Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A guest post from the Baby to Be Named Later: On to the Terrible Twos!

It's a cold and dreary day in Chicago today, the kind of day where this Curmudgeon would gladly work from home -- if work from home were possible. These days, of course, Younger Daughter and the Baby to Be Named Later rule the den in the morning, watching at least one and maybe two episodes of "Play With Me Sesame" -- the same darn shows, over and over -- and just generally being enough underfoot that I never quite gear down to the point where I can accomplish anything substantive.

There are compensations, of course. This morning, I found a carefully folded note in the pocket of my trench coat (yes, it's June here, too, but it's downright chilly as well as damp here this morning). I've deciphered the scrawl as best I can -- I think Granddaughter No. 1's handwriting is actually worse than mine -- and I reproduce that here.

OK, I admit it Grampy. I'm not in the best of moods these days. I think the teeth have stopped erupting for the time being but, as you and Grammy note when you think I'm not listening, I'm starting to have tantrums. Yes, I'm loud. And I'm not just imitating you, Grampy, although you are a continuing inspiration to me.

I get frustrated so easily these days. I can climb up into any chair in the house, but I can't always get down. I want to use a spoon when I eat, but stuff keeps falling off it. I want to see new stuff. And I know there's good stuff up on the counters in the kitchen and on the bookshelves in the den (it's on the shelves that you hide the iPad, Grampy, and don't think I don't know it) so I reach up and grab whatever I can reach. One minute you and Grammy and Mommy and Daddy are praising me for being "soooo big" and then, in the next breath, you're yelling at me because I pulled a knife down off the counter. (It's kind of like a spoon isn't it? How come I can run around with a spoon and you all laugh but when I run around with a knife you all get so upset?)

And you're happy if I crawl up on a chair -- "such a big girl!" you all say -- but when I crawl onto the coffee table somehow it's a different story. It's no wonder I get upset.

But there are other reasons, too. I know, from reading over Mommy's shoulder when she's looking up parenting tips on the Internet, that kids my age are very imitative and want to do everything they see adults do. But you don't even let me see everything you're up to. I've got Mommy pretty well trained now; she knows better than to try and go to the bathroom by herself anymore -- but you and Grammy never let me in, even when I stand outside the door and scream. I know what the shower sounds like, Grampy, and I can open the sliding door when Mommy is in there. She usually lets me come in then, too. You and Grammy make sure to get your showers in when I'm still stuck in my crib. I ask you, is that nice?

The worst, though, is that I can't quite seem to get words out yet. A vocabulary of four or five words (mama, dada, agua, dog -- sometimes I pant when I say this so you figure out what I'm getting at -- or boo -- for balloon, Big Bird and Pooh Bear) is simply inadequate to express the complex ideas that are constantly rattling 'round my cranium. I have so much to say... and I just can't. If it weren't for the release provided by these occasional notes, I think I might explode.

Just the other night everyone said "good night" to me and Mommy scooped me up and headed for the stairs. No one asked me if I wanted to go to bed. I tried so hard to explain that I wasn't tired in the least, but all that came out was gibberish. It's no wonder I started screaming. (Mom said I went right to sleep that night, but I don't remember.)

There are so many things you do that seem so arbitrary to me. Like always putting on shoes before going out into the backyard. Putting on shoes takes time. Sometimes I want to go into the backyard right then but you, or Daddy, or Mommy or someone is always delaying things by looking for my shoes. I'd tell you where I put them -- but I can't, remember? And you don't seem to mind so much if I take the shoes off inside the house -- why should it make a difference in the backyard?

I've noticed, too, that when you want to go somewhere, you get your keys and your glasses and you just go. Well, don't you think that sometimes I want to go places too? I get tired looking at the same old toys all day long. I get my keys and the sunglasses Mommy got me and I head for the door but no one lets me go out. Yes, that gets me going again.

I've heard you and Grammy say I'm going into my Terrible Twos. I don't know what those are, but it doesn't sound good. Especially when you tell Grammy that some of my uncles are still in them.

You're kidding about that, right?

Anyway, I'm getting the distinct impression that somehow my tantrums are related to these Terrible Twos.


Grampy, you're not a bad guy. You give me animal crackers or pretzels even if Mommy frowns at you. You talk to me and pretend to understand me when I talk, even though we both know I can't express myself properly. And, of course, you read and publish my notes. But I don't think I'm going to able to stop these tantrums anytime soon. I'm really sorry about that.

1 comment:

Kacey said...

Dear Curmudgeon, As the mother of three, grandmother of eight and great-grandmother of almost three...I love you! Your insight into the mind of a two year old pretty much hits the nail on the head. Keep thinking like a preschooler and the World will be a lovely place for you and those around you.