This past week, it has become abundantly clear that we are now housing a two year old. Like a really TWO 2-year old. And all the cliches and glories that come with it.
Luke has always been a pretty good tempered kid/baby. He is easy to laugh and loves nothing more than a good chase around the house. He's the first at the door to tell the UPS man, "HI!!!!" and grabs the hand of the kid who is hesitant to come into the nursery at church to pull him in the door. He runs to watch the school bus and the garbage trucks come by the house. He oohs and ahhs over airplanes and stars in the sky, and just about lost his mind over seeing the Christmas lights pop up around the neighborhood.
And he's still that same kid...but now with his brand new bonus alter ego: Mr. Whiny McAngryson.
He flips out when I take away the pacifier he's stolen from his brother. He throws the computer out the door when I tell him he can't go outside (True story. Thank God for insurance plans). He lays flat out on the sidewalk when I dare to go left when he wants to go right. Whenever I tell him he can't have something, he takes said object and chucks it as far as he can. He won't tell you he is hungry or thirsty, he just grabs at your arm and whines for minutes on end until you get up so he can drag you to the kitchen where he says, "COOKIE" over and over until he melts down when you say, "No, it's 9AM, you can't have a cookie."
He tests boundaries and pushes my buttons like never before. At first, I wrote it off as semantics. He still doesn't talk very well, so when he got the nuances wrong, I thought it was accidental. I ask him to sit at the table for lunch, and he sits ON the table to eat. I ask him to hand me his shoes, and he will put them on the opposite side of the room. But along with doing these things, he now looks me in the eyes, gets a sly little smile on his face, and does the exact opposite of whatever I ask him to do.
By the time Travis gets home in the evening, I feel like Luke and I need a referee. My nerves are so shot from dealing with it all day, that I blow minor infractions out of proportion. Last night, as I was dealing with Luke, I heard Travis talking to Samuel who he was holding in the living room, and saying, "Mommy is exasperated."
And that's it exactly. After two or three hours of his non-stop alter ego showing up, I am exasperated. I literally want to put him in the backyard and lock the door so he can't get back in until I am ready to deal with him again. (Don't worry...I'd give him a jacket first and I'd probably check to make sure the gate was locked.)
To top it off, he is hit or miss on taking an afternoon nap now. If he doesn't take a nap, by 5 o'clock, he just doesn't have the emotional stamina to even have remotely rational responses to anything. Spaghetti for dinner? Melt down. Take a bath? Epic meltdown that includes him valiantly trying to keep you from taking his clothes off (Which okay...it's kind of funny to see him lose his shit just because you dare to take his arm out of his shirt. But whatever, I'm only human.).
As with all stages, I know this will pass. But please, don't tell me how much worse 3 year olds are. I've already heard the rumors. I hope that by then I will not be pumping anymore, so at least I can have a drink at the end of the night.