Posted by: ladybughugs | December 15, 2008

Meltdown in Aisle Almost-Three

In like a bear, out like a lion?

Isn’t that an expression? No? Well, maybe it should be, because it describes Lil’bug’s third year perfectly.

She can be one of the most joyful, happy-go-lucky kids I’ve ever seen. Right up there with Scout. Exuberant is a good adjective for my kids when they’re in a good mood. When they’re in a great mood it goes up from there, exponentially. When they’re not, well….

Lil’bug just turned three. So that means we’re done with the Terrible Twos, right? Because I’m just so tired of fighting the same battles time after time after time. I’m tired of the emphatic ‘no.’ The say-no-first-ask-questions-later phase. I’m tired of the defiance, the irrational.

Or do the Terrible Twos just morph into the Torturous, Turbulent, Tumultuous, Thrilling Threes? Oh please, say no! We’ve had a couple of rip-roaring, knock-down, drag-out meltdowns in the past few weeks.

First, we were leaving Target and she wanted something and I said no. The deal was she had to behave in the store to earn a special treat. And she did behave…at the cash register. The rest of the store, not so much. She refused to stay in the cart. When she was out she refused to stay with me. She didn’t want the red card with the letters on it. Hello? We’re in TARGET! She wanted to go get another cart. So after paying for the one item I was able to find I proceeded to exit the store. She had a fit. I didn’t cave. I carried her, over my shoulder, out to the van, strapped her into her seat, and drove home. She screamed the entire way. She refused to walk into the house so I carried her, my purse, my tote bag, the Target bag, her lunch box, and her diaper-turned-change-of-clothes bag.

I sat her on the ‘naughty seat’ and she stood up. Over and over I sat her down…and she stood up. She. would. not. sit. She. is. stubborn. She would not admit that she had thrown her coat out of the cart onto the floor. I remained calm. I got down to her level. I focused only on getting her to sit until she was calm. It took at least a half hour. I was drained. Scout was upset. We she had effectively turned a peaceful, calm home into a turbulent mess.

Second, last week we were in our usual routine of getting ready to get out of the house in the morning. I don’t remember exactly what started it. She was supposed to do something that she refused to do. I sat her on the ‘naughty seat’ and it was all down hill from there. 40 minutes of full-on crying, screaming, refusing to sit, meltdown. I don’t have 40 minutes to babysit a temper tantrum. Sitting there for 40 minutes making her sit every time she stands up really puts a dent in my schedule. My morning is finely honed, I don’t even have five minutes! Plus, Scout and H get upset. It sends everyone’s day off balance.

It’s making me crazy. I never know what to expect. When I pick her up at preschool will she be ready to put her coat on and leave or will I have to coax her away from whatever she’s absorbed in and have to battle with her to put her coat on? She is almost never OK with me leaving in the morning, when I get back to pick her up she could care less. Oh, hi ma, nice to see you. See you later, when I’m done playing.

Right now I’m comparing the terrible-twos to a fireworks display. Fireworks start with a smaller pop here, a mini-burst there, and build to a tremendous crescendo. So it has been with my tantrummy toddler. I love fireworks, tantrums? not so much. I’m hoping they stop soon so I can get my happy-go-lucky little girl back.



  1. The good news… it gets better eventually.
    The bad news, then she turns into an almost teenager and it starts all over again. N-boo has me at the end of my rope these days!

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