Friday, September 12, 2008

They don't call them the terrible twos for nothing

This week has been a somewhat taxing one - partly from starting up with classes again, but MOSTLY because the Hatchling has kicked in with the terrible twos in deadly earnest this week, and IT IS WEARING ME OUT. Oh, as long as she's free to do whatever she wants, she's her usual happy, sunny self. But god forbid you should try to in any way guide or curtail her activities: the girl can go from zero to ballistic in .0001 seconds. We were running errands on Wednesday and made MAYBE a twenty minute stop at Kinkos so I could copy some course materials. The entire trip was a disaster. I was THAT PARENT - the one with the terror of a kid who's completely out of control and you kind of think "she must not discipline that kid at all!" God, I hate being that parent. If I hadn't had my damn credit card stuck in the self-serve machine with copies furiously spewing out, I'd just have marched the Hatchling right out of the store, but as it was, we were stuck. All I could do was glare furiously at my daughter, hold on to her flailing body so she couldn't run screaming through the store, and keep up a steady stream of profuse apologies to anyone who would listen. Oof. So that night, recounting it to Mr. Squab, we concluded that perhaps right now is just not a good time to take the Hatchling along on errands. (Which would be just peachy if I had either a personal assistant or a full-time nanny. Ahem.)

But THEN, the next morning I made plans to go to the Children's Museum with some friends, thinking, this should be no problem! It's a whole building expressly designed for the Hatchling's entertainment! HA. It is to laugh. Sure, she was happy as could be exploring the Habitot area and the various activity rooms. But any time I tried to steer her in a particular direction, or make her stay at the table for snacks, or ask her to remove herself from the gift shop, or wait for the elevator - in fact, pretty much any time I tried to impose my clearly fascist, anti-Hatchling, mommy agenda on her, it was tantrum time.

The Hatchling prefers a classic tantrum style: going limp, falling to the floor, screaming and kicking, and then trying to furtively crawl in the direction of the forbidden room/activity. There were about ten of these tantrums during our ninety minute visit to the museum. (We had carpooled with our friends, so again, there was no option of just picking up and leaving.)

I find this behavior completely exhausting, y'all. I do not know how to cope with it. Once she's in tantrum mode, there's almost no way to break her out of it. And she's getting goddamn big to haul around, especially as I grow increasingly pregs. I hope to HELL this is a phase she grows out of - even temporarily - by the time the baby comes. But I have to say, I am increasingly dreading the next year. Between her tantrums and a newborn's sleep irregularities, I honestly do not know how I am going to stay functional. Erk. Anyone have any advice?