Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Independent Stinker

I would not say that my child has an independent streak.  To say that would suggest that there are times during the day when he actually follows my requests without question.  No, Kyle is a true revolutionary soldier, ready to fight for freedom from tyranny (Daddy) at all times, and at all costs.  The problem is, he strategizes like a two-year-old.  Half the time you don't know what he wants, and he doesn't know either.

The other night Kyle ran around the apartment with unzippered, half-open jeans.  I had put them on myself, which was a big mistake.  Kyle wanted to dress himself, after wanting to change his own diaper.  Oh, my life would be so much easier if he could actually change his diaper, but, after seeing his attempts, I doubt any diaper changed by my son would be effective, unless his face suddenly leaked.  So, I fought him with the diaper change, and then I fought him with the jeans.  Kyle wanted to put them on himself, but he wanted to wear them half-backwards and half upside-down at the same time, which is scientifically impossible.  No matter how much I reasoned with him, Kyle refused to accept the laws of physics and clothing design, and he kicked and screamed when I took over and worked to put the pants on the right way.  He then ran across the room and stared at me, his face turning purple and crying as if I just stabbed his legs.  That's why I didn't bother with the zipper.

(Above: Your dinner guest for this evening)
This is what life has become in the Age of the Tantrum.  Sure, Kyle has put up fights before, but over the past month he has become as unstable as one-hundred-year-old dynamite, while becoming even more determined to do things himself.  Don't open that door for him.  Don't get the stool to help him wash his hands.  Don't make that sandwich yourself.  Don't buckle him into his high chair.  Don't drive that car.  Should you dare try to do anything HE wanted to do - KABOOM!   WAAAAAH!  Purple face.  And that's when it becomes nutty: the door he wanted open he now wants closed.  The stool he wanted to get himself he doesn't even touch.  He doesn't want a sandwich anymore.  He refuses to release the parking brake.  The kid flip-flops more than a politician.  You just can't win. 

So, our home has become a lot more noisy.  Our landlady used to rave about how well-behaved our little guy was, always cheerfully going up and down the stairs with his dad, saying "hi" to passers-by politely, and with a big smile.  I can't imagine her feeling quite that way now, especially after our entrance on Saturday, when we opened the front door with a screaming Kyle at my chest, legs kicking as I carried him all the way up the stairs.  Prior to that, he had been screaming down the block and at our front gate, which he apparently wanted open and closed at the same time.  What triggered this?  Kyle did not want ME to remove him from the car seat.  He wanted his mommy.  His pregnant mommy.  He wanted her to squeeze into the thin space between the car and a snowbank at the edge of the road, twist herself around so that she could get into the back seat, unbuckle him, and then, with her feet still unstable, drag his limp body out of the car.  I was not going to let that happen, so boom went the dynamite.

Going out is not easy, either.  Just putting on socks and boots took about a half-hour today because Kyle wanted to do them himself and wouldn't let me come close to his feet.  The problem was, he didn't know how, and he wouldn't let me teach him.  I had to threaten to leave without him before he gave up and let me put them on.  Just be glad nobody's counting on the two of us to put out a fire or stop a burglary.

Okay, okay... I realize that some of my recent posts aren't too flattering of two-year-olds.  You might even think it's dreadful to be a parent of one.  It's not, even if this stage of parenting is exhausting.  There are still plenty of wonderful times to offset the bad ones, and moments of tranquility (nap time).  And many times it's fascinating to observe.  I'm amazed at just how much Kyle wants to do on his own, and how much he wants to be in control.  He's constantly telling me where to sit and what to read (at least he's saying "please," a small victory for me).  He still has much to learn, but he acts like he already knows it all.  Some adults act like this, too, and now I think they acquired these behaviors at age two and never grew up. 

Kyle will also say "no" to things simply because I suggested them.  He wants everything on his terms, not mine.  But there's usually a way to get him to comply without a fight.  When a fight does happen, though, Daddy almost always wins.  That's because Daddy has the ability to pick Kyle up, put him in his crib, and shut him in his room... whenever he wants to.  I think Kyle realizes that, too, and, after a while, he tends to fall in line.  There will be no revolution today.

No comments: