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Pink Feathers

When a Toddler Turns

Although I have 3 children, I was not prepared for what happened yesterday while I was babysitting my grandson.

My grandson will be two in a few months. I watch him two days a week to give my daughter some time to run errands and get some things done. I am savoring this time because I know time will go by in the blink of an eye, and he will be in school. We always have fun playing with toys, exploring outside, or watching Bluey. He laughs easily, loves playing with our dog, and generally has a gentle spirit. Yesterday, though it was as if a switch had been switched and he turned into someone else.

He had just gotten up from his nap, and as usual, I carried him downstairs and put him down to play. He let out a bloodcurdling scream and looked very angry, and then he began to cry. It scared me because I thought something was hurting him. I picked him up, and he screamed again and did not want me to put him down. This went on for a while and he was also throwing things after we told him not to do something. It was so bad and out of character that my youngest came downstairs looking very concerned and asked me if I needed help. Then my husband came up from his office and told me he would stay with me until my son-in-law picked him up.

I was so worried that maybe he was coming down with something that I phoned my daughter and asked if she had seen any of this behavior. She said they had seen some hitting and biting, but nothing like what I was describing. Later that day she called me and said Nick (my son-in-law) came downstairs very upset with Parker, and she said, “Mommy, it looked like someone hit Parker in the face.” He had thrown himself on the ground in a temper tantrum. Of all my children, Parker’s mom was the only one who had temper tantrums. There was one epic one when I had a cart full of groceries, and she fell to the ground kicking and screaming. Of course, everyone looked at me as if family services should be called. I picked her up, left the cart, and exited the store.

So we have determined that our sweet toddler has turned the corner into the terrible twos as he deals with the frustration of not being able to communicate well and tries to determine what his place is and where are the boundaries. It sounds a lot like what happens when children turn 13. We are going to keep a sense of humor, guard our patience, and serve out plenty of love as we go through this stage.

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