10 July 2009

The Terrible Twenty Twos

Presley is twenty two months old. He's not even two yet. So why have we been going through the terrible twos for months now? Admittedly he doesn't have a tantrum everyday, or even every other day, but when he has one watch out!

Most of the time he is sweetness and light, always smiling and laughs easily. But some mornings he gets out of his cot on the wrong side. He's not himself. Nothing I suggest is acceptable. He repeats 'nonono' over and over and over again.

Wednesday was one such day. Perhaps he picked up on my vibes. It was the anniversary of my brother's death so I wasn't overly jolly. The first tantrum was mid-morning (it would have been earlier but I remained calm through the porridge throwing incident)! He didn't want to get dressed. This happens a lot. After half an hour of him running around in just a nappy I tried to put his T-shirt on. He started crying and was about to roll around on the carpet in a mini-meltdown. Luckily his Grandma arrived with his cousin.

Saved by the bell.

He's never had a tantrum in public before, although I'm sure it's only a matter of time before I get tutted at in the biscuit aisle. He never plays up for his Grandma either. It appears to be just me he rages at.

After they left I made us a quick lunch. Presley wouldn't get into his high chair. Cue second mini-meltdown. I didn't force him into the chair. He didn't want toast apparently. He wanted cheese. Specifically he wanted the cheese his Dad was grating. Presley doesn't like cheese at the moment, or so I thought. He calmed down and ate lots and lots of mature cheddar.

We had a good time at playgroup, again Presley was very well behaved in public. I put the boys down for their naps when we got back. The naps were later than usual so I only let them have an hour, I don't like to let them sleep too late in the day in case they don't sleep at bedtime.

Most days Presley takes a while to wake up after his afternoon nap. He's quite often teary and usually wants a cuddle. I try to make sure I can sit with him for half an hour before Cash wakes up and wants feeding. Due to the routine being thrown out by playgroup I had to cut short our cuddle to get Cash.

This was when it started.

Presley cried. While I was feeding Cash he cried and pointed out of the window. He wanted to play outside. I did feel sorry for him, but I had to say no. He still needs supervising in the garden. It's not that big, but it is around three sides of the house and I can't see all of it from the patio doors.

Then we had the works. Screaming, crying, rolling around on the floor, thrashing about, more screaming.

I've seen Supernanny, you have to ignore the undesirable behaviour and praise the good. So I ignored him. Anyone who has ever tried to ignore their howling child will know how difficult this is. They're obviously distraught, they could hurt themselves.

This went on FOR AN HOUR.

My boy has stamina, I'll give him that!

The only time he paused for breath was when I gave him Calpol and teething gel. I thought he may be getting his back molars, but these teeth are taking ages to come through. I wondered whether they were crocodile tears? He wasn't asking to go outside any more and I didn't want to renege on my previous 'no' anyway. Hmm, I wonder where he gets his stubborn streak?!

Cash, who is usually a sympathy cryer, ignored Presley completely. He ate his tea in good humour. I strapped Presley in to the high chair only to watch him throw any food I put on his tray onto the carpet. He avoided the splashmat entirely.

By this point I was frazzled. I was taking deep breaths. I even sent a tweet/Facebook update saying that I'd developed a twitch. Well, I twitched once anyway.

He's a slight child so I really wanted him to eat something. I wondered if the novelty of something new and previously for adults only would entice him to eat. I was right. The tantrum ended when Presley was given Crunchy Nut Cornflakes. Whatever.

Do the tantrums stop when they can communicate using words other than 'nonono'? Any advice gratefully received.


In other news, I'm trying to win a holiday. The delightful Peggy at Perfectly Happy Mum is holding a competition. The prize is a day at Alton Towers and a weekend in a hotel for a family of four. The whole prize is worth £300. Also check out her new blog A Mother's Secrets, I'm looking forward to seeing it up and running.


The eagle eyed amongst you may have noticed that this post was originally dated 8th July. That was the day I wrote the title and saved it, but then I realised my cat was missing and got a bit distracted. This afternoon I picked up the saved title from Edit Posts, wrote the post and published it. I was expecting it to show up on my blog today, 10th July but it was backdated to 8th July. Anyway, I've republished it, apologies for any confusion. *Shakes fist at Blogger*!



  1. Hmmm, in my case no the tantrums dont stop entierly when the words arrive, they just have more to say while screaming..you have the first public one to look forward to...and the tutting brigade...you will survive!!!!

  2. An hour! No wonder you had a twitch. Here's hoping it gets better.

  3. I still get tantrums!

    I remember when they could first say "no". I guess it must have felt empowering!

    -A Modern Mother

  4. So this is what I can look forward to over the next year....sounds like your little man is discovering the joys of trying to assert himself while needing someone else to open the door for him!

  5. Lorraine, lol, can't wait!

    Mwa, thanks, we had a good day today!

    Susanna, next time I think I'll join him!

    Jen, it must be so frustrating for them when they can't communicate or get what they want. Apparently not all toddlers have tantrums!!

  6. Well if it's any consolation, we had no terrible 2's but are now going through the terrible almost 4's!!!

  7. C, I remember you posting that you didn't have the terrible twos. Hopefully P will be over it by the time he's 4!!

  8. I love that advert where the kid starts to have a tantrum in the supermarket and the Mum just starts throwing an even bigger tantrum. I have all this to look forward to, mental note work on patience skills!

  9. Well, Sandy, you have my sympathy! FP (almost 2) can sign and can talk well too and she has the most terrible rages when she's pushing her luck! So, apparently, tantrums are to be expected even when communication is quite good. Endless patience is required. Good luck!

  10. Dancinfairy, you know I think next time I'll join him! x

    Rachel, thanks. Oh dear, you've just taken away the little bit of hope I've been clinging on to!! x

  11. Eek, posts like this scare me a tad - i have so much to look forward to!!

    Sounds like you're super patient though - I need to start wotking on that now! :P x

  12. Leslieanne, I'll let you know if I find a magic wand! I don't know how patient I'll be if it happens in Sainsbury's! x


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