The Terrible…18 months??

We’ve reached a new milestone in the Engle household – the terrible twos.

The thing is Lily is not even two yet. We thought we had a solid six months before having to deal with this, but somehow it just snuck its way in. It’s really not fair.

Her new favorite word is no.

“Lily, do you want to take a bath?” “No!”

“Lily, do you want to color?” “No!”

“Lily, do you want a cookie?” “No! (pause) Cookie?!?”

She knows she is being bad. If you tell her not to go behind the TV or pull on the table runner or throw her food on the floor or pull the cat’s ears or whatever it is she’s doing that she’s not supposed to, she just stares at you with a sheepish grin and s-l-o-w-l-y continues whatever it is she shouldn’t be doing.

If we leave the room for a minute, she will actually lie on the floor and kick her feet. The first time I witnessed this, I was in shock. I thought this type of thing only happened in TV shows or movies!

And I swear if someone walked past my house while I was putting clothes on her or changing her diaper, I would be arrested for abuse. I don’t think I have ever heard screams this loud in my life.

She doesn’t do this with my parents or at daycare or with anyone else that babysits her.

Nope. Just. Us.

My sister just recently sent me this funny definition of a toddler:

Tod-dler  (noun)

Emotionally unstable pint-sized dictator with the uncanny ability to know exactly how far to push you towards utter insanity before reverting to a lovable cuddle-monster.

This could not be truer. It’s really hard to get mad or stay mad when after her tantrums she comes up and kisses or hugs you, laughs, or starts having a conversation with you like nothing ever happened.

But as cute as she can be afterward and as easy it is to quickly forget the melt-down, we realize it’s not something that we can just ignore.

We have tried so many things to curb this behavior.

We’ve tried not using the word no and instead say we don’t do that.

We’ve tried telling her that she’s a good girl so she should behave like one.

We’ve tried speaking sternly to her.

We’ve tried ignoring the screaming fits.

Nothing has worked so far.

Our next line of defense…the naughty chair.

She sat here for maybe two seconds.

She sat here for maybe two seconds.

Wish us luck.

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13 thoughts on “The Terrible…18 months??

  1. I had the pleasure of being with quite an active 18 month old last night and could not help but laugh at his cute face when he was put in time out on the stairs. He was hilarious. I am sure that Lily would make me laugh in the same way. I hate to say it, but she looks so cute in that chair! Oh, by the way, if you think this is bad, wait until she is 3! Terrible 2s (18 months) have nothing on the 3s!!!

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  2. Oh, YES, so much YES. My older son didn’t really do the tantrum thing, so my younger’s screaming and kicking matches continue to confound me! Good luck! You can give her this post when she’s older, or a mom herself 🙂

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  3. Oh my gosh….Lily is so cute! And it is hard to get mad at them when they are so cute! My daughter is 2 and sometimes it feels like she is a hormonal teenager with crazy mood swings- hysterical crying one minute and then telling me she is happy and as calm as can be in the next. I think all the “no’s” are about them realizing they are a separate person from you and wanting to express their autonomy. Wherever possible, give her choices of two options that are acceptable to you so she gets the feeling of control and you get what you need her to do. Nothing ever works all the time though! If you aren’t following @HonestToddler on Twitter…start! So funny and I think you will really relate!

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  4. I am so glad that I am not alone in this! Aubrey has had a time-out of ten lately too! I sympathized throughout and actually laughed out loud. A lot. Great writing!
    PS- the definition of a toddler is spot on!

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  5. Good luck with that Naughty Chair!

    18 months is a piece of cake compared to the threes (which are way more terrible than the twos). I’ve heard four is the magical year. My daughter turned four nearly three months ago so I’m waiting for that magic to happen. Thusfar, it is a little easier than the threes.

    But seriously, I think this time in our lives with our kids is so challenging to prepare us for the really big stuff that will come as they age. Hang in there, momma. You’re doing a great job!

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