Gilby is eight weeks away from his second birthday, but the terrible twos have well and truly arrived. My usually smiley, happy, very good natured little boy is occasionally kidnapped and substituted for a little horror who looks remarkably similar. But when this doppelganger is present, we have regular screaming tantrums, the comedy grumpy face, the inflexible torso, the poker-straight back, the kicking and lashing out, and the repeated no's regardless of what the question is:
"Would you like a biscuit?"
"Would you like a birthday party?"
"Would you like to stand up?"
"No, no, NO!"
"Would you like to scream your head off all day long?"
Well stop doing it then....
We had one such incident the other night at bedtime.
Usual bedtime routine - supper, bath, Bedtime Hour on CBeebies, then milk in the rocking chair whilst I read my Kindle. In case this sounds heartless, it is at his behest. "Mummy, read Kindle!" (Sentences generally take an imperative form at the moment.)
When he has had enough of his milk he thrusts it forward and whispers, "Finished...bed." At this point, I tuck him in, leave his little wind-up cot-music playing, turn out the light and gently close the door. He might sing to himself for a little while, but usually he is asleep within a few minutes. (Lest this all sound too good to be true, let me reassure you that he will be up at least once and probably twice later during the night...)
Anyway, on the night in question, instead of the cosy little scenario described above, a purple-faced, snot-ridden, screaming tantrum from hell ensued. Nothing could calm him, and I resorted to leaving him crying in his cot for a while. I couldn't pick him up anyway, given the rigid back, clenched fists and kicking (not great for my 26 week 'baby tummy').
But the little man has learned how to reach over from the cot, open his door and turn the light on. The tantrum meant that Gertie couldn't get to sleep, so I had to drag the cot into the middle of the room in an effort to keep the door closed and contain the noise. After fifteen minutes had passed he still didn't seem to have calmed down at all. I had to go back in, and I braved his angry lashing out. I sat stubbornly in the rocking chair repeatedly offering the milk and singing. (Somewhere Over the Rainbow, his favourite from tiny.) His reaction was to punch me repeatedly in the mouth.
I persisted. Eventually, the rigid, angry little body went limp in my arms and he reached out for his bottle, snuggling back into his usual position.
He slid the bottle to one side of his mouth so that only the corner of his lips was moving and, menacing like some mafiosa gangster, gave his snarling, whispered demand that I 'Sing that Song!'