This is just a phase

He’s testing me.  He wants to see if I really mean what I say.  He wants to see how far he can take this.  He wants to see what this button does to mommy.  It’s not yet 8:00 in the morning.

It’s Tornado S.  He’s two.

Damn.

His eyes lit with daemonic delight when Tornado E showed us his tower of every single Lego built up.  It was taller than Tornado E.  I grabbed Tornado S, trying to make him play another game with him, trying to distract him.  But the moment I let go, TornadoS was running.  I yelled, “NO” in The Voice.

Tornado S knocked over the tower.

I demanded an apology.

Tornado S said, “no” with a smile on his face.

Time Out!

Tornado S cried for two minutes straight.

When time out was up, I asked Tornado S if he knew what he did wrong.  He shook his head, and I explained that I told him no and that he didn’t listen.  I told him to apologize to Tornado E. Tornado S walked toward Tornado E, turned to me, laughed and said, “NO!”

Time Out!

Sonofabitch!

Halfway through time out, The Husband broke ranks and talked Tornado S into apologizing.  He agreed, but I told them time out was mean to be served out.  The Husband snapped about how he wouldn’t be able to work under these conditions as Tornado S resumed his very loud crying.

At two minutes, with the office door firmly shut, I went over the time out procedures again. This time Tornado S apologized.

Ten minutes later, Tornado S knocked Tornado E with a plastic train.  He also refused to apologize.  Time Out AGAIN.  That loud annoying crying again.  I thought I might have to kill someone.  I eyed the usually happy and cute two-year-old.

After two minutes, I repeated the usual time out ending. Tornado S laughed instead of apologizing.  TIME OUT AGAIN!  Two minutes of the crying ensued.  I swear I’m going to kill that kid.  Then I remembered how Tornado E pushed my resolve for a full day, and he was younger.  I can do this.

At the end of two minutes, Tornado S was willing to apologize.  We moved on.

To bath time, which was great for five minutes.  Until Tornado S was upset Tornado E was on his side, and then he hit Tornado E with a pirate.  Are you kidding me?!  Wash hair, get soap in their eyes, rinse them, dry them, wrangle them into clothes.  Mommy is ready to play.  Bring it on.

Oh, crap.  But today is Monday, which is grocery shopping day, which means I have to bring the little monsters into public.  Sonofabitch.

Let’s just say I reassured the cashier, a mother of an eighteen-month-old, that everything is a phase.  Then I plopped down three king-sized candy bars with my groceries.

This is just a phase.  This is just a phase.  This is just a phase.

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Tornado S’s First Time Out

Tornado S is teething, which is the toddler equivalent to PMS.  Add to that Tornado S was upset that he couldn’t go outside with his Uncle M to feed the dog.  Tornado S is a pouter.  His temper tantrums include him falling to the floor, face first, sometimes crying.  Tornado S had yet to fall to the floor, but he was pouting.  Tornado E, being the tormenting older brother he was, couldn’t help let the opportunity go by without getting into Tornado S’s face and being . . . well, a brat.

 

So Tornado S did what any naturally pissed off, irritated, annoyed person does when confronted with a bully.

 

He hauled out and punched Tornado E in the face.  When I mean punch, I mean Tornado S cocked his fist back and threw his weight behind it.  Tornado E landed on the floor.

 

For a minute the world stood still, and the four grownups, Papi, Uncle M, Daddy, and me, didn’t know how to react.

 

A family story reemerged.

 

™˜

 

T was T, which is to say T was a tormentor.  He tormented me from the moment he could crawl, and then when M was born, well, it was just one more child to torment.  T just knew how to get under people’s skin, could see the weakness, knew this would get him attention.  So one day, T picked on M, who was just a mere toddler, over and over, ALL DAY.  M was a good natured little guy, enduring it with the fortitude of a rock, until the evening.  T was at M again, which probably wasn’t smart as M was as big as T, though two years younger.  Then in the midst of the teasing, M pulled back his fist and cocked T in the face.  My mother felt her hands were tied as T really did have it coming.

 

—–

 

I wanted to laugh but knew it wouldn’t help.

 

Papi: Tornado S.  It’s time for time-out.

 

I snapped to action.

 

Me: Tornado S.  That was a wrong decision.  That was not nice.  Now you have to go into time-out.

 

I scooped up Tornado S and placed him in the make-shift time-out chair.  I set the timer for a minute and half.  Turning towards the crying Tornado S who was being reminded to stay there by Papi, I saw Tornado E going in for the kill as now Tornado S was a sitting duck.  I swooped in and sent Tornado E to play with Uncle M, rather than taunting his imprisoned little brother.

 

At the end of the time-out, where amazingly Tornado S stayed sitting the whole time, I placed Tornado S on my lap and told him I loved him and that he needed to hug his brother.

 

Tornado S went toward Tornado E to hug him.  Tornado E raised his arm, holding a stuff dragon.  I stuck out my arm to block the blow before it hit Tornado S.  Tornado E’s momentum kept going, sending him face first into my arm.  With a wail, Tornado E shouted “MOMMY HIT ME!”  DON’T HIT YOUR BROTHER.

 

Begun, the clone war has.