Last night, I pulled into the parking lot of Ryan’s daycare. I passed by his main teacher, who was leaving for the day. I smiled at her. She blinked and nodded once.
I walked into his classroom. He spotted me, grinned and ran into my arms, the same way he does every day. The picture-perfect reunion after a day apart.
His other teacher watched me warily as I greeted him.
“Did you have a good day?” I asked Ryan.
As he nodded, his teacher finally spoke.
“He bit a kid today. Again.”
Me: Oh. Oh no. Ryan… you know the rules. We do not bite. It is not nice to bite your friends. No biting, right?
Ryan: *huge smile* Dippy-crackers?! (Translation: Can I have hummus and crackers for dinner?!)
Me: Oh, I doubt–
Teacher: He wanted the child’s toy. The child didn’t want to give him the toy. So he bit the child.
Me: Oh, buddy. You shouldn’t–
Teacher: At first he only bit the child’s shirt. But that wasn’t enough for him. He went back after the child and bit again until he got skin.
Me: Oh jeez–
Teacher: It was downright mean … Please sign the report.
As I signed the report, Ryan decided he absolutely did NOT want to go home. To prove his point, he threw his most epic tantrum to date.
I had to carry him out of the center like a football, kicking and screaming. Once outside, he threw himself onto the sidewalk and alternated between screaming and staring at me (as did the rest of the city of Phoenix).
When I finally got him into the car, he ran around my backseat as I attempted to wrestle him into his car seat. Naturally, he hit me no less than 25 times during this process and tried his very very best to bite me.
As I finally slid into the driver’s seat, Ryan sweetly said, “Music, mommy?”
It’s official. We have arrived at the Terrible Twos.
I have determined that “Terrible Twos” doesn’t refer to a child’s age. We have all heard stories of children who hit their Peak of Terribleness at age 3 or 4 (or hell, age 16).
No, “Terrible Twos” refers instead to the two distinct personalities that a child displays during this stage of life.
Half of the time, Ryan is a sweet, funny, gentle, agreeable little guy. The other half of the time, he is an aggressive, bossy, whiny, obstinate force to be reckoned with.
The kicker? You never know which one you’re going to get.