On the eve of the terrible twos.

Our youngest will be two in just over a month, but I fear we are witnessing early moments of the dreaded terrible twos phase already. In addition to shouting “No!” to multiple family members multiple times a day to express her unhappiness about some situation, she has also taken to hitting—well, more like swatting—her sister, and throwing herself down on the floor with lots of hysterical screaming and crying when she is reprimanded or told no.

And if this weren’t bad enough, she wakes up and insists on talking in a grouchy, hateful tone to everyone about just about everything. The dragon voice usually fades at some point, but returns without warning off and on throughout the day.

Me: What do you want for breakfast, Frances? Eggs?

Frances: No! No eggs. Me no eggs! No breakfast!

As if the first response was not emphatic enough. Sheesh.

Me: OK, let’s go change your diaper then.

Frances: (with disgusted look on face) No! No biper! No wipe! Runs away and hides under the table or behind the couch.

Nora: (trying to be helpful and supportive) Come on, Frances. Let’s go into the bedroom and change your diaper. 

Frances: No, Nor-nor, no! (runs at sister and swats pathetically in her general direction, maybe connecting, maybe not, but in any case, not with enough force to actually hurt)

Nora: (runs away wimpily) Mommy! Mommy! Frances is trying to hit me!

Me: Seriously?!?!?!

Frances has also been teething, so perhaps this is part of the cause of the nastiness. I recall Liam’s brother-in-law once saying he and his wife blamed every unfortunate behavior their sons ever displayed from birth through age four on teething. I’m of the mind to do the same thing here.

Thankfully we didn’t have to deal with too many tantrums with Nora. I think this was because she was always able to express herself adequately. And, we could reason with her when she was upset. Frances lacks the verbal skills her older sister had at this age, so I’m expecting the frustration level to remain high.

On a brighter note, at church last Sunday, Frances showed a slightly more angelic side of herself when she began making the sign of the cross haphazardly, over and over again during the second reading. She looked like a confused third base coach giving signs to a runner, but Liam and I recognized her actions right away from practicing saying grace before dinner each night. Also, she accompanied me to the bathroom at one point during the middle of Mass. Upon walking back inside the church, she paused thoughtfully and genuflected on her own, entering the pew ahead of me. After several of us who witnessed the event enjoyed a chuckle at her expense, Liam leaned over and proudly exclaimed in a voice slightly above a whisper, “She’s going to become a nun.”

After observing her behavior this past week I am quite sure he has reconsidered this thought. Right now I am thinking drama queen. Major drama queen. We might be in trouble here.

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