Before I had kids, I had heard the saying “Terrible Twos” and “Tranquil Threes.”
The latter is either an especially bad joke or it must have been said with complete sarcasm because in my experience, three has always been a much bigger monster than two.
Right now I’m on my third three year old – this is evident just by looking at me with my drastic increase in gray hairs, my thinning patience and a slight twitch that’s developed in my left eyelid.
Sure, this is a natural stage of development for all little children. They are asserting their independence, growing their vocabularies, and developing their fine motor skills. Often times, their desires to say and do more are limited by their still blossoming abilities and this, in turn, pisses them off.
Oh, you mean you can’t build your older brother’s LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts all on your own, my darling, independent three year old? Oh well, by all means, don’t let me help you even though I am offering to do so in a happy, cheerful tone. Instead yell and cry, throw the LEGOS all over the floor so that I can step on them and join you in this fit of epic proportions.
It doesn’t take much to irritate a toddler. They can go from seemingly tranquil tikes to crazed kids in a split second.
How can this be?
When you’re dealing with someone so unstable, so unpredictable you are bound to look for answers. I myself was on a quest to come up with an explanation for my daughter’s typical toddler behavior even though I had been through this twice with her older brothers.
Sometimes it’s like dealing with a wild animal.
I wondered, perhaps, if my daughter’s animal spirit guide was a honey badger.
No, it had to be more than that…
She wasn’t just being lead by a honey badger, the honey badger must be in her.
Yes, that’s it.
She is the honey badger.
I once took an entry level anthropology course which I believe practically makes me an expert in the subject. I have developed a hypothesis that toddlers evolved directly from the honey badger, and so I solicited the help of the talented Justin Malin create an artistic rendition of my soon-to-be proven scientific-ish Toddler Evolution Hypothesis.
Who can argue with that?
Anyone who knows Randall’s Honey Badger and has also known a toddler(s), can attest to just how little of a shit they both give…
Jerry Seinfeld once said, “A two-year old is kind of like having a blender, but you don’t have a top for it.” But the good news is that it has also been my experience that usually around (or even a little before) age five, there seems to be another change – chances are the tantrums stop, the sudden outbursts diminish, and the child calms a bit. Or they at least seem to have found a lid.
So much of one stage of life seems to help prepare you for another, and I can’t be certain, but I think surviving the toddler stage gives you hope for making it out alive from the teenage years.
I’m stock piling wine just thinking about it…
Have you had a similar experience with toddlers? Do you agree with my scientific-ish hypothesis? Leave me a comment and let me know!
Special thanks to Justin Malin for lending his true artistic talents to my site! Check out his work on his website here!