A Screaming Two Year Old and a Christmas Miracle

I was going to do this wonderfully smug post about how much I really enjoy staying home with my kids and how I don't put them into daycare or anything until they start kindergarten.  It was my self- righteousness at its absolute best.

You would have loved it.  If you agreed with me, that is.

But then I had this day.  And now, I totally understand why they invented day-care and why stay at home mom's use them.  They invented them for my two year old.

You know, I never really understood the whole "terrible two's" thing that everybody is always talking about.  My first two children were really quite delightful at two.  They were gaining verbal skills, independence, personality and other endearing things.  Like they stopped going in their pants.


That must be why I had my third child.  She embodies the type of two year olds that people speak of.

Sometimes I wonder if her head is going to start spinning around in true "Exorcist" style.  So far, it hasn't happened, though she does shriek like she is possessed anytime I try to tell her to do anything, help her, suggest anything, try to wipe her bottom, etc, etc, etc.

Today the planets aligned for some truly perfect two year old moments.

My husband was south with our only car and so I set off to pick up my son at school on foot.  I actually like walking and I have a lovely stroller that my two little ones go in.

I step out the door and realize.....OH NO!  The stroller is still in the car!  I forgot to get it out.

That's OK.  I can do this!  I can!

I have inappropriate confidence issues, obviously.

So I strap the baby into a woven front carrier, I attempt to hold the two year old's hand, and my four year old's hand.  And we set off- on the one mile walk to my son's school.

She hates holding hands.  My two year old hates holding hands.  Not only did they invent day care for her, I think that child leash inventor invented THAT for her.  What kid hates holding mom's hand?!

In order to prevent massive casualties on the streets of my hometown I offer....the piggy-back.

We actually make much better time with her on my back.  Of course the baby is on my front, and I am now actually weighing more with these two kids strapped to me than I did at the end of my pregnancy.

The up side is I am most likely burning lots of calories.  The downside is that my mood is deteriorating as we get closer to the school.  Plus- the trip takes about twice as long, making me the hated....last mother at pick up.

Then the return trip.  Did I mention that the trip there is down hill?  That means the trip home is.......yeah.  Uphill.

Little one was not cooperating.  She screams.  She runs.  She tries to break into an abandoned tenement that surely houses some local vagrants.  Luckily she is one of the most non-judgmental people I have ever met so I am sure she will like the homeless as much as she likes me. 

Eventually I convince her to get back on my back again.  She relents, but finds it much more fun to wave her arms around rather than hold on.

Just as I am feeling quite the meanie head, a miracle occurs.  I am near tears.  I see salvation walking towards me.  A friend and neighbor has seen me and stopped to see if we needed a ride.  She is an answer to a prayer that I was too frustrated to utter.

Why the universe looks out for me when I am at my most bitter and cold, I will never understand.

Another miracle occurs.  My mom calls.  "Where are you?  Do you need a ride?"  My friend has picked up the kids (and she had car seats!) and my mom comes to pick me up.

We are home.  We even lucked out of the biggest hill.

What a magical end to a long walk.

There was one other thing though.  I arrive at home to find that.....the stroller was there all along.  Being sure that it was in the car, I never thought to check the shed.  My husband had thought ahead and made sure to take it out of the car and place it there for me before he left.

Note to self-
1)  Somebody up above loves you.
2)  But you should still always check the shed for the stroller.  Stop making assumptions mama!

My spunky two year old- I still love her.  And I am glad I have her.  She reminds me how much I still need to learn and how much you can love the difficult things in life.


Unknown said…
What a lucky break! That always happens to me too. Whenever I am losing faith, something happens to help me out. =) And I know how you feel, that is my 2 (almost 3 now) year old to a T. On days she does not go to nursery school, she absolutely has to get out to the park. If she is inside all day, the house looks like a bomb exploded. And I want to rip my hair out and go to bed at 7pm hahah.
Adria said…
Don't know if you follow Heather and Sean's blog but she just wrote an entry about her spirited 5 year old. She tried to head out the door to church with no panties. I've been fighting my second, who still isn't potty trained, and our pediatrician tried to re-assure me by saying that at least they won't follow the crowd during their teenage years. My your patience hold out. Enjoyed the post.
Mary said…
THANK YOU for this! I am glad to know I"m in good company with an..ahem...spirited toddler. My husband and I laughed so hard over the pictures. You described my walk to pick up my kids at school so well- mine is only down the street, but she refuses to walk, refuses to hold hands, refuses the stroller, and now refuses the ergo.

Very sweet of your hubby to remember the stroller for you! :)
Lani said…
Yes. Yes. Yes. THANK YOU.

This is just what I needed to read.

This especially hit home...

She is an answer to a prayer that I was too frustrated to utter.

Why the universe looks out for me when I am at my most bitter and cold, I will never understand.

I love you!!!!
My youngest daughter was a lot like that at 2. In fact, I remember tearfully telling my husband in the middle of the night, when she was around 9mo old, that I was glad she wasn't our first because I was pretty sure I would never have signed up for another if she had been. Oh how I loved her but being her mom was so HARD.

She's five now and out of my three kids she's still the most spectacular in her moods. But she's also one of my best little friends EVER. It does get better. New challenges arise, of course, but in my experience, these little pistols just have so much energy and so much curiosity that the spend the first several years of their lives in a state of constant frustration because they simply cannot do all of the things they want to. The more independent my little hellion becomes, the happier she is.

Ironically, she's quite the snuggle-bug, when she's in the mood.
Living Lavallee said…
"... love the difficult things in life" Yes - that sums up my children! We just had to give up our van - ship it to the US so it will hopefully be there when we get there. So now I get to depend on buses and taxis and the one hooptie we have that doesn't fit us all without doubling up - which is a-ok in Korea.