Dealing with the terrible two’s…

Wife and I have been parenting for well over ten years now and, up until very recently, never understood what the big deal was.

We’d hear people talk about how difficult it was and just sort of roll our eyes and mutter, “whatever.” Between our ten year old, Ace, and our five year old, Cool, we never had a lick of trouble as far as tantrums, shouting, hitting, biting, pushing, etc.

I’m almost embarrassed to tell people how well behaved those two are. 

Both of them required nothing more than a one time verbal reprimand and they snapped right back into place. God forbid the words come out too loudly though, because they’d snap back into place and their lower lip would begin to quiver. There was never much yelling in the house, so they just weren’t used to it.

I attributed our good fortune in raising such easy kids to my excellent choice in mates. I’m a fairly laid back guy, and my wife is the same way. Neither of us is Type A or quick to anger or gets overly excited or emotional over every stupid little thing.

Much like breeding with a Chinese man will guarantee you that your kids will have some Chinese man traits, breeding with an idiot will guarantee you that your kids will have at least some idiot traits as well. Shame on people who have kids who are out of control, I always thought. It’s their genes that are part of the reason their kids are so awful, they just got what they had coming to them.

So when G$ surprised us by showing up in his mother’s womb one day, I just figured it’d be more of the same. Another angelic child who would cost us money we really didn’t have, yes, but not cause us anymore mental grief than the other two did.

He comes from the same set of chromosomes, so surely he’ll be more like his older brother and sister than not, right?


He’s a pill alone…



And with his brother and sister…


And on Christmas…


You’ll have to trust me when I say that I can post hundreds of these sorts of pictures, but I’ll spare you.

Our high and mightiness and good fortune with well behaved kids has been recognized and appropriately dealt with.

I am sorry Karma, for my delusions of parenting grandeur.

I promise that I am no longer of the opinion that I am grandeur, whatever that means.

We get it now.

The yelling, screaming, biting, pushing, hitting, and yes, even a public temper tantrum. We were THOSE people, in a Walmart of all places.

We understand all of it now, thanks to the little man.

It all started from in the womb, when he decided that coming out head first was total bullshit, so he made himself comfortable in a breech position.

Wife’s doctor and two other people literally wrestled him into the appropriate direction for egress via some awful procedure I vaguely recall being referred to as an e-version or something. There was a chance he’d be born that day, but it didn’t happen. All that procedure did, I think, was piss him off.

I thought we had another angel when he spared Wife a painful labor by making his way into the world more easily than the other two did. The doctor was about to say push, but wound up saying, “Wait, don’t push and oh, here he is!?”


Easiest birth ever! Well, don’t tell wife I said that, but it looked that way to me.

Anyway, that was the last easy thing he did for us, as he’s been a dick handful ever since.

We tried to brush his behavior off using the usual parental excuses.

Yelling at the top of his lungs in public? – Sorry, he missed his nap.

Biting kids at the sitters? – Sorry, he must be teething.

Screaming no at everything and throwing shit all over the place? – Sorry, he must hungry.

Poking the neighbor lady in the eye? – Sorry, he’s just showing you affection.

Now we’re in the latter stages of the “terrible twos” I’d heard about but never had to contend with before.

Every night is a battle with that boy.

There’s so much yelling and screaming and pouting and throwing crap and pounding on things, it’s insanity. And all that is me reacting to him.

It’s gotten so bad that I did something for the first time ever that I swore I wouldn’t do.

I’m ashamed to even admit this, but I Googled how to deal with a toddler’s tantrums!

I know, right? Gasp!

As I suspected, most of the advice was a bunch of Kumbaya singing, tree hugger bullshit, so I lost interest pretty quickly.

I did decide that screaming back profanities at a two year old who’s pissed off for God know’s what reason is probably counter-productive, and slightly embarrassing, so I’ve promised to “remain calm” as a nod to the parenting websites.

Last night, I remained calm by stopping for gas and grabbing a twelve pack on the way home with the boys.

I drank some beer.

Then we ran to neighbor’s house to let their dog out while they were away, which for whatever reason, is fun for them.


I drank another beer.

The boy child “smelled” the neighbor’s candles and declared, “they smell like green!”


I drank another beer.

