Forgive me if I’m wrong, but don’t the Terrible Twos start at…well, two?? Aren’t the months leading up to this supposedly devilish age meant to be a little easier? The calm before the storm, so to speak? The Baby, I fear, is rather advanced. I have tantrums and battles (and I’m not even including those that are sleep-related) with her each and every day, today being no exception. Don’t get me wrong, it can be hilarious watching her throw herself around while wailing like a banshee, in a hugely theatrical manner that would rival many a pantomime villain. It can also, however, become somewhat tiresome.
The first problem of today, and in fact most days, was washing The Baby’s face. She just will not have it. Five seconds of wiping her face with damp cotton wool evokes a response which would be more expected if I was dunking her head in a bowl of freezing water for five minutes. This is followed by her toe-curling, blood-curdling, 100 decibel scream as I put cream on her face for her eczema. Pictures and light-fittings shake. Dogs from the surrounding streets arrive at our front door. Not quite, but coupled with the squirming, wriggling and raspberry-blowing, what should be a simple task requires me to rest on the sofa and down a cup of tea before attempting the next task.
Getting The Baby dressed.
Removing the nightclothes is a struggle in itself; as each limb is extricated from her sleep-suit, she shouts, she screams and attempts to escape my clutches, even though she is, thankfully, not quite mobile yet. By the time she is free of night-wear and in a clean nappy, I am worn out. With ringing ears.
Putting clothes on elicits the same reaction as having them removed.
That’s just the start of the day.
The reasons for the tantrums vary throughout each day. Today, lunch provoked a rather loud bout of screaming and very dramatic head-shaking. Being put into her sleeping bag for an afternoon nap caused a similar reaction, with added raspberries.
Day-to-day, these ridiculously melodramatic reactions could be kindled by anything, from rescuing my phone from her slobbery jaws, to putting her coat on, to wiping her endlessly snotty nose.
The day comes to an end in the same way as it started.
Following a bath, each stage of the drying/moisturising/dressing process causes screams and shouts louder than the last, until, when The Baby is finally clean and dry, with all the appropriate creams applied to all the appropriate places, and back in her sleep-suit, she has usually wound herself up that much that she is firstly, close to tears, and secondly, shattered. And so am I.
I am hoping (praying) that this is a phase.
I am hoping (praying) that this is not about to get worse in 17 months time.
If it does, I will have a toe-curling, blood-curdling, 100 decibel tantrum.