Saturday, September 3, 2011

Faces of Terrible Twos

My fourth child is now showing some signs that the flood gates of the terrible twos shall spring forth in all there glory.  I don't see how something so sweet and cuddly can turn into something so....not.  One day they are giggles and smiles and the next day they are....not.  BUT something kind of helpful came out of something kind of fun which we started with our first and continued to do with all four of these little angels turned...not angels.  I would take little baby Anna in my lap and teach her "make a happy face".  I would smile real big and dorky (more than I usually do thank you very much) and over her babyhood she would smile all big and dorky right back at me. We made many faces like mad face, sad face, surprised face (always very cute one with babies), bored face, sleepy face, and we even had a debonair face which would kind of turn out to be a cross between superman and lunatic.  This little gem of a game, we did all the time.  Lo and behold this came in VERY handy as each baby blossomed into toddlerhood.  Caleb was so classy when he did it.  Anna would wrong him in some way and he would walk into the kitchen and look at me with a down turned mouth and Groucho eyebrows and say...."mad"...and then walk away.  At any point of our day I could just all of a sudden say "surprise" and my kids would take in the most perfect mock gasp that would get them a starring role on any novella in the world.  I could have put us all on vaudeville. And then my cute babies....turned two. 
They say two years olds often have tantrums because they get so frustrated when they can't tell you what they want.  So they scream.  Whatever.  My two year olds could tell me very well want they wanted.  It was when I did not GIVE them what they wanted did they then get frustrated and then thus scream. 
BUT....I think I've got them figured out.  You see, I put my self in their shoes.  I'm always tripping on their shoes so might as well put them on for a minute so here it goes.  It's not that they get frustrated about not being able to express no's that they have all of these emotions or faces inside of them that they wish to express BUT they just don't know how to control the volume or when that emotion should really just be on mute.  The mad face is turned REALLY REALLY HIGH when they are mad and holy mole wouldn't it be nice if they could just do the debonair face once in a while.  So....YOU yes YOU need to teach them how to switch faces and I truly believe the face controls the volume when it comes to toddlers. Scenario please!
Ben screams and puts on the Mad Face.
I start the counter attack with "Benjamin, you are mad and you are going to your room until you have a happy face."
Between 30seconds to 5minutes later he is back wearing a Happy Face (which of course is a very strained happy face which looks more like "Oh Mother dear, I am greatly constipated" but by golly, I'll take it)
This really does work for my kids BUT start when they are babies and if that's not an option start now!
Okay, good luck out there.  Remember you're the parent and that's the two year old.  You feed it, wash it, love it to death, now put the right face on it.  Do Not run from it or it will sense your feelings of inadequacy and make you have a "when will he be in college? face"  As we say in my house, "I'm the mom and you're the two year old."  Now go be the mom!

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