good Mum, that Josh does love me and that, as always with these small people, this will be a phase. I appreciate my husbands logical mindset so much because it pulls me back sometimes; I get too caught up in the emotions and am quite sensitive. So I needed that reminded that toddlers are quite often complete buggers. They can’t communicate brilliantly, they can’t get across what they want, but they are clever little sods. They know how to play us parents off against each other, they somehow know how to make us completely doubt ourselves as a parent, and they have the ability to push you to the absolute limit. That is pretty impressive for someone who has only been on this earth for 24 months. You almost have to admire it.
For now I just have to find a way to handle it. I have around 4 weeks left with Josh being my only child and I wanted to relish it; I wanted to spend time with him and reassure him that despite the fact his world will soon be turned upside down, he’s still my boy! My baby! And despite his challenging behaviour I am still going to make sure we have these next few weeks, him and I, together and happy. I can’t lie, I have no idea how to handle this phase, I’ve never had to deal with Josh being quite this difficult, and maybe that’s why it’s a struggle; because I’ve been spoilt with him being such a good boy. I can buy the books, I can have a cry, I can give in and give him a digestive, and I can ride the storm. Which I will.
It’s just a phase right….
PS. I am always open to being given advice so if you’ve experienced the terrible twos I’d love to hear how you coped… I’m only 3 weeks in so this could be interesting…..!!!