"One day there will be hell to pay," I tell myself in the midst of the physical and mental abuse. "But for now, he is merely a child." I like to say that, too. Dylan was about a year old when he started doing naughty things such as slamming his head against the tile floor when upset, and people liked to offer condolences in the form of, "Oh! An early case of terrible twos! They'll pass sooner than later." The insinuation was that I was practically lucky! And the encouragement would’ve been nice if I weren’t banking on it, thank you very much.
But there's a lesson to be learned here, and it's: Never bank on anything. EVER. Because Dylan's halfway through his second year of life and though the head banging is no longer his thing, he still has things. Lots of them. Let me tell you about some of the things Dylan does.
Yesterday I was laughing really hard, and last I checked, that’s not a crime. In fact, some find laughter to be contagious. But Dylan? He finds it annoying. Of course he does. So as I sat in a fit of giggles with my head resting against a pillow, Dylan charged at me, lifted his arm up the air, and slammed his green Hotwheels semi-truck into the side of my face. Instant bruise. I cried.
I often contemplate the term “terrible twos” and the injustice it represents. Terrible? I can deal with terrible. My husband listens to terrible music. I sit in terrible traffic. Creamer in my coffee? Ack. Terrible. But Dylan? At 2 years old? Now that’s terrifying. Traumatizing. TORTUROUS! He forbids laughter, demands I don’t dance, and the little tyrant doesn’t allow singing, either. Go ahead, ask him anything. I guarantee you the answer will be “NO.” And not just any no, but a “DON’T BOTHER ME PEASANT, I SAID NO!” And if you kiss him, “DON’T KISS ME!”
But despite being the King of Mean, he plays up that victim card, too. Like when I’m pushing him in a grocery cart and reject his plea for 36 grams of liquid sugar, he belts out, “NO, DON’T HIT ME! MOMMY NO, DON’T HURT ME!” And you know people these days, they have CPS on speed dial, so I waste no time throwing my arms up in the air like a cop’s pistol is pointed at my chest because I want everyone to know, I’M NOT TOUCHING HIM! I SWEAR!
So please, spare the encouragement and just be real with me. These are the traumatic, tumultuous, terrifying toddler years gifted upon me by the little baby boy I swore I wanted so badly (before I got to know him). And I love him, it’s true. But let’s be honest, I have a black eye. So if you want to call it “terrible twos” then fine, but admit that my son is clearly an overachiever.