There was an old woman who lived in a shoe (okay, I wouldn’t call 31 old, neither would I call our house a shoe?!)

She had so many children, she didn’t know what to do; (one child, one on the way but Ethan makes me feel like I have at least 5!)

She gave them some broth without any bread; (even water’s a delicacy in our house when you refuse to behave and eat your food!!)

Then whipped them all soundly and put them to bed. (Fortunately (for Ethan at least), there’s been no whipping but lots of sending to bed threats which usually only comes after master Howe has tried to negotiate for at least 20minutes of so).

Sjoe, I’m afraid that we’ve been having it! That thing that people always talk about…the.terrible.two’s. Well, at the moment, we’re getting it from every angle. Ethan’s a really well behaved boy. And I’m not saying this just because I’m his mother. Lots of people have told me this. He’s not naughty you know. He can miserable if he’s tired, we have to sometimes talk a thousand few times before he listens – but he’s not that child running around causing chaos, breaking things and throwing tantrums to get his way. For the most part, he listens but lately! WOW!!!!. I feel, at times, that somebody’s taken my angelic child and replaced him with a monster somebody else. This child is testing us to the limit! The negotiations that have to go down for something as simple as swallowing his food. My shattered nerves!!!!

On Sunday, I really felt like the wicked mother. I was screaming, shouting, threatening, trying everything humanly possible to get this child to eat. After a little while, I just gave up. Monday was better. But last night! This is how it went;-

Me: Ethan, would you like to watch something while you eat your dinner (bad habit, I know, but Ethan eats in front of the tv – mummy failure!!)

Ethan: Yes please mum. (This is usually followed by channel surfing until mister finally decides what he wants to watch).

*I finally put on something he wants to watch – and so starts the eating part*

Me: (after about 2minutes of watching this child chew then stop to watch something on tv so spoon one of food hasn’t even been swallowed yet) Ethan, please can you chew your food.

Ethan: I am mum.

Me: No, you’re not.

Ethan: Yes I am mum, look. (He proceeds to move his lips in a chewing motion).

Me: Ethan, you’re not eating. If you don’t eat, I’m switching this tv off and we’re going to sit at the dinner table.

Ethan: No mum. I’m chewing…*another 2minutes pass of the same thing*

Me: Ethan, this tv’s going off. Move to the table now. Until you eat your dinner, you won’t be watching any tv.

Ethan: Mum, after I eat, can I have some juice and a sweety?

Me:   Yes, you can. But only after you eat. If you don’t eat, you’re getting nothing.

*5minutes later, we’re finally sitting at the table ready to eat – Ethan still has the first spoon of food in his mouth*

Me: Ethan, please eat.

Ethan: Mum, I AM eating.

Me: No you’re not. Can you just chew your food (every ounce of patience is now been used not to get angry and start screaming but my patience is wearing seriously thin at this stage)

Ethan: Mum, I don’t know how to chew (SERIOUSLY???????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Me: Ethan, you chew sweets quite fine. You know how to chew. Just chew.

Ethan: I AM chewing (also starting to get more irritable…at this stage I’m envisioning round house kicks to the head…I know, he’s my child…but in that moment, I find it incredibly hard not to just blow up and smack the living daylights out of him!!!).

Me: Ethan, please just chew and swallow.

Ethan: Mum, I don’t know how to swallow.

Me: ETHAN, YOU KNOW HOW TO SWALLOW, SWALLOW BEFORE I SMACK YOU PLEASE (note, at this stage, the politeness is still somewhat there!!)

Ethan: Mum, is this how I swallow?

Me: ETHAN, STOP THIS NOW.

*At this stage, the water works turn on and I send Ethan with a mouth full of rice to his room to cry. Crying goes on for about 2minutes, Ethan comes out of the room when he’s done*

Me: Are you done crying?

Ethan: Yes.

Me: Did you swallow your food?

Ethan: Yes.

Me: Show me.

*Ethan opens his mouth and it’s empty. We walk back to the dinner table only for me to discover that he’s weed his pants!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I walk back to his room to get him something dry to put on and I find, on his bedroom floor…a mouth full of rice!!!!!!!!!!!!!!*

Me: Ethan (screaming now) – your food’s on the floor AND you wet your pants and didn’t say anything to mum. That’s it, no more dinner. You can go to bed hungry. No food, no water, no sweets, no tv. Nothing. You’re bathing and going straight to bed.

Ethan: I’m so sorry mum.

Me: It’s fine, it’s over. Just take off these clothes and let’s go bath.

Ethan: Mum, I want a hug.

Me: Ethan, I’m busy. You can get a hug later.

Ethan: But I want to say sorry and hug you mum.

*Finally, I give in and give him a small hug. Of course, he’s squeezing for dear life at this stage*

Me: Ethan, you must learn to listen to mum.

Ethan: Okay mum.

Me: You’ve been very naughty tonight.

Ethan: Was I naughty mum? What did I do?

And so the night went on. I must admit that after something like this, I’m a bit confused about how to carry on with the night. The situation’s over, he’s apologized, do we move on and have fun or do I carry on being angry with him (or at least pretend to be). This terrible two’s thing is no jokes. Between my child trying to negotiate everything, wanting to do the exact opposite of what I want and knowing exactly what buttons to push and how to “sweet talk” me after not doing what I want him to do, he’s seriously testing my patience! I know it could get worse (please God, no!) and this is probably not the end of the world, everybody probably goes through it with their kids and I’m hoping that it’s just  phase…but I’m finding it incredibly hard not to be the wicked mother at the moment!!!

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5 responses »

  1. etate@mweb.co.za says:

    Nice one – btw it should be ‘broth’ … not brother

  2. MamaCat says:

    It is just a phase…we are almost to three and we still get this. We have a child that has never liked to eat and I used to stress myself endlessly. I find that he eats well at day care, on a chair, at a table, eating with cutlery like a civilized human being. At home we cannot get him to do it. I even asked the school if I could buy their food (on many occasions). I thin he eats better at school because it is social and all the kids are doing it.
    I figure at this age my child can talk and walk so he will let me know when he is hungry and I leave him be about eating. He is expected to sit quietly while we eat, whether or not he wants to eat.
    Maybe try some snacks you find acceptable: home made custard, cheese, biltong, fruit…things he can eat during the afternoon so that dinner does not have to be a big deal.
    Good Luck, I hear things get better the older they get.

  3. Jodie says:

    Thanks for the heads up on it just being a phase 🙂 Great to know that I’m not alone in this! Hope Ethan snaps out of it soon before I go crazy!!

  4. Nasima says:

    Hang in there! This too shall pass! Hard to believe when you’re in the midst of it! Hugs! X

  5. Jodie says:

    Thanks Nasima!!

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