A couple of weeks ago I had my favorite pictures of Finnan and Jude from the past year printed (The picture above was taken in May, shortly before Jude was born). As Atticus and I were looking through the pictures and reminiscing, we both said aloud, "What a sweet little boy he was...so innocent." Before I go on, let me preface this post. Finnan still is an incredibly sweet little boy, who is still very loving and innocent...but...it appears that we are dealing with the dreaded terrible twos.
Finnan is in the process of testing us and his emotional capabilities. He is testing our rules trying to get away with just little infractions or, at least, threatening infractions. No throwing books? Ok, what happens if I just throw it a few inches? No licking Mama's phone? Ok, what if I grin impishly and stick my tongue out a millimeter away from the phone. No walking through the flowers at the Botanical Gardens? Ok, what if I run through them? Individually this infractions are not terrible and I usually feel like I can deal with them appropriately, but his recent tantrums are another story. He seems to have gotten in the habit of having post-nap tantrums. Despite my efforts, I have not figured out how to effectively prevent them. Yesterday, he did not want to change his diaper. Well, the diaper had already been on over 8 hours and a spot was forming on his jeans. When I took his pants off, it started, but the tantrum was not yet ear piercing nor did involve dangerous lunges yet. In hopes of preventing escalation I explained to him that we could go for a walk or play outside when we finished. We could even go to the park if he wanted. So, I continued and took his diaper off. That did it. The screeching and lunging began. He threw himself to the trash can and dug out the sopping wet diaper I just took off of him. He wanted to put that diaper back on instead of one of the clean diapers I offered him (I offered every color of cloth we had or a disposable). No, he wanted the dirty one. Really? Seriously? Now I have read many of the books and I try to follow "kum-by-ya discipline" (this is Atticus' term, not the official term, which is positive discipline). But it is completely ineffective for these tantrums. No amount of prevention, comfort, or empowerment seem to help. Jude's presence seems to aggravate him further. He has to go in time-out to try to calm himself down. I can do nothing for him. Eventually, I'll have my sweet little boy back again, but I have yet to figure out what he needs. We are just hoping he passes through this phase quickly, unlike his father, who apparently lingered in it for quite some time and in the meantime focus on finding just a little bit of humor in it.