Friday, June 8th, 2012
A year and a half.
There are certain rules that must be followed as a part of the Shell home:
Take your shoes off at the door. Don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink. Make your bed before you leave for the day.
But there is one in particular that is especially important to me:
In our house, when you need a listening ear, someone to hear your problems and help by being there for you, you got it.
But to whine for no legitimate reason? Not acceptable.
Here recently, Jack has been making a big annoying fuss out of nothing. Or equally bad; getting upset about stupid stuff, like this morning when I wouldn’t let him play with sidewalk chalk during breakfast.
And I mean temper tantrum. Dramatic display of oppression. Wailing.
I have not studied the psychology behind the “Terrible Twos” but I assume it must be a crucial time in a kid’s life when they are extremely impressionable regarding behavioral training and when they are in need of knowing the security of followed-through discipline.
As an amateur follower of Feng Shui, I know the importance of combatting yang (aggressive energy) with ying (calming energy).
Jack’s yang of pitching a fit because we won’t let him take his food out of the kitchen is quenched with my ying of explaining to him why food must be eaten in the kitchen only; not over the carpet in the living room. Then I attempt to distract him with a view of outside or a toy.
If the emotional outburst persists, it’s a brief time-out session alone in his crib.
I will not allow myself to be overcome by the irrational thinking of an 18 month-old. And I’ve told him that.
To be honest, I kind of enjoy the challenge of my son’s early Terrible Twos. It’s like psychologically sparring with another human being. And after all, I can’t let an 18 month-old little boy beat a 31 year-old man.
As I think back to the first year of his life especially, I remember daily predicaments where my lack of maternal instincts caused me to get frustrated because I did not know what to do for my son.
But now, that is definitely changing. I’m seeing daily occurrences where my wife depends on me to handle our trainable little monster.
So I proudly rise to the challenge.
Like I told Jack: “You want to start your Terrible Twos early with me, kid? I’ll make sure you get your money’s worth. They will be terrible, all right. Maybe a little ‘two’ terrible.”
(My inspiration is evidently Robert DeNiro in Meet The Parents.)
While I’m sure my son didn’t pick up on the slight sarcasm nor the clever play on words, I know he got the main point.
Man, I love playing the villain.