Thursday, January 7, 2010

Can the real two year old please stand up?

As I'm folding clothes, we're singing, "Old MacDonald." She's running around, going from one toy to the next while watching what I do. Once in while she comes over to help, pulls a shirt out of the hamper, rolling it around but putting them back. I am getting excited by the growing pile of neatly folded shirts... "wow," I think, " I'm accomplishing something!" Out of the corner of my eye, she moves so fast, I barely can process what is happening, my child pulls the entire pile of folded clothes down for like the millionth time in her short lifetime in an effort to "help" Mama fold Dada's shirts. SILENCE.

There I stand face to face with my child. My eyes are narrowed, my blood pressure is high and my face is clearly agitated. I stomp my feet and scream, "No, no, no! I just folded that... I hate folding clothes, I can't believe I have to do it all again. I hate double work. You always make me do double work. That was naughty, naughty, naughty," all the while wagging my finger at her. She looks at me, the giggling subsides as she realizes my fury. Her face freezes and all of her energy is on thought... she then holds up her finger, wags it back & forth stomps her feet and with the most angelic of smiles and sings, "Naughty, naughty, naughty, no help Mama."

She was making fun of me. I was totally having a tantrum~ no different from the many she has thrown. I wanted control in an uncontrollable situation. She had no clue that she wasn't helping me by throwing the clothes on the floor and crumpling them. That's what she thinks I do. She doesn't understand how jealous I am of her carefree existence (lol) while I have to do these chores. She has no clue that this is my most hated chore. In that moment, I am not an understanding rationale adult who is trying to teach a lesson... I am a 2 year old upset I did not get my way...

This was not the first time nor the last time there was a battle of the 2 year old wills. I try to remember I am the adult. Before my grandmother passed, she told me, "never make it a battle of wills, they'll always win; outsmart them." I realize now what she meant was if you fight a 2 year trying to act like a 2 year old, the 2 year old wins. However, outsmarting them isn't very easy... its not easy being the mature one.

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