Sunday, August 10, 2008

We are not enjoying two and a half

I remember at the first ECFE class I took with the Hatchling, the parent coordinator talked to us about how babies and toddlers go through regular fluctuations between equilibrium (when their brains are relatively calm, their skills are somewhat in synch with their desires, etc.) and disequilibrium (when their brains are on fire with learning new things and their desires outpace their skills, etc.) Apparently for most kids, the equilibrium is strongest around birthdays, and the disequilibrium is strongest around half birthdays.

The Hatchling is two years and five months old.

Gone are the days when her brief forays into tantrum-land could be interrupted with the distraction of a toy, a treat, a silly dance, or, god help me, the TV. Now, the most we can hope for is prevention, because once she goes to that tantrumy place, there is nothing on this earth that can snap her out of it before it has run its course. Don't even bother talking to her: the only response you'll get is "NOOOOOOOOO!" whether or not that's an appropriate answer to whatever you've just said. This evening, which was a gorgeous preview of early autumn weather, we went to meet some friends at the Lake Harriet bandshell for a picnic dinner at the pops concert. It had all the makings of a perfect evening - and most of it was really, really nice - but then the Hatchling decided she was done with the picnic a little earlier than the rest of us, and that was it: we had to go. Well, that, or subject several hundred people to the ear-splitting cries of rage that only a 2.5 year old can produce. So Mr. Squab hauled her bodily off to the car, and I packed up our picnic stuff, apologizing to everyone all the while. Major drag, dude.

Of course, once we'd gotten her home and bathed, she was at her most adorable for the rest of the evening, singing along with songs before bed and telling us all about everything in her largely incomprehensible babble. Almost like she KNEW she'd pushed us almost to our limits ...