I tempted fate. Will I ever learn? I found myself uttering to friends and co-workers that I hadn't thought the "terrible twos" were all that bad. We have had a few tough moments with Ella, but nothing unmanageable. How I needed to keep my mouth shut (probably more often that I am willing to admit)!
The past few weeks Ella has been a volatile 2-year old with unbelievable strength. I have half-seriously joked that my child was missing because at times I didn't recognize her. The tears, the anger, the fits, the frustration. Separately, I can handle them but when they come pouring out of her at the exact same time, it is tough -- very tough. The worst times are mornings and at bedtime. I have never been a morning person, but bedtime previously had been a special bonding time for Ella and I. Lately, I have been dreading bedtime, absolutely dreading. Sadly, some nights I would find myself more willing to clean the house than battle with my child.
Tonight's meltdown was ugly. It was nasty. I had an indicator that a meltdown was coming when at daycare, Ella refused to cooperate in any manner as we attempted to leave the center. Officially though, tonight's fit started at the hair salon, continued through the drive home and ended at the house. During that time, she attempted to rip the necklace from my neck, clawed, hit, screamed and kicked. It is heart breaking to witness my child so upset and her refusal to accept any comfort. Fortunately, we managed to salvage the evening. It took some time but eventually deep belly laughs replaced fits of tears and frustrations. Again, I was worried if the emotions would switch back at bedtime.
For the most part, bedtime had been sailing along fairly easily, I was waiting with bated breath for the moment when it would immediately take a turn south. The primary instigator is almost always putting on her pjs. Tonight, the top went on without a struggle, but she was resisting changing her pants. After a few direct requests and battling my bubbling frustration, I asked Ella if she had her listening ears on. She indicated she didn't as she reached down to the ground, grabbed imaginary ears and hung them off her head. I then asked, "Now what did mommy say?" Without missing a beat, my child matter-of-factly answered, "Do you have your listening ears on?"
Levity filled the room and I could only laugh. Mike teased me, "Wow, you got burned." Oh yes, I did. And yes, bed time continued on without any tears.