Our beloved “Nonnor” didn’t really go through the “terrible 2’s” although it could just be that I blacked it out of my memory. From what I do remember, he spent his 2nd year of life being goofy (so much so that we lovingly called him crazy) and shadowing his older brother in every way. He turned 3 in May. I think he is making up for lost time by showing us the “terrible 3’s!”
In many ways, our boys display typical birth order personalities. As the elder son, Ethan is usually more cautious, more responsible and more nurturing. As the younger son, Connor is usually more reckless, more goofy and more stubborn. These days, he seems to have taken it to another level. He wants what he wants and he wants it now. He not only whines and complains when not given the answer he wants, but even in his initial asking (before we’ve had a chance to answer) he is scraping fingernails on the chalkboard with his whiney voice. It almost seems as if he has forgotten how to use a normal voice. Whiney voice has taken over. Whiney voice is the bain of my existence. Whiney makes me wine-y! When told no (heaven forbid his majesty is refused anything), he loses it. There have been times that I have mentally prepared a classified ad for the kid. He has honed the skill of making mountains out of molehills.
Let me be clear. I am not asking for parenting advice no matter how well-intentioned. I will tell you that I think I am a pretty firm disciplinarian. Sure, I will admit that Connor gets away with a little more than his brother did. But I am also a younger child personality, and I can be stubborn as well (just ask my husband; on second thought, don’t). Connor has met his match. During one battle, the thought clearly went through my head, ‘You are not the boss of me, little man.’ He cried and screamed downstairs while I cooked dinner in the kitchen. His complaint? He didn’t want to be downstairs. Does that warrant a total meltdown? Apparently so. Telling him to come upstairs sounds reasonable enough, but he wasn’t having it. I’m guessing he wanted me to come get him. He is 3; he can come upstairs on his own and does so all the time. I had 3 burners going on the stove and was not going to let Mr. Whiney master me.
Mr. Whiney turned into Mr. Sweaty-Screaming-Hyper-ventilating-Monster. He stayed that way until Mike came home to be greeted by Mr. Monster. Mr. Monster still cried when Mike carried him upstairs. He would not stop his shenanigans at all until he saw me come to him. It was as if his little mind were saying, “That’s right, Mommy. Bow down to me.” I held him just so he would calm down and not go into seizures, all the while telling him that he could come upstairs on his own and that I had to cook dinner and that this behavior was unacceptable. He actually humored me with a feeble, “Ok.”
Apparently the 10 minutes I held him wasn’t enough. When I attempted to put him in his chair for dinner, he lost it again. Mr. Monster quickly resurfaced. In full raging form, he stood up screaming bloody murder while we tried to tell him he had to sit in his chair for dinner. Then he did it. Throw up on the floor. WHAT?! I had heard of kids getting so worked up that they vomit but had never before witnessed it from my own children. Until then. Another lecture as I held him to calm him. He finally calmed down, sat in his chair and ate his dinner. In the end, I thought I had won that battle because I wasn’t the one to bring him upstairs and he did sit in his chair to eat. But later, I wasn’t so sure. He did get me to hold him an awful lot. Sigh. Mike wondered if he just gets to the point that he can’t control it. Perhaps. But there’s a small part of me that thinks he is craftily scheming “Ok, throw up now. Good one. Ok, sob and look pitiful now. Ok, show her who’s boss. That’s right. You sad, sad people (insert evil laughter here).” Crazy Connor has come to a whole new meaning. I haven’t even addressed his pooping issues (as you sigh in relief) either. If I make it to his 4th year (and without a severe alcohol addiction), I will consider myself as accomplished as any Nobel laureate.