The Dictator

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I thought the Terrible Twos were kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy, and if I just stayed positive and light it would not be too much of a big deal.

I was wrong.

The big one is a whirlwind of activity and intensity. He is stubborn, independent and contrary, quick to give kisses and cuddles, loves wrestling and climbing all over me, then will start punching me in the arm.

His inner world is a huge volatile ocean of emotions and thoughts and feelings, and the weather can change from happy and content to total devastation and turmoil in the amount of time it takes a Lego tower to fall down. There are some days when it’s like living with a tiny, noisy lunatic dictator. He bosses me around, bosses Jed around, bosses his toys around. I have to keep reminding myself that I’M the boss, not this confident, decisive little man-child. I tell him it’s time for lunch and he’ll say, “Actually, no mum. Wait until I’m ready, please” like a three-foot CEO.

While we were on holiday he had a fullscale meltdown over banana glue. His banana broke in half, so I fixed it with imaginary ‘Banana Glue’.

Mistake.

The high point of the resulting tantrum was me cleaning non-existent Banana Glue off the broken ends of his banana and presenting it to him to inspect. He would wail hysterically while I ran back to the kitchen to get every last bit of non-existent glue off the banana, muttering to myself “How did I get here? I am an intelligent person and THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS EFFING BANANA GLUE!”

I read something about Emphatic Limits, where you set a limit and can comfort the kid when he cracks it, but still don’t give in. I think it is kind of working, maybe? At every stage of the game, I have felt waaaaay out of my league but never more than dealing with a defiant toddler. But! He is hysterically funny, and prone to random breakdancing displays on the footpath, or spontaneous “I love yous” while yanking his shorts on, or big face squeezing, eye gazing, lip smacking kisses. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions and disaster and mess and joy.

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