Although any given day can be a cliffhanger, I'd never pull a "Joe Rickey."
The term "terrible twos" is a term that's always left a sour taste in my mouth.
Never liked it. Never used it. The idea of that particular label being placed on any child at such an early age is appalling.
Mother of God! Don't we have enough labels placed on us in society?!
The term "terrible twos" (I did a little research) was coined in the 1950's, perhaps because so much pressure was put on families to be detergent-commercial perfect; squeaky clean like the family in Leave It To Beaver, and of course, who could forget the Anderson children?
When a child grew out of compliant infancy, mom freaked out. (or in the recent event; a racist, drunk stranger on a plane freaked out).
The Cousin showed a clear and significant sign of change last week. In some kind of miraculous, unexplainable "rewire", she went from "Kitten" Anderson to a savage beast of the jungle.
You look at this face and you think, "How could it be?"
Well, friends, there's no denying it:
2-year olds are stinking cute, and The Cousin is no exception. Her curiosity about the world is infectious. So, what's not to love?
Up until about a week ago, she had some sense of reason; probably more than most of us actually. When she would throw a book or choke Sweet Pea, I could at least walk her through it with simple phrases, spoken in quiet, Zen-like undertones like, "I see you are angry, but let's figure out a better way." Or "It hurts Sweet Pea when you pinch her cheek. It's not okay to hurt people.
I don't want anyone to hurt you."
My voice would be steady and unwavering; quiet, calm and smooth like filling in a chocolate mousse pie. And for the most part, The Cousin would respond in the healthy way that I, the adult in charge, deemed appropriate. She could be reckoned with; in other words, I could talk her down.
That's all a thing of the past as of last week.
It's as if a light bulb went off in her head that flashed "I'VE HAD IT!" or a blimp sailed across her sky carrying a banner stating "IF YOU SAY 'NO' TO ME ONE MORE TIME I'LL KICK YOUR ASS!"
And, she now knows her charm and her good looks.
It's also as if she doesn't give a shit if her pinches leave scars.
In fact, it's almost pleasurable.
Now my "Deepak Chopra voice" has gone out the window and I find myself saying, "No."
The exact word 2-year olds are numb to and dislike with a passion. And because she hears that word too many times in her short life, and she doesn't have the language yet to express all of her extreme feelings, she goes haywire bizerk in a matter of seconds at the sound of it.
She lost it completely when she couldn't have a third cookie; I'm talkin a full-on Tsunami, complete with flailing arms, stomping feet and vocals. When it was all over, her stare could stop any sane (or insane) adult in her tracks.
The moms approached me last week with the news that The Cousin was saying, "What the Hell?"
They weren't being accusatory or suggesting she heard it from me. (If she'd heard it from me, the 3rd word of the question would have begun with an "F".) They were merely letting me know that she picked it up somewhere and it was part of this sudden change that has come over her.
There's only 4 women that watch the girls; 4 very brave, strong women: The 2 moms, of course,
the grandma and moi.
Let's just put it out there. The moms are perfect. They are the June Cleavers of 2013.
So that excludes them and y'all know where I'm going with this.
Hence, The Cousin's new "catch-phrase" is WTH?
So, what about Sweet Pea you ask?
She's cool. Eating anything she can get her lil mitts on; string, Swifter pads, dirty diapers, dirt and chalk.
Unlike The Cousin, it doesn't have to taste good. Although, she's all about good tasting grub.
She is so goddamn happy to be having something to munch on besides boob milk. I think her mom is torn. She's happy when Sweet Pea isn't munching or chomping on her boob, but she recently indicated a little bit of personal sadness with the fact that Sweet Pea "is growing up right before her very eyes."
SHIT! COME ON! I say, leave the boob to us girls who know how to appreciate them, and let the baby have some organic whole grain oatmeal with smushed banana!
This is when I adore Sweet Pea.
This is when I don't.
But at least she's not approaching the enchanting age of two. We got a ways to go with that.
Recently her mom asked me how long I thought I'd be able to "hang on?"
My response was simple and to the point. I didn't hold back. "I'm outta here when there's 3 of 'em."
I don't think I could take it. I mean 2 toddlers and a new baby?
Just give me a gun.
You might see me in the news like Joe Rickey Hundley. Joe's in some deep doo doo for slapping a toddler and though I certainly don't advocate his language or actions, I can't stop chuckling at his mugshot and I don't know exactly why. Could be the wine.
Evidently, the toddler started crying when the plane they were on had a change in altitude.
Duh, Joe. It happens.
I once grabbed a stranger's arm in the seat next to me, when on the way into Denver, we dropped in altitude to avoid the mountain ranges.
But I'll give y'all some 411.
I'll never slap "my" babies because of altitude change or any other kind of change;
even a foul diaper change.
Kisses? Yea! Hugs? Yea! Reasoning? Yea! Explanations? Yea! Diversions? Yea! An Occasional 'Time-Out'? Yea!
And as for that squeaky clean, detergent-commercial type family image...
What the hell is that!?