February 1, 2011

I Don't Love That

It's been a rough week, folks.  Despite the attempts to occupy my son with fun stuff like playing with snow, both outdoors
and inside,
it's been a trying week for Chris and I.  Soren has latently entered the terrible twos, after spending much of the last few months in the "tender" twos, with plenty of kisses and hugs and generally agreeable behavior.

This week has been filled with so much angst and emotion about the most random things. For example, over the weekend I was mopping the floor when S came back from The Little Gym with his dad.  Soren immediately started crying/screaming that he didn't want me cleaning, especially near the train table.  Sheesh, it's not like I really wanted to be doing that either kiddo.  And yesterday, he angrily told me he didn't want me doing the dishes!
Mr. Sourpuss, angry at the camera and at my kisses.
He goes off on just about everything, not wanting to eat his pasta, then wanting to eat it, anger at Chris for making coffee, and earlier this morning he was angry that the snow pile outside had shunk (it hadn't) and that he didn't like the window he was looking out of.  It was hard for Chris and I to keep our snickering secret.
He's also taken to using the phrase "I don't love that!" when talking about, well, just about anything.  You'd think would reserve it for the things he majorly hates, like diaper changes (yeah, we're still in the potty training struggle), but again, it's just aimed at random things like "I don't love that chair anymore!" or "I don't love that boot!" 

To top it off, his complaints are usually voiced in that whiny, annoying voice that so grates on a parent's nerves.  It's been so hard keeping cool in these situations, and dealing with it mindfully rather than just reacting, which often means angrily on my part.

My guess is that this is yet another phase, one that expresses independence and frustration, especially since children often have so little control and autonomy in their lives.  I try my hardest to keep my emotions under control, but it's been a long, long, long winter, and it's not even over! Add to the fact that I'm pregnant and emotional and tired already, and you can understand why my patience would be extra thin.

I considered myself lucky all year, having skirted around the terrible twos, however I'm eating my luck this week.  How did you (or do you) deal with your kids through this phase?  Is ignoring the behavior best, or do you just give extra hugs and kisses?


  1. I pretty much just walked away when that happened. I didn't want to give them any extra attention when they were being obstinate or whiny. Thank goodness everything is a phase!

  2. Oooh I'm so glad you posted this so that I know I'm not alone.

    My oldest is 2.9 yrs and it's really bad some days. He also does the "I dont love this and that". One day he said "I no love you anymore". I cried of course. Never expected that from my 2 yr old. Maybe a teenager.

    He doesn't say that very much anymore but we've been sternly telling him that it's not acceptable for a couple of months now. My best advice is don't react to it at all or he'll keep doing it.

    It's like our terrible two's really started when he could totally express himself with words. Something that's helped though is telling him "if you're mad, yell in the pillow and get it all out so you're not mad anymore". It diffuses the situation and sort of distracts him. He usually yells and then laughs.

    I also have a 4 month old and I wanted to tell you that my oldest loves his little brother soooo much. He's always helpful when it comes to him. He kisses him all day.... I've read of some kids the same age not adjusting as well.... While I was pregnant I made sure to talk about the baby every single day. We sang to him, we talked about what would happen when I went to the hospital, we talked about everything! every day.. and when he got here my son adjusted very very well.. so although he has his terrible two's at least he's not mean to his brother!

    Good luck!

  3. First, here is a hug, and some earplugs from me to you. This is a tough phase!!!

    As far as the whining goes, for the most part, there's not much you can do about it. I usually tell my children that I can't hear whining, only sweet voices, or if the whining is turning to nagging, they go to time out, in order to calm them down!

    When my kids become angst ridden, I usually respond with extra snuggles and kisses...often, they just want some attention! :)

  4. my twin boys found everything "stupid". it was horrible I could do nothing the way they wanted. they could do nothing that was not stupid.
    there was running around screaming, hitting things and people in frustration, destroying things just for fun.
    I did the two things I do best: talk and listen.
    they need to learn how they are feeling and that there are ways to communicate them.
    today they are 4 3/4 Yeas, the second week at home sick and behave like 2 year olds.
    So I do what I did then, make them sleepy and bring them into bed one hour early.

