Crap. I have a 2-year-old.

I have a 2-year-old. No longer the cooing baby that only requires food, hugs, kisses, and many diaper changes. No. I have a 2-year-old. And, I’m sad to announce: she has recently discovered her age! I don’t mean she knows she’s 2…. I mean…. Oh my crap. She has discovered the power of the terrible twos! No, they’re not a myth or an old wive’s tale. It’s 100% real. And, it is terrifying!

Well, not really terrifying…. Just beyond frustrating. Miss R has been throwing tantrums and meltdowns in public for quite some time now…. But, she has found a new power deep down inside her. The power to scream and kick and shake and yell, “I don’t have to!!!!!!!!” It’s like I’ve raised a demon. Well, it’s not always like that…. But, this past week and a half has been somethin.

It started on Easter. Spread through to Monday…. And, continues to grow. We went to dance class the following Wednesday and I asked another mama on a date. A playdate. She has the sweetest almost 3-year-old. And, she’s a nice lady herself. I gave this mama my business card and said, “Just shoot me an email. That would be fun! Ruari needs to be around more kids her age.” seconds later….. Ruari screamed at her daughter (demon scream with the added shaking from rage) to get away from her stroller and to not touch her. ::omygah::

The anger shakes. What’s with that? She tightens her fists… shakes…. and screams. I know she’s learning to express herself… but, goodness. My poor hubs said, “I had no idea… you can stay calm and talk softly, never yell at your kid, and do your best to raise them to be nice and polite…. and, they still manage to be ‘that kid’ at the store.” You know, ‘that kid’. The kid I would side-eye before I was a mom. The ‘Can’t you control your child?’ kid. After I had Ruari I never thought ill of any poor mama with a tantruming (new word) kid. I understood. But, now I’m that poor mama.Β I knew we’d probably get to that point some day… and, I was learning that being a mama is tough. REWARDING, but tough.

If you follow my twitter or instagram you may have noticed a couple of my “oh.mah.goodness.” tweets this last week. It’s been tough. For now I’m just going to tell myself that she’s just going to have an amazing strong personality…. and, I will continue to raise her with kindness and love (all while screaming profanities in my brain-parts).

Me on Easter… taking a walk in the middle of an empty road drinking some wine… after the most amazing melt down ever.

AND, the next day… we cut our shopping day short because of meltdowns….

She’s not always like this… but, it just came on with such a strong force… overnight… It’s sort of blown us away. She’s still growing and learning to communicate what she wants/or does not want (she’s good at that last one for sure). But, I’m growing and learning too….. slowly.

{Related Posts: //I have a kid.//Just Another Day//Sometimes it’s Hard//}

Linking up withΒ Extraordinary Ordinary for Just Write.


  • mrslltkings on said:

    Happy 2 years, R. I just LOVE your title…it's how I feel πŸ˜‰

  • Jaime on said:

    hearrrrd that. kingston's new thing is to either throw himself dramatically on the floor or slam his head into whatever is near by. it's fun, this age, I tell you.

    • The Paper Mama on said:

      I've heard of the kiddo's that slam their heads into things… I'm so happy she hasn't started that. πŸ™‚

  • Jessica on said:

    Oh man. I guess I have a year and a half to go but I am scared to death. I've lately had a lot of photo sessions with two year olds and they are by FAR the worst. One's aren't too bad, and 3's are better. When I have parents tell me the kids ages beforehand and the age is 2 I know my work is cut out!! Like you said though- it's not like they were raised that way it's really just the age! Who knows where the heck they get that from!!

