Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Inner Two-Year-Old

My middle child turned two last week.

And, yes, I mean it's crazy terrible with the tantrums and the "I won't!"s and the falling to the ground in agony at random intervals. I feel quite sure that if he possessed the requisite manual dexterity my son would, in fact, be rending his garments on a daily basis.

Watching my son in all of his wondrous expressiveness has made me think about just how emotionally repressed I really am. The reality is that my days are FILLED with a host of frustrations that my two-year-old can't even imagine. Unfortunately, though, I've been socialized to such a degree that I do not feel comfortable kicking those who offend me in the face repeatedly and am instead relegated to expressing my rage through the occasional passive aggressive note.

It's enough to make me wonder what life would be like if I were to take a cue from my son. Just imagine how much internalized stress I might free myself from if could only get in touch with my inner two-year-old!

It might look a little something like this:

MONDAY: The week is off to a rough start as a fellow Mom at school pick-up edges me out for a parking space. Instead of plastering a fake smile on my face and searching for another spot I exit my vehicle. Gesturing towards the space I begin shouting in a high-pitched voice, 

"MINE!!!!! MINE! MINE! MINE! MINE!!!!!!!!!!" 

My fellow Mommy tries to argue that she saw the space first but her words fall on deaf ears. Literally. Because I have shoved both fingers in my ears and I am shrieking loudly enough to drown out her words. If she does not relent I drop to the ground and begin rolling around to show her how committed I am to my cause.

TUESDAY: At the grocery store I reach the checkout stand only to be told that the total for my weekly groceries is nearly two hundred dollars. This seems like an awful lot of money and I am upset. So, when the clerk asks for payment I shut my eyes tightly and repeat, 


three hundred times at increasing volume.

When the people behind me in line begin to complain about the delay, I arch my back dramatically, shake my head angrily and swat at them furiously with both hands.

WEDNESDAY: My husband comes home from work and asks what's for dinner. I open the refrigerator and begin throwing whatever contents I find towards his head. If he persists in his requests, there is biting.

THURSDAY: The kids are running wild. Their roughhousing culminates in them breaking the handle off the oven. I consider calmly giving each of them a time out before gently explaining the error of their ways, but instead I grab a blanket, pull it over my head and lie down in the middle of the living room floor while emitting a high-pitched wail. I refuse to emerge until my husband returns from work.

FRIDAY: I finish up the week with a night out with the girls! Conversation is flowing but the service is a bit on the slow side, so I take the situation in hand. I begin by banging my face into the table repeatedly while shrieking, 


This lights a fire under the service staff and our meal appears without further delay. I take a few bites of my meal before announcing loudly,


I then throw the remainder of my meal onto the floor and commence pulling out tufts my own hair.

Now I'm not trying to claim that I'd make a lot of new friends during my week as a two-year-old, but I do have a strong suspicion that I'd sleep better at night. I know I'd be freed from rocking back and forth sleeplessly as I tried to craft the perfect rejoinder to the parking enforcement dude who gave me a ticket EVEN THOUGH I WAS CLEARLY ABOUT TO PUT MORE MONEY IN THE METER!!!!

Perhaps there is some happy medium to be found in which I summon just enough of the terrible twos. I might be able to let fewer things slide, and perhaps I could find a few more opportunities to express my true feelings without going into full-blown tantrum mode.

No matter how tempting my son makes it look


  1. I still love throwing a good tantrum once every while - but you are right, bystanders don't seem to appreciate it as much. Nor does my wife for some reason!

  2. I spent a large chunk of years counseling victims of crime - the really horrendous stuff. One thing I recommended, which got a consistent thumbs up as helpful, was howling at the moon. Visceral and incredibly stress-relieving. Warning, better done in at least semi-private settings.

  3. You know how you're sometimes driving and see someone in another car who seems to be screaming as loud as they can? I've never done that in a car, because I'm rarely that frustrated when I'm by myself. Stress dissipates quickly when I'm out of the presence of other people.

    But now I AM kind of tempted to break it out anytime someone tries to talk to me. Let my inner anti-social 2-year old out. So, they'd say, "So nice to see you, how is..." and I'd just start screaming until they went away and left me alone. And I don't think I'd have to do it more than a few times before they learned to avoid me.

  4. I'm with Deana. Howl, and maybe the table head banging but only if you promise to have someone record it so I can see it on Facebook in almost real time.

  5. You are awesome. Thank you for always saying how I feel and making me laugh!,