Bean1 gave us some tricky times in her first couple of years. To start with, she didn’t sleep. For a year. My friends’ babies all seemed to have these luxurious 3 hour naps every afternoon while I was happy if I’d managed to put Bean1 down for 20 minutes that week.
Then there was the biting. That was a horrible phase which left me feeling like an utter failure as a parent, as we became pariahs at baby group after baby group.
However, that was pretty much outgrown by around 18 months and she is now (at almost 4 and a half) a mostly very delightful, polite, well-mannered girl (with just a hint of over-exuberance).
I don’t really remember the terrible twos that everyone talks about. Of course, this is quite possibly because for most of Bean1’s second year I was in a ‘how-the-fuck-do-I-cope-with-two-children’ daze. It is very, very possible that she was, in fact, completely horrendous and I’ve just blocked it from my memory in an act of self-protection.
Bean2, though. He has always been my sweet, easy-going little darling. He slept! He never complained about being left until last, or tagging along behind his big sister. He smiled, and cuddled, was happy with boob or bottle, Mummy or Daddy. He was easy.
Suddenly, he has made very good friends with the word No. Along with ‘don’t want to’, ‘won’t’, and generally unintelligible screaming, shouting and kicking.
And I am flummoxed.
I’m actually sure that we did have some of those ‘terrible twos’ with Bean1. But we also had strategies. Techniques which she had helped us hone in her first two years due to her *ahem* high energy.
Bean2 has honestly never required more than a look, a cuddle or a bit of encouragement. I don’t know what to do with this new child who complains every time I try to: put a jumper on him; leave the house with him; prepare him food; carry him; let him walk; put him to bed; get him up…