The Terrible Twos

Dessa just turned two. Sure, I've heard about the "terrible twos" but I always thought everyone was exaggerating. How bad can it really be?

Um, the answer is insane! Simultaneously handling a 2-year-old and a 2-month-old can get pretty interesting. Back in the good old days, if Dessa was having a tantrum, it was easy to distract her with a toy or ice cream. Now, for some reason, absolutely nothing works until she gets her way. It doesn't happen every day, but it can be a challenge when trying to divide our attention between two kiddos.

Here are some of her new terrible two tricks:

  • Sitting at the bottom of the stairs in our condo and refusing to climb the stairs.
  • Plopping down on the floor at a moments notice and refusing to walk.
  • Running away from us with a hearty laugh.
  • Yelling at our cat and chasing her around our house.
  • Kicking like an Olympic swimmer if she doesn't want her diaper changed.
  • Responding to "Don't do XYZ!" by slyly smiling and then immediately doing "XYZ."

I know she's testing her boundaries and trying to figure out how much control and power her parents have. It is normal at this stage, and we just have to learn to be überpatient. However, as patient as we are, sometimes it's really hard to just breathe and try to find a solution that will make everyone happy.

Picture this: I've got a car seat dangling from one hand, a huge diaper bag hanging from another and a grocery bag or two in my arms. Dessa's at the bottom of the stairs refusing to budge while I'm negotiating with her and bouncing Farrah so she stays asleep. Not easy!

Do I go around the corner and pretend to leave? Is it dangerous to leave her there for a second if I can still hear her? Do I attempt to carry her? Do I stop and talk to her even though she may still refuse to come upstairs?
What are my options?

That, loyal readers, is what I'm turning to you for. I don't want to talk theory or parenting book psychobabble. I want to know what real parents have tried. One trick I've found that has been a lifesaver on several occasions is a Thomas the Train backpack. If she's got it, either on her back or pulling it behind her (it has wheels), she'll walk anywhere, no questions asked. Got any other tips that can help me survive this year with my firstborn?