I was warned about the “terrible twos” and have been bracing for them the last six months. But it wasn’t until the last week that the wonderful phase of growing up hit. I don’t know if it’s been the weather, the fact that I’m expecting baby #2, or that my son is now officially 2 1/2, but he’s become an opinionated, whiny monster lately!

This morning was a perfect example of what we’ve been experiencing the last week. He woke up cranky (probably because he used every excuse in the book last night to not go to bed and ended up falling asleep 90 minutes after his normal bedtime) and it was downhill from there. He didn’t want to eat, but kept saying he was hungry. Then he kept telling me to leave him alone and get off the couch, yet if I moved, he cried, “No Mommy, come here!”

Then when we were trying to leave, he didn’t want me to find his Spider Man shoes, he wanted to get them. But then he complained he couldn’t find them and he wanted me to help. Yet, the moment I got up to help, he screamed, “No! I do it!” We’ve been really trying to be patient and let him do things, rather than strong-arming him into doing whatever we asked. So, after a few minutes of arguing back and forth, I convinced him that we could look together. And as soon as we found them, he wanted a different pair of shoes (which he knows he’s not allowed to wear to daycare). Then he wanted the Spider Man shoes again, but he was laying on the floor in the closet and didn’t want to walk across the room to get them. And if I tried picking them up, I got “No Mommy, I do it!” all over again. This went on for 10 minutes. I finally got him to put his shoes on and walk to the door (now running 10 minutes late), but then he put up a battle actually going through the door.

Once I finally got him outside, he wanted me to carry him to the car (which is not easy when I’m 6 1/2 months pregnant and he weighs 34 pounds). And as soon as I picked him up, he screamed again, “No Mommy! I do it!” After discussing this point again for several minutes, I eventually had to resort to just picking him up and putting him in the car, explaining through his tears that I had given him the opportunity to get in the car himself but he wasn’t doing it and we needed to leave so that he could go play with his friends and Mommy could go to work. We finally pulled out of the driveway 20 minutes late.

He cried essentially the whole 10 minute ride to daycare, and once we got there, he argued with me about bringing his blanket inside (which is knows is not allowed — he usually happily leaves his toys and blanket in the car. So after another few minutes of discussing why he needed to listen to Mommy, we finally got inside daycare, where he of course refused to give me a hug or kiss or even acknowledge anyone else in the room. Yet, as soon as I was ready to leave, he grabbed my leg and begged me to stay.

That was just this morning. We’ve been dealing with this for days. I know it’s just a phase (that happens to be coinciding with the “I’m scared of monsters” phase), but I really hope it ends soon. This moody, whiny, arguing version of my child is really trying my patience.

And all my friends who have been through this tell me, “Just wait until he’s 3. That’s when the real fun begins.”

For those of you with kids, which is better? Dealing with toddlers or teenagers?

Kira Cox

Hi, I’m Kira. I joined Verity in early 2012 after a seven-year stint as a newspaper reporter. While I never thought my career path would veer off in this direction, I am loving my time at Verity. I recently moved from being a member services representative at the Alderwood Branch to being the marketing coordinator for the credit union.

I’m originally from Texas, but I have lived all over the country and the world, including Boston, Massachusetts, Anchorage, Alaska and Sydney, Australia. But in all my travels, the Pacific Northwest is the only place that has felt like home.

When not at work, I am usually home with playing with my son, husband, dog and three cats. During the rare times I don’t have a to-do list to plow through (and it’s not raining too hard), I can be found digging in the vegetable garden, training for a half-marathon, or grilling in the backyard.

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