Sentinel Progress

Battling a 2-year-old with a temper like mine

I say it all the time: my boys are twins, they just happened to have been born three years apart. But in truth, it’s not so much that they resemble each other (although they do, so much so that I have since labeled their baby pictures) it’s more that they both look exactly like their dad.

My husband has black hair, dark brown eyes and that naturally olive skin tone that brings pangs of jealousy to those of us forever resigned either copious amounts of sunblock or painful, peeling burns.

His genes were obviously dominant over my pale skinned, red-headed, freckled ones — and my boys dutifully followed genetic suit.

But there is one area where I can see myself clearly in my sons, although to be honest, I kind of wish they had skipped that part of the genome …

My kids — my youngest in particular — have terrible tempers.

I know this is all my fault.

At job interviews when asked “what my greatest flaw is” I lie and answer something like “too much dedication to the job” or “has a tendency to take work too seriously” — you know, safe, accepted responses. But let’s be honest, I’m the most impatient person I know.

Why not just tell the truth? Easy. If I was to ever admit that to a prospective employer, who would hire me?

“Yes, I have absolutely zero patience as well as a tendency to fly off the handle at any perceived injustice. Also, people in general tend to annoy me. When can I start?”

No, dude, you have to sneak that stuff in over time, well after they’ve grown accustomed to you.

But with my 2-year-old, Sam, there’s been no “easing” into it. He’s been in-your-face about … well … everything ever since he learned how to speak.

Honestly, at first I just thought it was a case of the “terrible twos.”

It seemed overnight that my cuddly, sweet baby suddenly became demanding, ornery, combative and just an all-around jerk. Can you call a 2-year-old a “jerk?” I don’t know, but I am.

Sam is the epitome of adorableness — and I’m not even sure that’s a word. He’s chubby, snugly, engaging and quick with a big cheeky smile. He’s the kid in the grocery store that says “hi” and waves to everyone. He’s the kid who will serenade you with endless verses of the Itsy Bitsy Spider. He’s the kid who will offer you his last red gummy bear — even though they’re his favorite.

But he’s also the kid who can throw a fit like you wouldn’t believe — and such was the case on Monday when I picked him up from my in-laws.

My husband’s mom and her husband are the best grandparents any Mom could ever hope for when it comes to their kids, with one fault: when it comes to their grand-boys, they don’t like to use the word “no.”

Chalk it up to “Grandparent’s prerogative,” whatever. They keep Sam for us twice a week while I’m at work and let that kid get away with murder.

Whatever he wants, he gets.

On Monday, what he wanted was to watch the garage door go up and down. Repeatedly.

I honestly don’t know how long they were out in the driveway indulging the toddler’s whims but I do know that when I pulled up after 5, they were still at it.

Now normally, when I show up to pick him up there’s a bit of a transition period. My mother-in-law and I tend to chat about our days, what’s been going on, etc. But that day, I really needed to go. My husband had a class to teach at 6, I had a council meeting to cover and a babysitter was on her way.

But no one mentioned any of this to Sam, who apparently wasn’t finished watching the garage door.

When I picked him up and started walking toward the car, he started kicking and screaming like a kidnapping victim. He lost it.

It took me a solid five minutes to strap him into his car seat due to his thrashing and escape attempts and his shouting got so bad, I honestly thought the neighbors might call the police.

Seriously, he went insane.

I always knew he had the propensity for — let’s just say ‘assertiveness’ — because I had seen warning signs and small flair ups around the house. But, in my limited defense, I had never witnessed a full-on freak out like this.

He didn’t stop screaming until we were half-way down Brushy Creek Road and in the course of his rage he even went so far as to remove his shoes and throw them — one at a time — at my head whilst driving.

(Like I said — jerk.)

I have faith that these behaviors will mellow in time. After all, there’s been plenty of times where I was so mad at someone that I (like Sam) wanted to throw my shoes at someone — but didn’t.

OK. Maybe not so much “mellow” as get drawn under control.

Either way, I know the shoe fits. Let’s see, in the future, how he wears it.

Strickly Speaking

Kasie Strickland

Kasie Strickland is a staff writer for The Sentinel-Progress and can be reached at Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not necessarily represent the newspaper’s opinion.