You know what’s better than a long weekend? Two long weekends in a row! I do feel like I have a lot to catch up on now, though, since we didn’t spend the weekend at home. We came home to what felt like a disaster area thanks to Hurricane Enzo passing through on Friday before we left. I think he had made a goal of emptying every toy and book bin in the house before we left… and succeeded. While cleaning in the evening is not my favorite thing, it’s got to be done, either that or we have to try and do it on the weekend and it seems to take twice as long when the kiddos are awake.
Anyhoo, it was nice to get away for the weekend (I’ll write more about that later when I upload the pictures). We over-packed because we didn’t know what to expect when we got to the cabin, but now we have a better idea for next time (when/if that occurs). While a break in the routine is nice, I think we’re all glad to be home now. Enzo was a little off this morning and at first didn’t want to leave the house and didn’t want to put his shoes on after not wanting to wake up, so I told Josh not to bother putting his shoes on, and that seemed to work. I asked him if he wanted to walk to the car himself or be carried, and he said he wanted to be carried, and he let me put his shoes on in the car. More and more often I think his tantrums are due to him feeling like he has no control over anything. While he is becoming more articulate every day, he still struggles to voice what is upsetting him, so it’s a matter of putting ourselves in his shoes and waiting for a break in the storm to tell him that we understand and to try and give him the words so he can tell us in the future what he’s feeling. We also try to give him as many choices as we can. Granted, he doesn’t always want to do any of those choices, so we do have those moments where we just have to let him be mad while staying firm.
I’m trying to set up a corner in the house for “Quiet Time” rather than “Time Out” because I don’t want to punish him right now for having strong feelings and being frustrated because he can’t voice them. We do need a place to put him, though, when he starts to take those feelings out on us by pinching, hitting, kicking, spitting or screaming. From what I’ve been reading he seems to have a lot of “Highly Sensitive” traits actually, which is perhaps something to get into another time. The biggest thing is creating more of a “Yes” environment so that Enzo isn’t being told “No” so often. We don’t mind his inquisitive nature and we both encourage a certain amount of tumbling and “daredevil” play, but I think we both have our days where we perhaps say “No” or “Be careful” or something similar way too often and he finds it stifling and is therefore more likely to get frustrated and feel like he has no control over his world. I’ve been personally trying to limit the “N” word unless really needed, in which case I figure out if I can permanently move or fix something so it is no longer a temptation, and I’m also trying to change the way I say things. If he’s playing with Phoebe, I don’t automatically say, “Be careful” but just watch his movements and jump in as needed. I don’t want to say things preemptively, assuming he’s going to be rough or otherwise. Most importantly I try to think of how I’d feel if someone was constantly telling me how to act or what not to do. I’d get cranky and frustrated.
The biggest thing is remembering that all 2 year olds go through highs and lows. One day he may not want to listen to me and be a sassy little stinker and fight bedtime (and everything), but once we get settled down he’s often very sweet and will stroke my face while we read our bedtime stories, and will tell me he loves me. The Two’s may be “terrible,” but they have some pretty wonderful moments too.