Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Terrible Triplet Twos: 24 month installment

It's not so much that these installments are really all TERRIBLE, it's just that they are boundary testing.  This, I realize from a developmental perspective, is a positive direction for the trio.  However, from a parenting perspective it is, let's just say, challenging.  But also, quite often, hysterially funny. 

Little bit has to lead off the developmental milestone discussion this month because she is clearly developing at a rapid pace.  Always independent, she is now also quite opinionated.  (I have no earthly idea where she gets that.)  This was most recently expressed in the form of her music preferences.  She loves music.  But prior to this past week, she's largely accepted whatever music we play for her.  Not anymore.  While tooling around town on our girls weekend, she loudly and clearly voiced her displeasure about anything playing on the radio that did not satisfy her musical sensibilities.  I try to keep the radio on KSBJ so I can be confident that the kids won't pick up any bad words or messaging.  But if a song came on that she didn't like, she would say, "NO!"  She would continue saying "no" as I scanned through stations until a song burst through playing a tune she favored.  Then she would say, "yes" and begin car dancing.  If I wasn't always driving when this happened I would video the entire scenario so you could experience it firsthand.  Maybe one day when Bray's driving I will be able to adequately capture my music critic.  As a result of this development, mommy was treated to an ecletic array of music including: country (which I hate), Mexican polka (which I'm beginning to appreciate), and Madonna (which takes me back to high school).  No, I can not explain this trifecta of music, I'm open to your thoughts.  Furthermore, she is now attempting feats of greater daring than ever.  Her current favorite is to stand on the arm of the couch and do a variation on Randy Savage's elbow strike with her knee (yes, I googled famous wrestling moves because she looks like a WWF wrestler) into some area on my body most prone to bruising.

While the dame is practicing her independence, the eldest is exerting his defiance.  Opinionated in his own way, his focus is on getting what he wants when he wants it and then immediately not wanting it anymore.  Talk about a rollercoaster.  I've always said he's Mister Affectionate, and he truly is, but the wild swings between lovable toddler and angry madman has me spinning.  He was a very mildmannered baby but I knew he had a temper at an early age because, rarely, if he didn't get what he wanted (i.e., held) he could scream in such a tremendous sustained fashion that it would set off the monitor he wore when he was released from the NICU.  I would be sitting there staring at the babies lined up in their bouncy seats while hooked up to a double electronic breastpump, trying to make milk for the masses and sooth three month olds, and he could get so furious that suddenly the monitor would start alarming.  Talk about freaking out a new mom - goodness.  Well, whatever THAT was is back.  With a vengenance.  And while I adore my sweet darling loving oldest son, I'm ready for this period to be OVER.   On the affectionate side, he wants to hold everything now, so he lifts and cups his hands together in front of his face and scrunches up his eyes seeking for me to allow him to hold whatever he's currently in love with - lately it's been birds and the moon - tough to teach a 2 year old why you can't hold the moon.  From a learning perspective, he's really piling on the words faster than ever.  We can say a word and he can repeat anything back (yikes).  Oh, and at his 2 year old well visit, he was 33 pounds and 3 feet tall!  He's going to be big (95% for height and 90% for weight), and handsome - with a huge smile and gorgeous hair. 

Which brings us to the darling little man.  He is so funny.   He laughs so much.  He has been getting so tickled that his face will split in two with whatever the latest funny thing is.  And he most vocally reacts to us doing silly things - he thinks it is fabulous.  He's also added a new dance move (they all three dance, but he's not previously been the most enthusiastic) - he has a little jump step with a back and forth motion which is a fun new addition since the little lady's side to side monster mash is what everyone was previously copying.  He'd been the slowest to pick up language, but is now catching up quickly.  He gets angry too though, and VERY frustrated if he doesn't get his way.  It is tough to know what will set him off though so trying to anticipate a melt down is impossible.  Today it was that I did not allow him to unpack the mega roll of toliet paper after our Sam's run into the garage where he felt, for some reason, it should go.  This led to an all out tug of war in our driveway trying to explain why the toliet paper needed to be taken into the house and him vehemently disagreeing with my recommendation.  While he is exerting is his independence, he strikes me at this point as the least opinionated of the three and one that can actually be talked down from a tree.  This comforts me because the other two are in such a brazen phase that I don't think I could handle a third.  He says knee, and pats my knee, and brings me a book so that he can sit on my knee and read together.  That melts my heart every time. 

So see, it's not all terrible.  It is challenging.  And exhausting.  But fascinating.  I feel like I have a science experiment going in my house watching different genders and different personalities all develop their own style and language and path.

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