Spawn #1 turned two. That’s all that seemed to happen. He turned two, and began to have tantrums. There is nothing unusual in that, I suppose, and Darling Wife and I were prepared for it. But he has been developing a nasty temperamental streak of late (which unfortunately is rubbing off on Cherub #2 in small doses) but while this is not something we want to laugh about, it can occasionally create some truly hilarious moments.
A little while ago, Spawn #1 did something naughty (I forget what it was now, probably something like pushing his sister over, but it was enough to land him in trouble) and I had to resort to the Naughty Mat. I grabbed him by the hand, led him to the front door and plopped him on the mat, making sure to shut the door to the lounge on the way – or at least, I thought I had.
Spawn #1 was crying. He had been taken away from his toys and the TV and his sister and taken to the Naughty Mat. And now Daddy was kneeling in front of him and speaking in a stern voice. He was upset because he was in trouble.
And yet, as I spoke to him, explaining the reason why I was putting him on the step, I saw his eyes flick to something over my shoulder. His crying stopped and gradually a small smile crept across his face. I couldn’t understand it. Here I was, imposing discipline on him and telling him off and there he was beginning to laugh.
At this point, I turned around to find out just what it was that was undermining my authority and making him laugh. I should have guessed…
I had not closed the lounge door properly and there was Cherub #2 trying heavens hard to come and join us in the hallway. But whenever she opened the door wide enough for her body, she would start to crawl through the gap, and that’s when she would catch the door with her knee and close it on herself. So she was trying and failing multiple times to get out of the lounge, trapped halfway through the door, and Spawn #1 and I were there absolutely transfixed by this sight.
That’s when Cherub #2 looks up at us and breaks into the biggest, happiest smile in the world. My heart melted and Spawn #1 burst out into a fit of giggles.
And that was that. Discipline crumbled and we all just sat there in the hall giggling away, my authority destroyed by a one-year-old with clearance issues…
But at what point should I try to curb this temperament issue that Spawn #1 is developing? I mean, the above example probably didn’t aid me in my endeavors, but I am hardly helping myself in other instances either.
Only a few weeks ago, I told Spawn #1 it was time for bath and bed. “No, Daddy. I not want it.” Oh, well, that’s OK then! Wait, no it’s not!!!
“Come on, upstairs, bath – NOW!” Spawn #1 slaps his hands on top of the TV cabinet, and stomps across the lounge, out of the door and as he approached the open stair-gate, he decides to slam it shut!
Except, it’s not one of those gates that slams and snaps into place, but has a handle that has to be lowered into position. The end result of this action was that the gate banged into the frame and bounced back, hitting Spawn #1 in his stroppy face as he stomped onward and producing an audible “Oof” from him!
He wasn’t hurt, but this put him in such a thunder-strop that I could do nothing – but laugh my ass off!
The thing with laughing at two-year-olds is that they don’t always understand that you’re laughing AT them, and this must have been the case with Spawn #1. Upon hearing my cackling, he turned around and grinned at me, his shiny brown eyes twinkling in a way that seemed to say “Oh, you liked that, huh? Well, I’m gonna bash my face into the gate every time I get near it, because it makes you laugh.”
And then, just before he turned and climbed the stairs, his expression shifted slightly, as if to add “Then you can explain THAT to Mummy!”
I’m beginning to worry about that boy…