My youngest son has just reached the ‘terrible twos’ and boy are they TERRIBLE. My husband and I thought our other two boys were difficult but looking back, it was nothing compared to the daily nightmare we’re going through right now. Our solution? Toddler house arrest.
Last week, we took all the kids to the park before going to a restaurant to have an early dinner as a treat. Our swift departure was a personal record – I had to pull the ripcord before I even sat down.
What happened? For starters, I couldn’t get my toddler in the restaurant, he just wanted to run down the street like Forrest Gump (even though he’d been running around at the park just before). I eventually carried him inside, kicking and screaming his head off. I looked over and saw the only other diners – an exhausted couple with a pram and sleeping baby inside. The mum literally had her head laid on the table.
It was the final straw for me, I couldn’t do it to them – or us – it was not going to be a nice dining experience for anyone, so we bailed. And then ALL the kids wailed. Fun times.
You see at the moment my darling mister two is incredibly cute and hilarious – and also absolutely bonkers. We love him to pieces but he’s SUCH hard work. Everything is a challenge. Getting him to eat meals, getting him dressed, taking him to kindy, whatever it is, it’s a nightmare.
The worst is changing his nappy when he’s done a poo. At the moment the task requires three people: my husband to hold him down, me doing the wiping and changing, and one of our other boys to dance around and distract him. Yep, it’s a circus alright. But the biggest struggle we face is leaving the house … for anything.
Read more about tricky toddler stages:
- Terrible twos! A realistic survival guide for parents entering the danger zone
- All the reasons you’re NOT to blame for your terrible toddler
- Jessica Biel gets real: “Sometimes your two-year-old makes you crazy”
It’s so hard
Going to the supermarket, a park, kindy, a friend’s house, the school to get his brothers, a cafe, the library – you name it, my toddler turns a simple activity into a living hell. Getting him in and out of the car or pram is so hard, and if he’s on foot, he bolts.
He’s a real handful at home, too, tipping over plants, getting food out of the fridge, putting things in the toilet … the list goes on. But at least we’re in a self-contained environment (even if the neighbours probably think we’re torturing our kids from all the screaming).
Outings are off
So yep, my husband and I have called it. No more outings for our toddler right now unless it’s absolutely necessary – like daycare. It’s just not worth it! Physically it’s too demanding, our backs are shot to pieces from wrangling him places, and mentally – it’s just as exhausting. I thought third children were supposed to be easy breezy? Not my son. He is by far the most challenging tot we’ve had and his reward for this is going to be a little bit of house arrest until he gets past this difficult phase.
The good thing is our backyard is pretty big, we have swings and a pool, plus if we want to treat the kids with a nice dinner my husband and I are just going to take it in turns going out with the older boys, or resort to good old home delivery. Family holidays are off the agenda for the moment and groceries will be bought online.
The wild child stays home
There’s a reason why our own parents didn’t take us to places like cafes when we were toddlers. Instead, we spent most of our days at home doing chores with mum. The older generation knew what was what: toddlers are wild and they belong at home. So that’s where my cute little, wild child is going to be too. For the time being, anyway.
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