THIS year promises to be an eventful year, thanks to my youngest son who has decided to hurtle into the ‘terrible twos’ at 25 months old.
For those of you not familiar with the terrible twos phenomenon, it’s when a child decides to assert its independence and opinions – usually loudly at the most inopportune moments, like the middle of a supermarket.
Pre-children, I’ll confess that I looked at the parents of tantrumming toddlers with rolling eyeballs, thinking ‘can’t they just control their child?’
Now I know, from first-hand experience, that if you try to tackle a toddler in a full on kicking and screaming tantrum, you risk serious injury – to yourself. I have been on the receiving end of an accidental head butt and cheek scratch on more than one occasion.
From the onset of the terrible twos, the next few months/years for parents are spent treading a very fine line between giving your child the independence they crave (‘I do it’ being my two-year olds favourite phrase at the moment); ensuring they don’t have a meltdown when you say ‘no’ and dishing out enough discipline to make sure they don’t become a precocious, spoiled brat. The joys of parenting!
Last week the story in the Derbyshire Times about a three-year-old in Newbold who was savagely attacked by a Japanese Akita dog was picked up by a national newspaper.
On this newspaper’s website hundreds of people commented that the mother should have been keeping a better eye on her child in order to avoid the attack. Easily said.
Children are naturally inquisitive. I welcome this. If nothing else it makes for some interesting conversations. Can birds do a loop-the-loop?’ was a recent head-scratcher asked by my five-year old son. Well, can they?
Kids are also quick and brilliant little escape artists. Or that could just be boys. I confess I look enviously at my friends’ daughters who always seem to be playing quietly and contentedly, while my boys are using the sofa as a trampoline.
That said, life is anything but dull with a couple of boisterous boys around; it’s keeping me young and giving me wrinkles in equal measure.
Regardless of your children’s gender it is every parent’s responsibility and priority to ensure their safety. For all our good intentions accidents will happen, but short of tethering them to us 24 hours a day I am not sure what the answer is.
I maintain Mother Nature got it wrong when she designed the female body. With every child we have we should grow an extra eye, preferably in the back of our heads, and an additional arm.
Strange-looking I know, but essential if you want to prevent a two-year old from sinking his teeth into your backside. I’m still not sure what hurt more – the bite or the realisation that my behind was low enough when I was standing for my son, who’s knee-high to a grasshopper, to bite it!