I remember hearing everywhere about the Terrible Two’s. My friends, my family, the t.v., books, all spouting off about those Terrible Two’s. I also remember when my first daughter turned 2 wondering what the heck the fuss was all about. Oh, she was headstrong and afraid of monsters but there was nothing unmanageable or terrible about her. I skipped through the whole aged 2 thing with a breeze actually completely and blissfully unaware of what was yet to come.
Yep, 2 was easy with my two girls but I admit I was completely and totally unprepared for the age of 3. My daughters’ “age of awakening”, as I’ll call it, was the realization that they had a voice and the intention of using it to their fullest extent. The “you are not the boss of me!”, “I don’t have to if I don’t want to!” and the “you can’t make me!” phrases to which I responded “Yes I am”, ” Yes you do” and “Yes I can!”. Yes, Nightmare Alley with my girls started at 3. I was soon to realize, however, that boys reach their own Nightmare Alley decidedly earlier than girls do. While my daughters reached an “age of awakening” at 3 my son reached an “age of destruction” at 2. His sudden realization was that he could physically alter the environment around him and cause his sisters to run in terror with the simple raising of his arm.
But I have one more name for both these “ages”. I call it The Advil Years. I have consumed more Advil in the last 2 years than I have the entire 40 years prior. Why is Advil advertising their product to people with arthritis? I am willing to wager that parents of 2 and 3 year olds consume more Advil on average than any other age group in any other stage of their life, not that I’m not willing to share with arthritis sufferers. It is only a matter of time before the lifting, blocking and chasing of little people causes irreversable damage to my joints after all.
Tell me though when you find a sink jammed with rocks, and a toothbrush so far down as to be unreachable, wouldn’t you head straight for a bottle of Advil? And when you discover the handmade Christmas ornaments, made primarily out of cinnamon, hanging on the tree each with one big bite out them, or the tree strewn with handfuls of popcorn (not on a string) and half eaten crackers strategically placed to compliment the half eaten cinnamon ornaments, that you wouldn’t be looking for a little pain relief.
Yes, when I find my middle child peeing in various bowl-shaped objects, the bathtub, the cardboard box and the baby doll’s little tub, I reach for an Advil.
And, I admit that when I discovered my 2-year-old son using the wall and the box of mandarin oranges like balls in a batting cage, I reached for an Advil. Even the image of a dozen or so round splats on my wall with juice streaming down to where the squashed oranges lay on the floor below makes my hand quiver towards the Advil jar.
There can be no doubt that when I watch my son chasing his sisters with his arm raised and holding a bowling ball pin, that I’ll soon be reaching for an Advil.
I await in anticipation the time when I can give up my new Advil addiction for something a little more enjoyable, maybe something like alcohol. Unfortunately, spending my days in a stupour is not condusive to child rearing so I stay true and loyal to my Advil knowing that some day I will escape these years. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Eventually, at the right age, I will go insane.
*Because I believe in full disclosure I must advise that while no Advil were harmed or eaten during the writing of this blog, the same cannot be said during the events mentioned herein. Beware that this is an Advil consumption friendly zone.
**Oh, and while I would have liked to have been, I have not been requested, paid or otherwise approached by Advil to promote its product. I just value pain relief.
***One last thing, I am not actually addicted to Advil. Nor do I consume it on a daily basis. So no need to set up an Intervention on me…but I do love it!