I think he might be two

            You might say we are having a few issues with Benjamin, if by “issues” you mean complete lack of interest in anything we have to say. 

“I think he might have a hearing problem,” J says, but I find this unlikely.  True, sometimes he appears not to hear me tell him it is time to brush his teeth, but more often he runs cackling in the other direction, slamming a door shut behind him.  Yes, he completely disregards all instructions to clean up his toys, but since he can hear me whisper the word “cookie” from across the street and around the corner, I am guessing he has selective hearing loss.

            He pulls night lights out of the wall, yanking off the cover and then grasping them by their naked bulbs.  He sits on the potty, pees a little, then cuts off his stream, just so that he can pee all over his baby sister in the bath.  He upturns bowls of peas on the floor just for the sheer pleasure of seeing them bounce all over the floor.  He pushes, he pokes, and he seems intent upon eating his classmates.

            The worst thing about it is that he is so fucking funny.  “Yo, ho, ho,” he bellows.  “I a pirate.  I pokin’ Zachary.”  We don’t even know where he learned that pirates say such things, and we are just hoping he does not learn about the bottle of rum.  Zach has started referring to him as “my evil little brother.”

            Benjamin makes us stifle laughs at the same time we start looking for the “free child offered” section on Craigslist.  His obsession with Tinkerbell would be adorable if he didn’t use the little figurine’s wings to poke people.  The long and involved stories he tells us at the dinner table would be endearing it they didn’t always include incidents like “I pushed Ryan off the ladder” and “Laura take it away because I throw it.”  His insistence that Lilah is sweet would be heartwarming if he could wait thirty or so seconds before hitting her on the head. 

            He understands what we want, make no mistake.  When asked why he was given a time out, he always knows what he did wrong.  He just does not give a shit.  He is highly amused by his own misbehavior, and I’ll admit that it can be awfully cute.

            Which makes it all the more unfair.  Because Zachary has always tried to please, to do what he is supposed to.  Zachary’s needs are complicated and infuriating, but he is never bad just to amuse himself.  He is insistent because he really needs things a particular way.  And, yet, Benjamin gets to be cute while intentionally misbehaving, while Zach is labeled a pain in the ass for insisting things must be just so. 

            So, go ahead, laugh at the picture on my header.  It is meant to be funny.  But just know that behind it are a house full of broken toys, bruised siblings, exasperated parents, and a child who has discovered Daddy’s new shredder. 

19 responses to “I think he might be two

  1. I think my Diminutive One must be perpetually two.

  2. He he!! I am laughing because I KNOW. My then 2 1/2 year old, once peed on the dog, in the house, just because she was there.

  3. Ah, children. No one warns you that there will be days (months?) where you want to laugh at them and lock them out of the house at the same time. My son went through a very similar stage when he was three and I can so totally remember feeling exactly how you’re feeling. Hang in there, it gets better. Most of the time. 😉

  4. Yop – that was Child 3. And Child 2 a little while Child 1 was the anxious, beautifully behaved one who would guiltily break a rule and then (un-caught by us) burst into tears and put itself in time-out. Child 3, cheeky devil, was utterly wicked with the most charming smile… come to think of it, it still does that now and then but hearts are harder these days, tempers a bit shorter, and siblings FAR more likely to call foul!

  5. All my sympathies to the Wheels family. Seriously. It is a hard stage. I think one advantage of mine being 8 years apart is that, while there are comparisons, they are from years ago. Neither child gets a direct comparison.

    I think having children of such disparate temperaments is one of parenting’s biggest challenges. I do have every confidence in you and your husband, Emily!

  6. “He sits on the potty, pees a little, then cuts off his stream, just so that he can pee all over his baby sister in the bath.”

    This line had me laughing so hard I snorted.

    As to the fairness issue… you are right. It isn’t fair and will never be so. But you can still be fair in your response as a parent, striving for consistency and compassion, which I know you do.

  7. Are we parenting the same child? I could have written the descriptions of Ben’s behavior and changed hardly a word in reference to Bean!

  8. challenging!

    think some of the changes are due to becoming a big brother?

  9. Holy cow, I just laughed SO HARD. I think you just described my sister, though. We always got the statement, “If you do (x), then (y) will happen.” But J always thought that doing whatever she wanted to do was WORTH the punishment/consequence. Years later, when she explained that to my mom, my mom said, “Oh, thank God. When you were little I really started to wonder if there was something WRONG with you!” *dies laughing*

  10. Well, it is funny from over here, but I feel your pain or at least I felt it. My son didn’t go “BAD” until three, though.

    He was a perfect angel at two, and I used to say, “I have no idea what people mean about the terrible twos.” Then he turned three and all hell broke loose! Sending him to preschool fixed his little red wagon. Ms. Dorothy put up with no shit, and he was scared straight 😉

  11. Ah, you’ve got a naughty one, too. Our oldest is very serious and wants to win a point by arguing you down, my youngest is delighted with her own naughtiness and doesn’t give a #@!. She too giggles at her own misbehavior and gets away with much more than big sis because she’s so damn funny. Fortunately being a girl she can’t aim her pee at the bath.

  12. I have a theory–terrible 2’s mean easier 3’s. So take heart!

  13. I had one of each of those myself. With the lovely two phase….I am finding I’d take it back in a heartbeat to forgo four, which I am not fond of at all.

    Just be consistent with him. Eventually they grow out of being destroyers. Or in the case of my four year old, they just get more sneaky about it.

  14. Ahhh, so he’s a pip. That’s the nice word we use in our house to describe the one with such antics…

  15. My sympathies.

    Our spirited, comedic almost 2 year old gets away with so much more than the almost 4 year old… It’s not fair, really, I know… but I’m not sure how to fix it.

  16. Put the money, any old manuscripts, and the passports on a high shelf and hope for the best. 🙂

  17. Oh boy, I don’t think I’d cope. Great material for when they’re older though. Terrible twos only last 12 months, right?