Normally I try not to write about anything that I wouldn't want to see in our local paper. However, I have an issue here that I have to discuss - if only to get my thoughts out of my head.
Claire has turned two.
Oh, I know she turned two back in March, but she has officially reached the "terrible twos." We can pinpoint the moment it happened (on Saturday evening at Uncle Brandon's). Ever since, it's been like invasion of the body snatchers here at the PB house. I feel like that Folgers Crystals guy is going to jump out at any moment and say, "We have secretly replaced the normally sunny, easy-going Claire with a very noisy ball of tiny, impotent rage - let's see if anyone notices!"
She can't just ask for things - she has to whine. Or scream. Or whiningly scream. Or screamingly whine. My formerly easy, compliant child has suddenly become a holy terror. I do not know what to do with her.
We went out for dinner with BJ's dad and step-mom last night. Of course Claire took the opportunity to be a raging brat. We thought she was just tired, but she started in with it again the moment she got out of bed this morning.
Mary Grace never did this to me. She's always maintained a baseline level of fussiness, but she didn't do this everything-sucks-and-no-one-is-doing-what-I-want-so-they-shall-be-made-miserable thing. Or maybe she did, but at the time Claire was only 6 or 9 months old, so I was too busy and too tired to notice? I don't know...
But I notice it now, and I don't know what to do with her. She's obviously frustrated. She's miserable. I'm miserable. I want to put her in a box and send her to Grammaland.
I know, it's just a phase. We'll get through it. I need to bring my A-parenting game and weather it with her, but it just drives me nuts that everything has to be so damn difficult! Things were just starting to get easy.
This morning at MOPS I held a 4 month old baby so her mom could do the craft, and she (the baby) was so quiet. All I had to do was hold her and pat her back, and shift her position when she got bunched up, and she was so happy. It made me realize that while I don't miss most of the first-year stuff - the spit up and the sleeplessness and the worry and the endless wardrobe changes, I do miss being able to make everything ok again simply by holding my girls and patting their backs. I miss the simplicity of it - babies cry because they're wet, hungry, or tired. They don't care what's on TV or whose turn it is to go first or whether or not they got the same thing as the other one.
I won't miss this phase when it's over, and I hope it's over really soon.