    • The Paper Mama on said:

      I know it's just the brain development they are going through… but, man…. I think it's going to be a long year. πŸ˜‰

  • Faith R on said:

    Been there. Done that. My 1st stubborn kid is 10 years old now but she was just a preview for my 2nd stubborn girl and oldest boy – who have all embarrassed me in public more times than I can count. They've screamed so loud you could definitely hear it at the other side of the store/parking lot/library. They've screamed, thrown themselves down on the ground, run away from me. It's really humbling/humiliating. I choose to think that the sign of a great mother is not that her kid never misbehaves but what she does when her child misbehaves. You'll get thought it!!
    One thing that really helped me with my kids are noticing their triggers – one can not seem to keep her act together when she is hungry, another one of my kids is actually rather awful when he needs a nap, another likes to feel like she is in control, always wants to know what is going on and what is coming next so she'd fall to pieces if I transitioned too quickly. Noticing those things helped me avoid as many embarrassing moments – but you know they still happen. Good luck!!

    • The Paper Mama on said:

      Yes, I think I still have a bit to learn about her style. I do know she always needs to eat… nonstop…. or, there's a lot of grump. πŸ˜‰

  • Sara Stoff on said:

    Hey! I'm in that boat too! My 2.5 yo will say things like "Mama! You stop talking!" In front of people! Gah. So embarrassing. It's hard not to just give them whatever they want to stop the screaming. But I refuse to give in! And when I am walking around the store with a screaming child over my shoulder I silently declare myself winner.

  • tara pohlkotte on said:

    oh, this was my daughter up until like 3 months ago, and she will be 4 in 3 weeks. it is rough. hang tight for as long as you can… it will be {mostly} over, someday πŸ™‚

  • Elena on said:

    OMG girl you have me shakin' in my flip flops over here. My little one is 20 months and she is getting fresh. I was just telling my husband how fresh she was today. The tantrums are still minor at this point but I am not naive in any way; I am just waiting for a full blown melt down. I just hope I can make it through ;o)

    • The Paper Mama on said:

      You will. It will just throw you completely off guard. πŸ™‚

  • nanettep on said:

    Maybe there's something in the PNW air. Em has had her fair share of meltdowns, at home and in public, but just this last week she started doing that similar clench-her-fists and add particular emphasis on the last word of her demand. Like, "I don't want to go to BED!" At this early point, I still have to stifle my laughter, but I'm sure it'll stop being funny soon enough.

  • Lacey on said:

    THANK YOU! It's weird, because our 20 month old started freaking out overnight too around the same time. Ever since Easter she's been out of sorts. We thought she might be sick, but ruled that out. Turns out she is just that age. But, man…I have a feeling knowing I'm not the only one going through this is the ONLY thing that's gonna get me through. The hardest part is that I want her to be happy. And boy oh boy she does NOT seem happy most of the time. I have noticed that she is primarily terrible only with us (mom and dad). And I try to remember that that means that she trusts us. How effed up is that?! We get the worst behavior because we are doing something right! Anyways, thanks so much for posting this. And godspeed!!!

  • SarahSchultz on said:

    This is probably an awful and sexist thing to say, but I find this to be sooooo true at this age for girls. of my nieces has acted out with tantrums/meltdowns like you have described, but my nephew and son (currently 2 yrs 2 months) just are so mellow and seem to do very very well in public. Maybe it's a girl thing????? Who knows, maybe if I'll have a girl she'll do it too!

  • Mariana on said:

    I have a 2 years and 4 months old boy and I can easily understand you…
    They're growing and learning. And yes, we're growing and learning, too.
    We're growing and learning together, but I think they're faster.

    We have to stay strong. For them.

  • Heidi on said:

    Soooooo… what your saying is…I have nothing to look forward to? well, maybe besides rehab (which means alone time for mom, but that also means alone time with no wine) OHMYGAWD…my daughter is 15 months and already starting with the screaming, whining and attitude! I like to call her “spirited” when I explain her to people, because I think calling her an asshole is frowned apon…I sure hope I gain some knowledge and patience before the next difficult stage, that or she is just going to chip away at what little patience I have and I am going to lose my sh*t! I hope it gets better for you or that you find a really good sale on wine.

  • Jen @ Ginger Guide on said:

    Oh if it gets worse than this, I'm in trouble. My 15 month old is a champion tantrum thrower and I don't think there's enough booze in the world to get me through the terrible twos if it escalates. Mostly I just laugh now because he just looks ridiculous. Probably not the best parenting move but it's either that or throw peas at him. I choose the laughing…for now.

