we have arrived.

I have to share this with you.

I don’t know why. 
Perhaps it’s because I’m hoping you’ll say, “oh, dear, we’ve been through that too”. Or maybe it’s because you’ll say, “yep, that’s totally normal”. Or maybe it’s so you’ll understand why I’m highlighting my hair (with a $6.00 box of highlighter, no less) every other month to hide the gray.
I knew it was coming. 
I really did. But I guess I was hoping that we’d beat the system, or figured out some groundbreaking trick to parenting.

We have unofficially hit the “2’s”. I’m not going to call them the “terrible 2’s” because any age is a blessing. If he’s changing, it’s because he’s growing. And if he’s growing, that’s a blessing.

But, alas, PB has hit a new stage in his life, and we have entered a new stage in parenthood. Though just a few days shy of his 2nd birthday, PB thinks he’s ready to have his own bank account, develop unhealthy addictions, and operate heavy machinery all by himself. And by this, I’m referring to the fact that every store we go into, he finds several things he wants and says “buy dis mama” or “pay for dis mama”. I also made the unbelievably stupid decision to let him try a piece of chewing gum one day, and now he SCREAMS for it all of the time. Parent of the year award right here, y’all. And he has suddenly decided that he can do everything by himself. Cut his hair? No problem, he can do it. Drive my car right off a cliff with no help? Yep, he can do that, too.

And I’ll say this: the “2’s” hit without a warning. Let me tell you how it happened.

Ben has been preaching some on the side. He usually does once a month at our church, and sometimes at other churches. A couple of weeks ago, Ben’s old boss invited him to preach at his church. Ben had preached there before a while back, so he agreed to do it. The church is about 25 minutes from our house, and on the way there, PB fell asleep. He usually only naps one time a day, and it’s pretty much at the same time every day. If his nap schedule is off, he’s usually pretty grouchy. Oh well, it wouldn’t be that big of a deal, right?

When we got to the church, we sat on the first row, close to the stage. We sang a few songs, and then Ben went up to the podium to give his sermon. PB had been okay up to this point. I had brought a pencil and some paper to draw on. Unfortunately, he got tired of drawing on the paper, and decided he’d rather draw in the songbooks. I gave him a ‘look’ and whispered ‘no’ to which PB kindly replied in his screaming voice ‘nooooooooo’. We argued back and forth as quietly as I could manage. He was screaming the whole time. I finally managed to wrangle the songbook out of his hand. I turned my head for .83727 seconds to put the book back in the pew, and he was gone….. straight up the aisle and onto the small stage where Ben was preaching. Oh my gosh.

As soon as he made it up on stage, he screamed “AMEN!” The congregation gave a nice little chuckle and Ben smiled at him and patted him on the back. I was slightly relieved as I made my way to the stage to grab him, thinking to myself ‘at least he didn’t cause that much of a scene’. Ahh….(s)he who laughs last.

As soon as I got to the stage and tried to pick him up, he ran from me. He took off to the other said of the stage laughing, and saying “no, mommy”. As calmly and church-like as I could, I walked to the other side of the stage and managed to catch the back of his shirt as he was tried to run from me again. As soon as he felt me catch him, he started screaming “NOOOOOO! MOMMA NOOOOO!” I tried to pick him up, and started kicking.

Now at this point, I’m wondering what on earth to do. Ben is still trying to preach to draw attention away from the situation, but it’s obvious that all eyes are on me and PB, fighting on the stage beside Ben. He’s screaming so loud that he completely drowns out Ben’s voice. I had a dress on, and I was trying not to expose my rear to the whole church. I started trying to drag him off stage by his arms, since he was kicking so much I couldn’t hold on to him. As soon as he felt me pulling him, he starts screaming “help, help, help, momma hurts you, help, helpppp!” Seriously. The kid is screaming “help, mama’s hurting me” on the front stage of a church while his dad is preaching.

I managed to drag him to the bottom of the stage, and I was able to grab him and hold him like a dead log under my arm. I made my way off the stage and walked back down the aisle with my head hung as low as it could possibly hang. I tried not to make eye contact with anyone in the pews, thinking if I couldn’t see them, then they couldn’t see me. Right? He screamed and kicked until I made it outside. I took him straight to the car and we sat until church dismissed.

When Ben made it to the car, I told him not to talk to me, and we sat in our own front seat silence, while PB talked and sang songs the whole way home, just like nothing had happened.

And so there it is. He’s been this way ever since….. Mr. Independent, Mr. Do-it-myself, Mr. Let-me-push-mom’s-buttons-to-see-what-I-can-get-away-with. And just like every single new stage we enter, I was not prepared for this. And I guess in some naive way, I was thinking we would avoid this part of kiddo-hood.

Ahhhh. I was wrong dear friends, I was wrong.

I can’t WAIT to see what the teen years are like!

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5 thoughts on “we have arrived.

  1. Oh gosh, so sorry you had to go through that, I'm sure it was awful, but hilarious for us! Too funny. I will tell you honestly, that 2-3 is the hardest. They just have no sense of guilt or remorse yet. I used to think my oldest was going to grow up into some sort of demented creature…but now, at 4, she actually understands when she misbehaves, the conscience just needs to develop, I guess. Such a relief! Hang in there! 🙂

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  2. “I tried not to make eye contact with anyone in the pews, thinking if I couldn't see them, then they couldn't see me.” Sounds like toddler logic to me 😉 Also, PB is not only acting like a big boy, but he is looking like one too! He looks so much older!

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  3. Oh my gosh that was a really good laugh! I'm so sorry for you but I'm sure most of the congregation understood and could feel your pain. But honestly thank you for writing this .. I also have a very spirited 2 year old boy and feel so alone sometimes. Most of my friends have girls and they are all so calm! It is nice knowing I'm not the only one.

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  4. Oh how familiar! Chasten turned two in August and we hit this stage right about then. It seems, with him, that we only have these huge meltdowns in public (when I can't tap his bottom in front of people). We too have had some very embarrassing church fiascoes but I can say as we get further into two, they are happening less often! This stage isn't as fun now, but write down these great tantrums to laugh at later, when the humiliation is far, far away.

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