Night of the living dread

Dylan will be two in just under a month. Two! Insert your favourite cliché about the rather speedy nature of time here. One thing that we have been dreading about this particular stage in his development is the so-called ‘terrible twos’ that raise their ugly head round about this time. Well they’ve started.

He’s a wonderful, pleasant-natured little lad for the most part and seems to enjoy having Xander around. Of course, he gets a bit jealous of him now and then, as you would expect, but he more than tolerates him and often wanders over to give him a hug which, naturally, is lovely to see. This all inevitably leads to a ‘but…’, however. He has a hell of a temper on him when things don’t pan out in the way that he wants them to. 

Upon learning that two hours of Peppa Pig is enough or that he is actually expected to eat his dinner, our angelic firstborn suddenly vanishes and is replaced by a furious whirlwind of rage. He’ll shout, scream, cry, throw himself head-first onto the sofa, writhe around on the floor, smack himself repeatedly around the head and kick out at anyone daft enough to try and negotiate with him. It’s completely at odds with his personality; you can see where the inspiration for The Incredible Hulk came from.
“Don’t mess with my bed, Dad. You wouldn’t like me when you mess with my bed.”
Last night provided a good example. He has had his ‘big boy bed’ in his room for a little while so he can get used to it. Inspired partly by the need to get him out of the cot bed soon as Xander is getting too big for his crib and partly by the bravery of Mother’s Always Right and her own recent battle with something very similar, we took the bars off one side of his cot. 

All was going well; I got him ready for bed, he had his milk and then approached the cot. He then got in, grabbed his cuddly toys and appeared to settle down. “Bloody hell, this is going well,” I thought. Fool. “Goodnight Dylan,” I said. “Sleep well.” I left the room. It was as I had just locked him in the shed. On came the waterworks, out came the rage and out of the cot came Dylan. He grabbed the mattress and effortlessly yanked it halfway out of the cot; his strength worries me when he is angry. 

Thinking that this wasn’t the time to push the new bed as an alternative, I proceeded to turn the cot around so the side missing bars was against the wall, struggling to rearrange the rest of the bedroom furniture as I did to enable the manoeuvre. Strangely, Dylan calmed down at this point and sat on his chair watching me. “He’s tired himself out,” I thought. “It’ll be easier now.” Idiot. He was just regrouping. Apparently, having no bars between him and the wall constituted the end of the world. He was beside himself until he realised that there was great fun to be had by kicking the wall. Sigh.


  1. mutteringsofafool

    The move to a big bed is not something I’m looking forward to but I think we’ve started the terrible 2’s already here at 14 months, certainly the tantrums suggest so!

  2. Donna@MummyCentral

    Oh dear. If it’s any consolation, our eldest went into a torrent of rage for about 4 months – then switched right back to the soft-hearted, loving boy he was before.
    We now look back on that time with amazement.
    He’d punch his Dad, pure hatred in his eyes, screaming, refusing to get dressed or do anything we asked.
    I’d wrestle him into the car, dodging kicks in the stomach when I was pregnant with his little brother. It was a sight to behold.
    Now Brodie is 6 and we can look back and laugh at that time – because it’s so far from the boy he turned out to be, it’s funny.
    (And I should add that he adores his little brother and is fiercely protective of him).
    The Terrible Twos is just a time of frustration, when they can’t process their thoughts and feelings, or tell you what they need. So they explode about the littlest thing.
    Wear a crash helmet and keep telling yourself that this too will pass x

  3. Tom Briggs

    Thanks both! I’m sure it’s just a phase that all kids go through – as well as a phase of character building for us adults!

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