  • Meghann Chapman on said:

    Do some research on omega 6 for her. I found a gummy supplement for my little girl and it made a world of distance in her behavior and cut way back on her meltdowns.

  • Nicole on said:

    Grammy says she reminds her of me. So she will grow up to be just as stubborn as me! Hee hee! Hopefully she's just getting it all out before the wedding ;P

    • The Paper Mama on said:

      Ha ha ha! She probably won't. She may have to walk down the aisle with Grammy or something. πŸ™‚

  • imlivinginadream on said:

    Poor you! My goodness, 2 years old does not sound like a fun age. I work with kids and see this on a regular basis, so I know it's not always the parents' fault. Kids just go crazy around two-three. Honestly though, it's just the way they grow up. Don't be embarrassed when you go out, though! You're doing your best. When I was little my mom said that the best thing that worked is to be like "Oh, that's what you're doing? OKAY BYE." and pretend to walk out and leave me. You can BET that it was way more important for me to not be left in the middle of a store rather than throwing a tantrum!

    Best of luck, I know you'll get through this! It'll be a great story for when she's older hehe πŸ™‚

    • The Paper Mama on said:

      My mom tells a story of my sister (at age 2) yelling at her as loud as she can while at the mall, "You're not my mommy! I don't like yooooou!" Over and over. She left the mall pretty darn fast…. Ha!

  • Desirae R on said:

    I am sooo glad to read that we are not the only ones going through this right now. Hold strong momma, this too shall pass ( I hope..)

  • Alyssa S. on said:

    I hate to break it to you, but they only get more opinionated! I'm still recovering from a year ago when Merrick (3 yrs old at the time) decided he'd had enough of sitting still while watching Cars 2 at the movie theater. I had to carry him out, thrown over my shoulder lie a sack of potatoes, screaming 'PUT ME DOWN, PUT ME DOWN" all the way out of the room, down the hallway and out to the parking lot. At 6, Amelia wants to wear what she wants to wear…and wants to brush her own hair even if she leaves tangles…and tie her own shoes even if it takes her 15 minutes to get the loops just perfect. *sigh*

    • The Paper Mama on said:

      Ha ha ha! Oh man. Ok. I'm just going to have to learn to deal I guess. πŸ˜‰

  • on said:

    We are there too! It's like where did my sweet child go? Rylie's new thing is screaming "leave me alone!" Ugh.

  • Chelsea on said:

    Oh my, I am so scared for this stage! We haven't had it come on fully yet, but I know it is out there! Hopefully by the time it hits I'll be able to drink wine again πŸ˜‰

    • The Paper Mama on said:

      Ha ha ha! I hope she waits for that too…. But, then you have a newborn. πŸ˜‰

  • Amanda Meinert on said:

    Oh boy! My Gavin just turned 2 last month and we are currently experiencing the same exact thing. Public meltdowns to the point where I want to ram my shopping cart into a wall as hard as I can to release some of my frustrations when he’s throwing a shit fit in the middle of the produce isle. He is that kid that when you tell him he better cool it, he gets louder and louder. It’s only happened once where I just headed straight to the cash registers with 5 items in my cart. Just know you’re not alone! And you said it perfectly, i tell my husband his son has turned into a deemon child! πŸ˜‰

    • The Paper Mama on said:

      Leaving shopping early is sadly the norm for us now. :/

    • SarahSchultz on said:

      I guess my comment is a moot point after reading this! πŸ˜‰ I always stereotyped this as girl behavior as ALL of my nieces have done this at 2 and beyond but not my nephew, son, or other boys this age that I know!

      • The Paper Mama on said:

        I have no idea. My friends girls are the same way on occasions…. But, not sure about the boys.

