Does anyone remember being two years old? Doesn't it seem like being two is a crucial year in development? And how did age 2 become known and criticized as the "terrible two's?"
So there we were. Everyone happy. Indulging, smiling, appreciating and easy. And then Christmas came. Let's take a look at how we really spent our Christmas.
4 straight days of opening presents, eating cookies and candy everywhere we go, new toys and noises everywhere she looked, staying up hours after our usual bedtime, different cousins to play with each and every day and hoards of doting grandparents and adults accommodating her every whim. For 4 days straight.
Ah yes, Elaina was living the good life. Weren't we all? And then, we came home. Christmas was over, no more presents, back to our same old routine. Just then, something must have clicked on in Elaina's brain telling her that her same 'ol, same 'ol wasn't nearly as much fun as Christmastime. Within a week after Christmas, we began to see more of a temper from our otherwise calm little angel. Oh, and then we had some dispute of who made the rules around our house. With more frequency after that, there was the meltdown saga of my child acting like she had lost her ever-loving mind when she was told "no." Oh dear God! How did this all happen? One word: Christmas.
That's all I've got. It had to have been the spoils of Christmas ruining my child before my very eyes. And all the while, I was absorbed in the whole "magic of Christmas" facade. Hmmph! The magic was that my darling girl was turning into a spoiled brat.
Right away, you have to know how much that pains me to think of Elaina as a brat, but seriously, the behavior that has been rearing it's ugly head over the past (almost) three weeks, has been hard to deal with. Before Christmas we enjoyed giving and accommodating because she was so appreciative and she could accept a compromise. After Christmas, every toy throughout our house was labeled "mines." As if her greed wasn't bad enough, she was using an incorrect plural. Not the time or place for a grammar lesson. Hello! Not letting her get her way was met with a complete and utter meltdown, tantrum, fit-fest.
The worst part is that Eric isn't always around in the evening and most nightly meltdowns were directed solely at mean, old, Mommy here. Immediately, she would go into her "I want Daddy!I want Daddy!I want Daddy!" mode. The nights that Eric was around to witness Dr. Jeckyl's child, he provided great reinforcement and we presented together as a team. That was so important and once Elaina became sane again, we would make up and move on. The biggest problem is that when I get home from work, I already have a limited number of hours with her and Lincoln in the evening and a portion of them are reserved for making dinner, bathing some children every other night, reading books and going about our standard bedtime routine. Throw in a temper- tantrum-meltdown and my whole night instantly sucked.
Now, have you noticed that the majority of my story is in past tense? Well, thankfully we seem to be over the mood swings and bringing our little diva back down to earth. It's true that last week, Elaina got a no-diaper-spanking on her bottom (to which Grandma H. was very concerned and HELLO, you gave me spankings too!) and today we dealt with a 2 minute time out today for not accepting that the snack she was requesting (30 minutes before dinner) and throwing her snack trap-approved- snack across the floor was not going to be tolerated. Basically, Elaina is having to re-learn that she doesn't always get her way and that sometimes she will be told no and that the world doesn't always revolve around her. It's been a challenging and difficult road for all of us and I'm thankful that we seem to be heading in the right direction at this point.
Grueling, I tell you. Whoever said this parenting business would be easy?
Yeah, nobody. That's who.