For those paying close attention, Matisse turned two a few weeks ago. Cue the fear mongering from others... "oooohhh the terrible two's," "just you wait," "if you thought you knew what a tantrum was...." and other helpful comments that drive fear into your stomach like.... I've digressed.
I have heard of this phenomenon called a 'threenager' so I decided to coin my own term, a 'twonager.' However, a quick scan of Urban Dictionary put my ego in its place. The term was listed in 2014, so must have been in circulation EVEN before then. If only I stayed true to my Sanderson High School roots and became a teenage Mum, I would have been way ahead of the times. Wow. I digress every single paragraph. One would think I don't get out much. And they would be right if they didn't include the park, shops or lunatic asylum. Jokes about the last one. For now...
Anyway. The other day I was cramming my uni assignment, so Karl took Matisse out for the afternoon. Mum's house is a sanctuary for kids; not just for its expansive tropical outdoor areas, endless winding paths through the gardens and crystal clear pool; she is also an artist with a MASSIVE studio and never-ending supply of paint and other mother's worst nightmare items.
To cut a long story short, Matisse ate, drank, swam and did art. Then they came home.
She comes tearing up the stairs yelling out for me, so she can tell me all about her adventures. I was in the kitchen, surprise, when she busts in with the world's most excited face and declares....
"I WAS NAUGHTY LANI!"
"What? That's not good! Were you really?"
"YEAH, I was VERY NAUGHTY," she repeats herself with a huge grin, jumping up and down excitedly, on the spot.
"Matisse! I put my hands on her shoulder, sneakily stopping her excited jumping. I crouched down. "Being naughty is bad. Did you do anything else, swimming, art?" I try to change the subject, not giving 'naughty' any attention....
"And....Trouble!" She gets a renewed sense of enthusiasm at the memory that this new word conjured.
I had to give a NIDA award performance, looking sad, demonstrating my disappointment, trying to emotionally blackmail my child into being more compliant, all whilst coming to terms with the fact that being naughty has now become an activity in its own right. And one she wants to boast about. She starts shaking her head, copying me, but I don't have an annoying smirk on my face like she does.
I did what all parents do, and started to think about what mistakes I have made in the parenting department to have created this situation. BUT WAIT. This wasn't just your average berating, it led me to realise that she also likes time out (in fact she sends herself there immediately after playing up), and she deliberately does things that make me point my finger and screw up my face. To be honest, most of my friends would probably get a kick out of seeing me act like this too. But I am an adult, she is a child, AND I am meant to be scary. I can't get any more angry to prove it's not a game, because I am already worried that the neighbours will call child welfare, so my next bet is just to stop entertaining her by telling her off, and see how that unfolds.
The future is looking bright.