  • Kate on said:

    Oh mama, I'm definitely in the exact same boat! My newly 2 year old has perfected the art of meltdowns and we have officially become "that kid". Ugh…Here's to hoping this passes quickly and that we make it through with minimal gray hairs! πŸ™‚

  • analee on said:

    i have a 4-1/2 year old and a 3-1/4 year old and they both are still seem to be in their terrible twos (the oldest is the worst!). hang in there. we all understand. my younger one is the girl and i just gave her a job to do. it allows her to feel in charge which i think is a lot of the problem with her. she likes to be in control of herself. so, now she picks out her clothes, dresses herself, basically does everything for herself (with me helping of coarse!) and she is proud of it. i also can't let either of them get too tired or hungry or they really get demon. seriously, though, you have a great blog with many readers with a wealth and range of experience – and when you get frustrated, it is a great tool to use for ideas and/or support! when i read YOUR blog about YOUR child, it makes me feel normal. so please, write more.

    • The Paper Mama on said:

      Ha ha! That's why I like writing these posts. I'm not alone. You're not either. πŸ™‚

  • Mandy Chiappini on said:

    MY gosh, I could have written most of this myself. Bennett is the epitome of "terrible two's" right now. And like Ruari, he's always thrown tantrums… always. But the last couple of weeks (since bringing Easton home)… it's escalated to a brand new level. I feel like by the end of the day I could just literally cry myself to sleep. Ugh. I have a post coming about this, too. Just need to finish it.
    But man, these 2 year old's really know how to test us, don't they!?

    • The Paper Mama on said:

      Yes they do. But, maybe it will get better when he gets used to Easton?

  • Regina Morrison on said:

    Oh my goodness. This all sounds so tough….I have no children and this makes me not want to – but also want to just to see what it's like :).
    Happy 2nd Birthday Ruari!

    • The Paper Mama on said:

      Its really worth it…. Just rough in the moment. πŸ™‚

  • Diana on said:

    I am going through the exact same thing right now with my 2 year old little guy. Not only is it tantrum city at our house, but he is going through a daredevil stage that has me scared out of mind! He thinks he can climb or jump off any surface. And then after all of the madness subsides, I get a "Wow. Your hair is perfect, Mommy." Haha.

  • Jeni on said:

    The terrible twos, they are no joke. And sorry to say it but so are the threes, in my experience at least. For some reason nobody ever came up with a title for the threes, but really they rival the twos for awfulness. My second one has been relatively mild (KNOCKING ON WOOD), but there are many occasions with my first that I wish I could erase from my memory. Horrible, epic, dragging out of public places with both of us sweaty and upset episodes. So at least you know it's normal. And that eventually there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It helps that they are cute (most of the time).

    • The Paper Mama on said:

      They are so cute. Never would have expected such evil from her. πŸ˜‰

  • The Paper Mama on said:

    I will share any advice I can…. If I have any. πŸ˜‰

  • kk @ the mom diggity on said:

    Boy can I relate. Mine is STUBBORN with a capital B-R-A-T. I hope it's just a phase for you and after testing her limits she goes back to being sweet πŸ™‚

    • The Paper Mama on said:

      I hope so… But, she does seem to enjoy it. πŸ˜‰

  • Crystalyn on said:

    My daughter turned two about 5 months early haha! Oh it was so hard. She is three now, and for the most part the tantrums have faded. she still has her days, but don't we all? It gets so much easier as they get better at communicating. I had a friend once who was going to write a book called "Even the best parents can raise demon children."

  • Sonia on said:

    Right there with you. My daughter won't stop whining, screaming, or crying. She throws tantrums, does the "anger shake" as well, and loves to tells me "NO!" all of the time. It's definitely frustrating. And being a first time mom, it's been really difficult to figure out how to handle these outbursts. πŸ™ So for now, I'm just praying that they don't last forever.

  • Louise on said:

    Yes….I HEAR YOU! I also have a two year old. She gives me the fear, challenges me every day. Then comes to me and says "I love oo mummy" and I melt and forget. I need to remember those times when she is testing me!

    and breathe….

    Thanks for this,

    Louise xo

  • heather on said:

    Got to love the terrible two's They seem to last forever! We've been having them for sometime, and they just keep getting worse.

