It’s finally here.
I had thought this was a child who would breeze through toddlerhood with a wonderfully perfect disposition and personality. He was cute, endearing, charming and affectionate at one and for a good part of the second year. He ate when it was time to, slept when it was time to, and although there was the occasional tug-of-war when it came to the battling of wills, it was usually easy to distract him and win each battle.
Nat, my littlest, has got his Terrible Twos way, way delayed. And man, am I so exhausted now having to deal with the hugest streak of stubbornness yet. Cos’ even Ben and Becks weren’t like that.
Think sitting on ground (any ground – wet, muddy, flat, hilly) kicking his slippers off his feet and throwing the hissiest of fits. Think grabbing onto your leg and not letting you budge an inch when you refuse to do what he wants. Think shouting into your face and pinching you with all the might his little fingers can muster until he gets his way. And throwing things out and away when he doesn’t want them, screaming the moment you start scolding him and creating a scene everywhere – at home, at restaurants, inside the wet market, on the escalators of shopping malls, in the carpark – when he is that mood.
Yep, that’s what we’re looking at now. A three-year-old who’s testing every boundary, challenging authority and showing us what he’s made of.
I do now know. Nat’s personality, that is. Much is revealed when every child goes through this stage – what kind of a person he is when he’s tired, stressed, hungry, bullied, which is a pretty accurate gauge of the personality he would possess when he’s older.
He’s one helluva feisty, persistent and obstinate boy, I tell you.
But even so, there are moments of tenderness. He is quick to apologise and move on, and clever enough to use his charm to sweetly ask for things and plead with you. He’s extremely intelligent and would use all that wit to say something silly to make you laugh in your anger. And he would cry the piteous of cries, complete with those tears flowing freely.
This boy’s just turned three and it looks like I am not seeing the end of the tunnel yet. So I’m going to be brainwashing myself with the “this too shall pass” chant a great deal to soldier on in this delayed phase of the Terribles.
And this post is going to end with this photo, which pretty much sums up my life right now, with him.