In spite of the shitty weather, and in honor of the Cardinal’s home opener, we played some ball together. G$ hasn’t taken an interest in sports like the other two had by his age, but he was on board last night.

They put on their game faces…



I drank another beer.

We had a lot of fun playing ball.


I had another beer, watched some basketball and didn’t yell as promised.

In spite of what G$ had to say, I declared the night a win.



I mean really, how seriously can you take a boy in skull pleated, women’s shoes?



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37 Responses to Dealing with the terrible two’s…

  1. markbialczak says:

    Two out of three ain’t bad, Don. However … Just think of how good you might have felt if the terror child had come first and the second two were the angelic ones. Just saying. Don’t pout.

    You have three good-looking kids, pal. It’s just that one of them may be a tad independent.

    No shouting back, huh? That may be a tough one without the Bud Light Lime-afication.

  2. Welcome to the other side of the tracks, Don. Better take a seat. You’ll be here for a while.

  3. Jolene says:

    LOL!! this was hilarious…..well at least he hasn’t smeared his own feces all over the walls, crib and himself like my daughter Ann would often do. We went as far as buying those long PJ’s with the feet and used duck tape as a belt just so she wouldn’t get out of her pj’s and into her diaper/pull up. She was like flippin Houdini….. it never failed. The terrible two’s are just crap….actually they are just the preshow to the teenage years!!

    • That is so disturbing and gross! Lol. We’ve not had a poop scene of any magnitude yet, and I’d like to keep it like that, thank you very much! So gross! Hope you’ve been doing well.

      • Jolene says:

        You better start knocking on wood…..just to keep you from jinxing yourself!! hahaha

        I’m glad my daughter out grew that nasty habit…..hahaha

  4. themomcafe says:

    BWAHAHAHAHA!!! LOVED THIS Don!!! Yeah- well, this is what karma is all about… back atcha!!! 😉 Those pictures totally cracked me up! Cling to the good ones… cling hard and long. Drink through the third… apparently, that’s the lesson learned? lol

  5. Katia says:

    Oh how deeply I relate to this. The most frequently uttered phrase in my internal dialogue lately is “OMG, we are THAT family”. I can never finish that sentence though, because my kid is yelling, crying and climbing out of his stroller. That first photo? SUCH a familiar sight. You, as always, are super funny.

  6. Koa says:

    I love it! I only have the one but I remember super vividly all those years in my 20s and early 30s when I didn’t have a kid, and other women did, and they bitched about it, and I was all, oohhh, I’m a working woman with my spreadsheets and sales meetings, and I’d be like, for real women, how fucking hard can a kid be, it’s just time management, right? But I digress. Because then I had my one boy child and yeah, why did I think he would be mellow and calm and anything less then a perfect combination of 2 kinda driven, intense parents. So there you have it. His 2s were actually ok. But his 0s to 1s blew, his 3s were a fucking disaster, his 4s were ok but that’s just because I embraced the swearing and Scotch.

  7. Dawn says:

    I have to giggle … just a little at you. My first (about to be 5) was a head banger when she was mad, with a set of frustrated lungs like you wouldn’t believe. Now my 19 mth old is making her look like a saint. I actually think he is satan’s child, I must have just been too drunk to remember hooking up with the man of evil himself. He hits, whines and throws tantrums like a boss. He is known as the “little fucker” (quietly of course) around my house. I hate to make it all sound bad because he can also be the sweetest little boy on the planet. I have dubbed him my little sour patch baby for that reason. Good luck…keep drinking and daddy on!

  8. rynolexson says:

    OMFG, a post dedicated to G$. I died a little from excitement. I am printing every picture of him, esp the one with him and Cool w/ the helmets. But seriously, this is the best post ever, esp the family photos of him crying. Love it.

  9. mistyslaws says:

    If you drink enough beers, they are just adorable little imps, and not complete and utter assholes. I mean, I think that’s called alcoholism, but really, how bad can it be? Better than the terrible twos! I probably should mention that sometimes, just sometimes, it doesn’t get better during the 3’s. Sorry. Just have another beer. Everything will be just fine. They’ve gotta leave for college eventually.

  10. haha – that will teach you for having those delusions of grandeur!

  11. Deanna Herrmann says:

    Omg! That sounds JUST like my son!! However, he was our first….and our last. 🙂 Loved this!

