Whenever someone told me, “You’re so lucky. Landon is such an easy baby,” in the back of my mind, I would wonder how long that would last.
Because no one has a perfect kid. At some point, all kids, even the seemingly easy/calm/mellow ones, have their moments.
Well, Landon’s time has come.
Soon after he turned 2 a few months ago, my once-chill kid transformed into someone I didn’t know. He whined, he pouted, he started making demands. No, not leaving the playground, Mommy! No, no, no!
Don’t get me wrong: He’s still a pretty easy kid (from what I hear, anyway). He still happily puts himself to bed (before 6 p.m.) and entertains himself with crayons and excavators (not together). But he’s started to protests bath, which he used to love, and demands very specific things (like a certain T-shirt that’s almost always in the wash or backpack that he won’t end up using, anyway). My once voracious eater is now extremely picky; he suddenly started refusing fruits and eggs—his usual standbys—and won’t try anything new. Some days he’ll eat cheeseburgers or fish sticks; other days he’ll throw them on the ground. And he never used to shout before.
Who is this kid?
I know he’s at that age where he’s started to assert himself, test boundaries, be more independent. I get that he’s frustrated, too. I don’t always understand what he wants or needs, and he has trouble articulating that with words (hence the throwing). And while I expected this, I didn’t really know what this stage would be like. It’s not fun.
It’s so hard to be patient—not one of my virtues to begin with—when your kid is lying in the middle of a playground in protest of my suggestion to leave. I can’t reason with him, either. Saying, “Hey, it’s getting dark, it’s starting to rain, and the new season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is on in 15 minutes,” doesn’t quite work. And you can’t let him lie there forever. (Though I’ve thought about it.)
I know this is just a phase. I know this is an important transition for him. I know that, at some point, he’ll be a normal human who doesn’t need to throw his food at me to let me know he’d rather have a grilled cheese sandwich.
And I also know there will be worse phases—I’m not looking forward to puberty—and times when I’ll wonder why I ever wanted the Terrible Twos to end. (Try Terrible Teens. And that’s a decade!)
So what should a sleep-deprived, Google-addicted parent do?
This is what I’m doing: I’m writing everything he does down. So when he’s older, he can read it. And when he asks for a car, I’ll lie down on the kitchen floor in protest.