Kids in the Capital City

Kids in the Capital City: Is my 2-year-old really an adorable monster?

Kids in the Capital City: Is my 2-year-old really an adorable monster?

Little girl crossed arms
Cool attitude, toddler. praetorianphoto/Getty Images

At this current state in my life, I’d estimate I spend about 85 percent of my time contemplating one single thought: "Is my child going to be a monster when he grows up?"

(The other 15 percent is spent pinpointing the last time I washed my hair, for the record.)

As my son approaches the notorious “terrible twos,” things have taken a turn. Gone are the days of the giggly, sweet boy. Suddenly, he’s doing full flops and foot kicks when he doesn’t get what he wants, making trips to the grocery store miserable and trips to Target tantrum-filled. That’s right, he’s ruining Target for me.

“Have children, they said.” “It’ll be fun, they said.”

Anyway, I digress. We’ve entered a stage of parenthood that I wasn’t quite ready for: discipline. Suddenly he’s got opinions, and he’s not afraid to make them known. He doesn’t get what he wants, and he throws his toys on the floor. He doesn’t want to eat vegetables? He throws his asparagus across the room. Don’t even get me started on diaper changes.

There are certain things I’m willing to overlook. You want another yogurt pouch to keep quiet? Fine, buddy, knock yourself out. Screen time so I can get some quiet time? Sure. But full-blown screaming fits and throwing toy cars at the dog aren’t things I was quite ready to deal with, and I’m struggling.

Don’t get me wrong — he’s still cute. One minute he’s screaming at me for making him put shoes on, and then next minute he’s climbing atop my lap, snuggling in for a story and some cheek-to-cheek time. One utterance of “mama” doesn’t quite make up for all the times I heard “no!” the day before, but it helps. He’s even mastered the sheepish grin, which turns me into the ultimate pushover parent. I’m putty in his hands.

It comes as no shock to those that know me that my child is strong-willed. I’ve never been a shrinking violet, and I certainly stand by my guns. An only child, I didn’t really even know what it meant to not get my way. I’m sure that in facing my future, I’m staring down the barrel at some serious karmic retribution.

I’ve bought books. I’ve consulted friends. I’ve prepared myself for what is most certainly “only the beginning.” But oh boy, I’m bracing myself for quite the battle. Tips? Tricks? Send them all my way. It’s gonna be a bumpy ride, and I need all the help I can get.