  12. Mental Mama says:

    You would think that by now I would know better than to eat lunch while reading one of your posts, but apparently not.

    So um yeah, stories like this contributed to my decision not to breed.

    By the way, what’s your advice for getting the combo of chocolate pudding and creamy peanut butter off my computer monitor?

  13. djmatticus says:

    I think the Little Prince started going through the terrible two tantrums at the ripe old age of birth. He’s a happy little kid, but if you don’t get him what he wants the very instant he wants it, he will open the gates to hell and let the fullness of his wrath swarm over you until you give him what he wants, then he’s back to being a smiling, giggly, happy boy. Instant change back and forth. He can’t even talk yet!
    We keep kidding ourselves that things will get easier when he can vocalize what he wants… But in our hearts we know we are screwed.

    This was a hilarious post, Don. Thanks for sharing the shenanigans. I think I’m going to learn a lesson from you and stock up on beer for when things get really bad.

  14. LindaGHill says:

    “But how can he be a terrible two… he’s so cute!!!”

    That’s always been my favourite line to punch people to. If you’re not there yet, just wait for it.

  15. momsasaurus says:

    Screw the “terrible twos” – those were easy! Its my little threenager that’s killing me. Oy!

  16. Now I know what my parents thought of me when I was 3

  17. Julie says:

    G$ and Kate can never meet!! My go-to is beer as well. It takes the edge off. (cute shoes, dude!)

  18. Paul says:

    May the force be with you Don. You need it.

  19. Twindaddy says:

    Is he calling you a loser??

  20. My daughter was born with a broken clavicle and in a permanent bad mood! I’d like to tell you it gets better but she’s 18 and I’m still waiting!

  21. I couldn’t stop laughing. I have a 3rd and can TOTALLY relate!

  22. Lolly says:

    My daughter, 22, was a HANDFUL!!!! Not too long ago, she said “I’m surprised you’ve never cursed me and said ‘I hope when you have kids, they are exactly like you were'”….I replied…” I wouldn’t wish that hell on anyone!” LOL I laughed…..she didn’t. *shrugs* I was serious.

  23. maurnas says:

    HA! Those pictures look like me as a kid. But now, I am the best one (if I do say so myself).

  24. findingninee says:

    Dude, you’re never allowed to call yourself a blog virgin again (also it took blonde girl here 2ce to spell virgin because it’s been um nevermind, but I’m, um nevermind), because this is fucking awesome. I love the use of photos and how little dude called you a LOOOOOOOSER. Even though he played ball. Love this. And huh. karma? She’s one sneaky bitch, eh?

  25. Nadia says:

    TOTES adorbs. A friend of mine has a two-year-old daughter who I babysat. I took her to the nearby park, and, without any good reason, she started screaming, throwing her dolls on the ground and generally just became a total dickhead. And as I wanted to take her home, she’d run away from me while the rest of the neighbourhood moms looked on. Her mom actually bought a book called the “Child Training Manual” to find out what to do about her spawn’s tantrums, and nothing works so far. I guess they’ll outgrow it.

    And you’re kids are beautiful. Your genes?

  26. My first was like that times ten. And that is why I don’t have any more. Turns out my kid had a lot of stuff going on with him that earned him a ton of labels. I developed tunnel vision when it came to my son and his meltdowns (different from a tantrum in that a meltdown is usually from being overwhelmed in some way). I only paid attention to him. I never gave a shit what anyone else thought. Every single transition was a fight or total meltdown. Getting dressed. Getting undressed. Getting out of the bathtub. Going to sleep. Getting into the car to go to preschool. Leaving preschool. Leaving any park or play date. Going through the grocery store and not buying a balloon or an American flag. Being anywhere in public in too large of a crowd. Seeing anyone in costume (no sitting on Santa’s lap or even getting anywhere near him). No Chuck E Cheese. You get the picture.

  27. Love love love. My 2 year old just broke a window that is now going to cost $700 to repair. He is going to be the one that pushes me over the edge also! 🙂 That’s what I get for having a 3rd, I guess. I learned my lesson though. 3 is enough. Adorable pictures btw.

  28. A.J. Goode says:

    We survived the Terribe Twos, and are now dealing with the Smartass Sixteens. I swear, I am about to throw a glass of ice water on that kid the next time she rolls her eyes at me . . .

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