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Terribly Two

Ever since we came home from visiting family for the holidays, my son has been insufferable.

Clingy.

Whiny.

Tantrum-throwing.

Craving constant attention.

I absolutely adore my son.  I think he is the cutest, most lovable, and most darling creature alive on the planet.

However…

There are limits to what I can manage.

———————————

I understand that small children can go through so-called phases.  I understand that as soon as a child gets into a groove or routine, that the so-called routine can suddenly change.  Heck, that’s happened with our son only 5,681,362 times since he was born.  Chances are, it’ll happen again soon…probably within the next five minutes.

But, I just don’t know what to do when I spend all morning playing with him, reading him books, dancing and singing songs, preparing him snacks.  Then, when I want a mere 30 minutes of uninterrupted time to read a book or work on my computer while he contents himself with independent play he gives me the the figurative Heisman hand.

Am I asking for too much from my two-year-old?  Only a month ago, it was a perfectly amicable request.

However, since January struck, the minute second I sit down at my computer, I hear, “Moooooooommeeeeeeee!”  With outstretched arms and a desperateness to his voice and an earnest look in his eyes, he then says, “Up please!  Mommy’s lap.”

Er, right.  Because, sitting on my lap while I’m about to work is the same thing as “playing with your cars and trucks while Mommy works.” Not-so-much.

If I use the matter-of-fact tone of voice to counter his requests with a “No,” then, I am met with a full-boar tantrum complete with crocodile tears.

If I try the sweet-as-honey approach and show him how much fun it is to play with his cars and trucks (trust me on this, he needs no encouragement), then he must insist that I continue to play with him and his cars and trucks or else the aforementioned tantrum and tears ensue.

Regardless of how I respond, his response is the same, and the end result is this…I still get ZERO work done during his waking hours.  Who can work with a tantrum, shirt-tugging toddler going ballistic?  Call me a guilty, soft-hearted mom, but I simply cannot ignore him and continue.

———————

By the way, I just described what it’s like to work from home.

When I actually try to work with him at my office, well, I don’t even know if I should write about that behavior.  It’s like my child turned into an teething 18-month old who refused to nap and only wanted his Mama…no one else would do.

Honestly, I don’t know how I survived today.

I don’t know if one of my new patients who came in today will ever return.

I don’t know how to make this working mom thing actually work.

Day care isn’t an option (neither financially, nor do I want someone else rearing my son).   A babysitter or a nanny aren’t exactly within the budget, either.

I thought things would continue to get better as my son grows up with me working part time.

I thought the worst part would be teething…well, apparently not.  Rather, overcoming the constant attention from relatives who doted on him over the holidays has proved to be the worst thing that could happen to a stay-at-home-mom/working mom with a child-with-her-at-work scenario.  Quite frankly, I don’t know what to do.

Suggestions?  I’m truly open to hearing them.

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3 Responses

  1. Tantrums are very hard. I have a 2 year old right now as well and I am dealing with them daily (as well as the craziness that is a three year old….really if you think 2 is hard…wait til they hit 3!). I find that responding with empathy but being firm seems to help some…honestly they aren’t likely to stop all together…they are a phase and how your child is learning to gain your attention, but to give in to the tantrum invites them to continue.

    What I like to do is start out by saying no..then if that leads to a tantrum…I go over, give them a hug and say no again..if tantrum continues, he sits in a corner for 1-2 minutes on “time out” and that usually helps to drive the point home…it can take some adjusting though, but helps a lot to be consistent and firm.

  2. Have another one and then he’ll have someone to play with(torture) everyday! LOL!!!

  3. Hey Doc, our son does the same thing. Every time we come back from grandmas house (stay there for more than a couple of days) he does the same thing. We have gone through this twice and the second time wasn’t as bad b/c…….we took the advice from one of our favorite little kid authors – Leman (Have a New Kid by Friday is a popular book of his).

    When our son does this, we give him some attention and perhaps play w/ him for a little while and explain to him that when the timer goes off (if we need to set one) then he will need to play on his own and we need to get our work done…..he does understand, but will pretend not to sometimes. When the timer goes off we once again explain to him what I just mentioned. If he doesn’t allow us to get our stuff done and he tries to get his way via throwing a fit etc. then we tell him he can throw his fit in his room with the door closed. He doesn’t like this option very much…..he will usually stop, but sometimes we have to walk him to his room and shut the door and we tell him he can come out when he’s wants to stop crying etc. Sometimes we have to take him to his room more than once, (ok sometimes a NUMBER of times) but we have noticed that when we are consistent and we show him that HE doesn’t run the house things get much easier. Ya, it was hard to do this at first, but I actually think when done properly (he isn’t getting ignored, but rather is getting healthy mommy / daddy time) its very healthy for the entire family.

    sorry to hear you get to experience this, but nice to hear, IT’S NOT JUST OUR SON! 🙂

    my .02

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