Yesterday while hiking with Brett and the boys, I ignorantly muttered that we seemed to have dodged the terrible twos with Pierce. Though he does have occasional aggressive outbursts, his tantrums are infrequent, and he’s generally easy to please.
Over the crunching of sandal against asphalt, Pierce must have heard.
His quest to wipe the smug smile from my face began this afternoon, when he removed his diaper and pooped on the floor. I picked him up, raced for the toilet, and cheered him on as he finished his business and squealed, “I’m doing it! I’m doing it!”
Still a partial victory for me, right? Pierce knew it, too.
Poop on the floor wasn’t enough.
In pursuit of becoming a “terrible two” (I can only assume), Pierce used nap time to silently crawl out of his crib. Scanning the room, he discovered a forgotten token of our morning – a pee filled diaper.
And you know what a diaper is filled with? Absorbent beads. Thousands of them.
“Mooooommmy!! Pierce is making a huge mess!” Carter screamed from their bedroom.
The door flew open and out walked both boys, followed by a trail of sticky, pee soaked beads. They were everywhere – scattered across the floor – piled on the bed, toy piano, and pillows – and dusting the dresser handles and light switch.
They were even in Carter’s hair.
As I screamed for help (ever thankful that Brett works from home) and ordered Carter into the bathtub, I made another horrifying discovery.
Pierce had the foresight to unplug our battery powered vacuum. Every bead had to be swept into a pile and collected with our tiny hand vac.
After a half hour of cleaning and putting the kids back to bed, I sat down, hoping for a moment of quiet.
“Mommy! Pierce is making a mess AGAIN!” Carter yelled.
I stormed into their room and found Pierce dumping a full hamper of clothes onto the floor. Placing him back in bed, he screamed, pulled my hair, and scratched my arm.
Y’all, some days being a parent is just hard.
The beautiful moments you picture while rubbing a pregnant belly are scattered between tantrums, messes, and unsolicited opinions of how you’re failing as a parent. It can be overwhelming, and often the chaos and stress outweighs the joy of raising children.
I sometimes feel like a failure, and don’t know how to handle the exhaustion of motherhood. But perspective allows forgiveness, and makes way for grace.
Pierce didn’t throw a diaper around because he’s bad. He did it for fun, and because still learning impulse control.
He didn’t poop on the floor this morning to create another mess to clean. He’s just demonstrating that he’s ready to potty train.
And he didn’t pull my hair because he lacks discipline. He did it because he has big feelings, few words, and wanted me to know he was mad at me for putting him back in bed.
My kid’s misbehavior doesn’t make me a bad mom. I’m imperfect, and I’m doing my best to learn along the way. Sometimes I just forget that so is he. So difficult as today was, Pierce still isn’t terrible – he’s just two.