Well, apparently I was in some sort of lack-of-sleep induced haze when my older three went through the terrible-twos. Either that or we were so busy they didn't have time to wreak havoc. OR I had enough energy to beat the terrible-twos out of 'em. After giving this considerable thought, I think it was a combination of all three.
Now that I am virtually alone with this last two-year old, I am older than God, and I am pretty tired most of the time - we IS GOING THROUGH HELL. It happened about a week ago and apparently the terrible twos come on very similar to a hurricane. It is somewhat forecast (because they are one and then they are TWO), but then it is here and the weather people are telling you what to expect on a scale of 1-5, but they are somewhat unsure until it starts raining whether it's going to be a complete disaster, or just a little heavy rain.
From what we have now - baby L. is going to be a 5 on the going to hell in a hand basket scale (five being complete demise and destruction - "one" being just a little bad weather).
A week ago I could tell baby L. to "Go play with your toys," or "Put that there," or "Oh, you need - fill in the blank - okay wait one second and we'll get it." And she was FINE. Now, half my time is spent saying, "Do you need a time-out?" and the other half is spent assessing the damages, and the other half is spent (yes, I know) wondering how the hell this happened and just wanting to take a nap (away from her)?????
L. has adopted these unpleasant behaviors: working herself up into a frenzy over the craziest things (like wanting to eat when it is in fact dinner time and she's been told to 'get in her chair,' or wanting to go to school when it's not a school day, or someone actually wanting to play with her, or someone not wanting to play with her) and then lying down wherever she is (yesterday it was the Halloween Store) and kicking and screaming for anywhere from 1 to 20 minutes, throwing toys or books or her pacifier (yes, she uses one now), or her food, or her plate, talking gibberish (more than the usual), climbing on any furniture, screaming for no reason or any reason, and basically doing anything she can to get attention.
Now, frankly, I cannot remember what the parenting books say about this and I am not sure I care anymore. I have gotten rid of all the parenting books (being that I am an expert now - HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! no because seriously sometimes they are just annoying) and I don't have the energy to do much about it. So, I am now wondering two things - what does this mean for now, and more importantly - what does this mean for later?????????????????
And in my usual vein of answering my own questions (with more questions) I have deduced the following: I was the last of 10 (yes, you read that right), my mom had me when she was 45 (she's passed on now and I am not telling you how old she was when she passed on, so don't even think about figuring out how old I am) and she must have been plumb exhausted raising me, and (here's the critical part) - I turned out mostly normal. I usually refrain from throwing fits (in public anyway), I don't throw things anymore (except when I am really, really mad), and for the most part I do what is expected of me.
So, my basic parenting strategy till baby L. is three? Do nothing and hope for the best, when there is damage, fix it, and try to keep the hurricane on the coast. Again, wish me luck, say a prayer, send those good vibes my way, and I will let you know how this is working later. Right now I need to scoop her up off the floor from where she is screaming and put her in her room. ;o) Tally-ho and have a great Monday.