“Mammy? MAM? MAAAAAAAAM?”
“Yes my darling?”
“Mikey is an asshole”
In Matthew’s defense, the ‘asshole’ in question had been screaming in a bloodcurdling fashion for over an hour, and both Matthew and I had spent a good deal of that time dodging a brutal assault of die-cast Thomas The Tank Engine figurines being thrown at our heads. He was quite right. Mikey WAS being an asshole.
I don’t remember the terrible twos very well with Matthew, mainly because Mikey was so tiny we probably didn’t allow him to shout and strop and throw things. Or, I was in such a desperate baby haze that I simply didn’t care, and the cacophony of a tantrum-filled two year old merely added to the non-stop crying of my infant son. Whatever, I am distressed to the MAX by the furious tyrant who is staging a coup in my home at the moment.
It all stems from the fact that Mikey absolutely refuses to talk. He communicates extremely well, imploring people with his amazingly expressive eyes to do his bidding. When that fails, he employs the good old ‘grab the hand and point’ situation, which does very well for him. We have tried flashcards, denying treats, playing word games, reward charts – you name it, we’ve tried it. He understands everything perfectly, and uses one word for all – NO.
When he doesn’t get his way, he throws things and screams. The thing is, the word ‘scream’ doesn’t quite capture the sheer horror of what is unleashed during a crying, snotty tantrum. It’s like he’s being tortured. Yesterday morning, at 8.05am, he chased me through the house screaming, SCREAMING, because I wouldn’t give him a biscuit. To stop myself losing my temper, I went out to the back garden, locking our glass doors behind me. It sounded like he was being boiled in oil.
Oh dear God. Sometimes I shout back, but it never works. I have employed the ‘hug it out’ scenario, but the brute force of his fury doesn’t really allow for that. I have gotten down on my knees and talked to him in a soft, but firm tone – all Supernanny-esque, but nada.
The thing is, when he is not screaming, my youngest is the MOST LOVEABLE and charming and delicious child of all time. He literally makes old people go all melty in the supermarket (even when he is tearing down a stand of toilet paper). He is so gorgeous that he makes my heart stop at least ten times a day, even though he makes me tear my hair out the rest of the time.
And at the end of every day, even though I am like a dirty dishcloth with tiredness, he rubs my face while he’s going asleep, looking into my eyes with such unconditional love that I burst open inside, and I am healed. Until tomorrow…