I have lost count on how many times I have wanted to throttle my child. I don't mean that euphemistically.
Dinks is going to be three on 12/11 and I want to buy a shirt that says "I survived the terrible twos".
No lie, at least once a week, she and I would get into shouting matches.
I'd tell her to do something and she would say "no". I'd tell her again and she would be defiant. My voice would raise. She would start to cry AND NOT STOP! And still not do what she is told!
That's when a little switch in my skull would click and I would find myself wanting to do something, anything, to make the child stop crying and have her do what she was told. It is not a pretty sight and it's really quite frightening. Here is an adult about to go completely insane because someone will not listen to reason. But not just any someone, a little girl not even three who is the mother's own flesh and blood. I'd be a liar if I said I never spanked her. But she is still in diapers so hitting the butt causes little to no effect. So you go for the unprotected areas (I.E., the hands, arms, feet, legs, back of head, etc). The crying doesn't stop but increases because now the poor child is terrified. You are about to lose your mind and think of quick and easy remedies to bring control back to your world regardless of consequences.
Thank God, each time, I was able to walk away, take a ten to twenty second breather, and go back. By then, Dinks is usually doing the heavy sob breathing thing and puts her arms up for a hug. She gets scooped and cuddled for however long time will allow. Now you have a parent who feels like hell after what just happened and a child who feels both scared and comforted by their parent. The match is over - neither side won.
Why am I telling you this?
I just read (and finally stopped crying over) the story of little Kelsey Briggs. And little Sarah Chavez. And little Hannah Williams. Lord knows this is just a smattering of the death related child abuse stories out there. But one thing that caught my eye was the ages of these children. They were all two years old.
The terrible two age. The age when a child is testing his/her boundaries of what control "they" have over their little world. And we as adult survivors of this age just don't get why the kid is being such a pain in the butt. And sometimes, we lose control.
Am I siding with the abusers? Hell no! You are still bigger than the defenseless child and we adults should have more common sense.
What I am trying to draw attention to is the "terrible twos" and how terrible they really can be on the parent. We hear so much about postpartum depression being a factor in abuse cases with infants. The upside of this is the tons of literature, medication, and support groups there are for this syndrome. But what of parents with toddlers? Where is OUR specified needs support group? Is it that we are pushing our kids to grow-up so fast that we think they should be mentally capable of handling their emotions at two? As you can sense, this is a rather touchy open nerve subject with me.
Kelsey Briggs photo is on my sidebar and shall remain there indefinitely. It serves as a link to her memorial site.
If she was born for any purpose, let it be a way to generate support groups for parents and step-parents of toddlers who need help. I am talking specific help on how to deal with everyday life and raising a toddler. All two to three year olds are defiant to a degree, and parents need to learn to let that happen regardless of how big a crimp it puts in their day. Just trying to handle the situation as if you are dealing with another adult could have devastating or deadly effects. No child should die at the hands of those who are there to protect them.
Though she suffered greatly, she was born with a purpose. Don't let that purpose slip to the side with yesterday's headlines.
Note: I will be putting links on my site at a later date that go to various child abuse prevention sites. This is one issue I feel strongly about.
Looking at that last sentence, is that proper English?