Saturday, 9 May 2009


So far, the terrible twos haven't been terrible really. In fact, Cubling is sweeter than ever and it's getting easier by the day to positively challenge her never ending energy. She's even occasionally been seen to focus her attention for some time on one task. We've been spared full flung tantrums so far, to my utter astonishment: As a so called spirited child, I was prepared for them. But fortunately, while Cubling is strong minded she's also open minded and easily enthused, which makes it easy to distract her and offer alternatives when we do have to say no.

Of course, she still won't hold my hand and will run off when in a china shop, on the road or some other dangerous location. And run off good and proper, so fast and agile that a serious mummy dash is needed. She still throws herself on the floor and giggles in an attempt to escape my iron grip, or hangs herself off the reigns if I opt to use them for a change. Still, now that she can speak, it gets rather simple to tell her not to whine but to tell us what she's after. It doesn't work all the time, and there's still a lot of whining, but it works better each day.

Or so we thought until a new concept entered her mind and vocabulary a couple of days ago. The magic word is self or selbst - as with anything really important to her, she's able to say it in both languages, handy that it's rather similar. Cubling wants to do things herself, thank you very much. She insists on putting on her shoes, her jacket, her nappy, her trousers etc herself. She also insists on brushing her teeth herself, pushing the buggy herself, getting into the car seat herself, buttering the toast herself.

While I'm all for my little girls independence, there's a limit to how much time I want to spend on letting her put on her shoes the wrong side on the right foot five times a day. If the magic demand of "self" is not heeded, hear wrenching crying is bound to ensue.

Of course, the eating business is still not a self area. Instead, we get Mummy do that! very much still. She'll insist on getting fed even fingerfood which she has been able to manage easily for at least a year, and spoons? Well, we do need two spoons at each meal, one for her, one for mummy, but do you think her spoon would ever make the way from bowl to mouth? She can do it, but HER spoon clearly is for stirring, transferring food from bowl to table or to floor, while mummy's spoon has Cubling's mouth written on it.

So independence is self selective. Cubling decides where she wants to be a big girl and where she'll still be the baby. So the last couple of days have been full of arguing, dressing her for outdoors with tears and snot pouring out of her, the closest to a temper tantrum that we've experienced so far, but also full of giggling as she puts on yet another pair of shoes, followed by a broad smile of infinite pride when she does manage to put them on.

Being a two year old has never been easy.


Maternal Tales said...

Aaah...yes - terrible twos!! We have daily tantrums in this house...I'm not finding it easy at all! With my first I never found it a problem - I think with one child you have time and energy to be patient and creative with the discipline and distraction. I find it much harder with the second...I try to discipline but am either exhausted or occupied with the first. Not easy being a Mummy or a two-year-old!

cartside said...

Definitely! It must be so much harder with two. I'm still suprised that so far, our tantrums have been very short and manageable. Of course, as soon as I wrote this, we had our first longish tantrum (about bedtime) but even that was more understandable protest than leg kicking screaming or similarly volatile behaviour.

zooarchaeologist said...

you have just made me feel so much better :)

Linda said...

Aw, your post brings back happy - but chaotic - memories!

Also - just wanted to say I have responded to your comment on - I think you make some very fair points and it would never be my intention to criticise another mum - so I have explained what I meant in my comment there! Thanks again for commenting. x

cartside said...

no worries Linda, I didn't feel that criticised, just never thought anyone could find my girl anything but cute, even if she climbed up on neigbouring chairs and ate the food off other customers' plates... I'm rather biassed that way ;) Usually it's me who gets sick of having to run after her and who decides eating out is more hassle than joy - nevermind other people around me.



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