  • Janae on said:

    i hear ya, momma! i'm not quite in the "i don't have to!" stage yet, but i've got a 21 month old that is making my ears bleed with the ear-piercing screaming over every little thing. touch her cup — SCREAMING. put dinner in front of her — SCREAMING. bathtime — SCREAMING. sitting in the shopping cart — SCREAMING. i think i even used the word demon to describe this crazy version of my sweet kid before.

    at least you know you aren't alone. brain profanities and wine and prayer that'll it'll end soon. πŸ˜‰

  • Jennifer on said:

    That sounds about right for her age. Did she just turn two ? or closer to 2.5? (which sometimes I think the "half" ages are harder then the rest!) Our started at 1 and still going strong at 5!! (prob not normal but just some perspective because I have survived it) πŸ™‚ I know it is tough, but you are doing a great job!! And yes, wine helps the rough days. hehe πŸ™‚

  • Christina on said:

    Oh.My.Goodness. I wish I could just give you a big hug! (and another large glass of wine, lol!) I KNOOOWWWW how you feel! My son's "tantruming" didn't start until around 3 (He'll be 4 in June), and we've struggled with it for almost a year now. Of course, like you, I adore my child and think he is the sweetest thing in the world… but yeah… many many times we've had "that kid" in public. ughhhh…. We'll make it through! Right?!

    • The Paper Mama on said:

      Yes. And, the hardest part is learning to ignore the oh my gah looks. πŸ˜‰

  • Jennifer on said:

    That sounds about right for her age. Did she just turn two ? or closer to 2.5 (which sometimes I think the "half" ages are harder then the rest!) I know it is hard, but hang in there. My FIERCELY independent and spirited daughter , who is now 5, still has terrible meltdowns (and they started at age 1 for us!!) It is tough. Everyday. But also worth it, as you know. You are doing a great job. πŸ™‚

    • The Paper Mama on said:

      She turned 2 in December. It definitely wasn't this bad even last month. She's just so stubborn……. Maybe she gets that from me? πŸ˜‰

  • candice on said:

    Stay strong Mama. This makes me nervous as my daughter just turned 17 months. I look forward to reading any updates and advice!

  • Christina on said:

    I feel your pain! Mia is a bit younger then Miss R but my goodness, she can throw tantrums with the best of them too. My poor son (he’s 6) is SOO embarrassed by her “escapades” in public, I feel sorry for him most of all! πŸ™‚ But I try to explain to him that anyone with children understands that sometimes kids act like that, and its okay! (Not for her behavior, of course, but for people to look at her! ;)) Hang in there! Like everyone keeps saying, “This too shall pass” HOPEFULLY sooner rather than later! πŸ˜‰

  • Lisa on said:

    I have a two & a half year-old who's the size of a four year old & let's just say he's also very strong-willed. He's been "that kid" more times then I can count now. I secretly love hearing other parents terrible two stories….I can defiantly relate & reminds me I'm not the only parent going through this.
    Thanks for sharing!

    • The Paper Mama on said:

      I live hearing other's stories. Then, I know I'm not alone! πŸ™‚

  • Tara on said:

    oh I feel ya! I worked at a daycare, and when they have those tantrums, as hilarious as it is, it is the most frustrating thing! I had a little girl that would play dead weight! She never wanted to wake up from her nap, but we had snack and then art, I let her lay through snack, but art came around, and she had plenty of time to "wake up" She refused!! So I picked her up to carry her, and she totally went limp on me! I was either going to laugh or cry!! I ended up laughing, but oh man was that little girl a stubborn tantruming child! πŸ™‚

    Hope little miss R gets it out of her system for you! πŸ™‚

  • Jillian on said:

    Yipes! I am sorry that you have to go through this. My boy is only 1 year and I am already afraid for those times. Stay strong!

    • The Paper Mama on said:

      It just came out of nowhere. But, rumor is that not every kid goes through it. πŸ™‚

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