  5. Oh that last face says it all. :(

    Unfortunately I feel your pain. Her phrase is "I don't want..." or "I don't {insert verb here}". It's been a patience tester and I have lost my patience and snapped more than I care to admit.

    Today after a trying potty session filled with "I don't want to potty" and then rebutted with "I need to potty" I lost my cool. She cried and so did I. After we calmed down I told her sometimes Momma doesn't get things right, sometimes I make mistakes and I apologized. I still feel horrible though.

    As far as the testing independence goes I generally let her speak her mind, as long as it's respectful and not mean. If she starts veering that direction I nip it immediately and redirect her.

    I hope the rest of your week is smoother!

  6. I have four boys, and the "terrible twos" were a breeze compared to the "ferocious fours." For some reason, the fours were always the worst! Wish I could offer some advice. Just be prepared! And it will pass (eventually)...

  7. Oh yes, I do remember those days...please don't forget to sprinkle in discipline with the hugs and kisses...sometimes they just feel their lives are spinning out of control and discipline can realign things as well, bring it back into perspective so to speak. Time outs are wonderful ways to cool down and learn that talking back (or fits, or what have you) is inappropriate behavior, followed up with the hug and kiss that you both so desperately need! Good luck, and this too shall pass!!!

  8. I, too, am thankful for this post so I know that I am not alone. Thank you.

    We're balancing discipline with lots of love and hugs. We also treat each situation after evaluating what's really going on--if we have trouble when she's overtired or hungry, we take that into account and try to deal with that more than the infraction. I've also noticed my toddler is crankiest after watching TV or a movie (it doesn't matter what kind)--we have the best days when no TV is involved in our lives, which is harder for me to part with than my toddler ;-)

  9. The "terrible two" phase is said to fall sometime between 20 months and four years of age. With my daughter it was only about a month right before she turned two. We would explain why what she was doing was not ok, or ask her to use her words then ignore the tantrums, or in the rare case that she threw a tantrum in a dangerous place, then she was moved to carpet and behavior ignored.

    With my son, whose third birthday is only a few weeks away I thought, "maybe it's not going to happen?" Clearly he and Soren have been talking, though and in the last week and a half we have been riding the emotional roller coaster.I explain, and ignore and hope that it passes soon!

  10. I feel your pain. Luke is in his terrible twos and since Jake skipped this stage, decided he would just have terrible threes instead. It is Fabulous.

    I wait until they are calm enough to give some loving. They are so miserable in their little heads at this stage. You can just see the turmoil when you look in their eyes. They just don't know what they want and don't know know why they are so upset. I liken it to when I am PMSing and just can't stop when I snap at anyone who dares to cross my path. I want you to imagine the perfect storm when all 3 of us are having our "moments."

    My opinion is that they really need to know that no matter what they don't love at that moment, you still love them. I don't tolerate bad behavior and let them know they are misbehaving and that the attitudes/speech/actions are not allowed. I just keep trying to mirror the right words/actions/tone I want them to say/do and take a moment each day to scream into a pillow as needed. A visit to their rooms to "think" aka: keeping me from throwing them across the room, is also a good tactic for us. Keeps them alive and me out of jail at the very least.
    Hang in there!

  11. Oy! Your little stinker makes adorable frownie faces. So far we are still living with the tender twos, and the terrible twos only make appearances before nap time and such. I think ignoring bad behavior is a smart option, followed with lots of love after the tantrums have passed. I am sure you give S plenty of attention throughout the day, and that you are doing all sorts of things right, even though I GET what you mean about being tired and emotional and pregnant yourself. ;)

  12. Oh dear o.O

    It DOES sound like you're having a rough go of things...I really think it's the end of winter-The last few months of winter are always the most trying.

    Good luck with everything though!!


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