The Terrible Twos, Take Two

With C, the terrible twos came early – right around 18 months, actually. With his little brother, therefore, we’ve been hoping that maybe they wouldn’t be so “terrible”.

The other night at dinner, however, I think we may have seen their beginning. The boys were being bad with a capital B. I managed to bring the older brother back under control first, which meant I got to watch J take on her youngest son. These battles are always fun to watch. Fun, that is, because I’m relishing the fact that I’m not involved.

This particular battle ended with the little guy in time-out. The crime that sent him there was clearly ignoring his momma when she said “stop.”

Time-out at dinner is a simple thing. Since they’re both buckled into their chairs, we just turn the offending son’s chair around to face the wall. He knows that he’s not allowed to yell at this point, because there are much less interesting places where we can put the chair.

After the time-out, J turned his chair back around and leaned in close for the all-important closing comments.

“Why were you in time out?”

“I was loud.”

“No. Why were you in time out?”

“I didn’t listen.”

“That’s right. When momma says stop, you have to stop. First time, understand?”


“So the next time you’re going to stop when I say stop?”

Up until now, the conversation had been pretty stereotypical. J was using a quiet understanding sort of voice. N had a subdued, sad expression. Now, however, N brought his head up, made eye contact and mouthed “no”.

I almost burst out laughing – almost. I had to take a quick drink to cover it. J shot me a glare, trying not to laugh herself, and asked him “What did you say?”

“Yes, momma. Yes.”

Word to the wise: when you’re trying to stop yourself from laughing, don’t use soda. The carbonation really burns your nose.

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