When Isobel was about 15 months old, I thought she had hit the Terrible Twos early. She has been full-speed ahead since the day she was born, coming in early on all the typical milestones, why should this be any different? When my sweet, pliant baby occasionally exerted her considerable will in small ways, I thought we were done for. I voiced this concern to Anthony on numerous occasions.
No way, he said, she is not that bad.
And she wasn’t. And it wasn’t as if I even thought she was bad per se, I just noticed she was being headstrong and more easily prone to meltdowns. Even in the midst of a fit I knew she was not being anything other than developmentally appropriate. Losing your shit is just what toddlers do. Hell, sometimes I lose my shit. It just happens.
My pediatrician assured me that the onset of the Terrible Twos vary with each child, but typically set in around 18 months. And apparently, according to my doctor, they never really end, which is why you might know someone or have a coworker who is a total asshat. They are probably suffering from the inability to control their toddler-like impulses.
Tantrums we by turns ignore, then talk through, then console. We’ve been dealing with hitting by grabbing her hands and putting them in “time out” for ten seconds, which she counts aloud with us. Afterwards, she must apologize. It seems to help cool off her anger and make her realize her actions have repercussions.
We did have to put her hands in time out while she was at her cousin’s house the other day, and after we were done counting and apologizing and hugging, her cousin Jewel ran over to Anthony and said MY TURN MY TURN! so Anthony held Jewel’s hands and they counted together and Jewel just thought it was the best punishment ever.