Just breathe. I’ve been there, too. Just yesterday, in fact. With an independent two-year-old who teeters on understanding “stop” and “time out”. Whose favorite word is no. Who communicates predominantly in screeching (from not getting her way) and echo. Who pulls, pushes, flails, falls down. Destroys.
I completely get your frustration. Exasperation. Embarrassment.
And if I didn’t have an almost six year old that acts completely normal (most of the time), I would be right there with you wondering if there was something seriously wrong with my kid. Or worse: my parenting.
But it will get better. I promise. There really is no need to snatch her up and take her home to isolate her from the land of the living. Because I can promise you what you are experiencing is absolutely normal.
I distinctly remember leaving a cart full of groceries and items in Target because Caroline had a major meltdown over needing a mermaid Barbie and I refused to get it for her. I was beyond embarrassed at the screaming at the top of her lungs: You are a MEAN Mommy! and had a complete emotional breakdown once I finally got her to the car. Where she immediately stopped screaming. And asked for a snack. Like nothing happened.
I swear right now, you are more traumatized than she is.
And she won’t really remember all the times you said no. Or stop. Or do you need a time out?
What she is going to remember is the time you took her to the movies. Or played with her at the park. Or let her paint all over the kitchen table. And herself. And took pictures. I promise you she will remember the dance parties more than the time outs, the “girls days” more than the restrictions, the “let’s make cupcakes” more than the “eat all your vegetables”.
I know it doesn’t seem like it now. I know you feel defeated. Confined. Bossed around by a two-year-old toddler. I know you are exhausted and worried that you are doing it all wrong. But you don’t have the energy to try to do it “right”. I know that there are days where you are just getting by. And you’re lucky if you shower. And if she has on matching clothes. And you long for the silence of nap time where you sit on your sofa and stare blankly at the wall and day-dream about the life you would have if you weren’t currently the supporting actress in this life, starring your toddler.
I promise, you are not alone. And it does get better. It really does.
Just not until after she turns three.