Contagious Psychosis and the Two Year Old

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I’ve decided that to parent a two year old is to put yourself in close proximity to a contagious psychosis that no drug can tame.

Normally I would say that I was being melodramatic but after today, and watching Caroline’s mood spread throughout the house, I am a firm believer in the power that is a toddler.

This morning was amazing.

Both kids woke up in wonderful moods. I got my coffee, the kids ate breakfast and then we [meaning I] cleaned Cara’s room. It was a remarkably average day.

Then Tucker called [he’s been at Drill] and everything just kind of went to shit from there. I don’t know how Cara knew that it was him [couldn’t be that his ring tone on my phone is Cash’s Boy Named Sue]. Maybe she would have jumped off the deep end regardless but it’s damn convenient to blame her dad’s call.

After I got off of the phone with Tucker, Cara became possessed by that particularly annoying demon that seems to possess toddlers when it’s close to dinner time and their blood sugar dips just a bit too low.

I made dinner. It was a good dinner too. Fresh green beans, fresh pasta with Newman’s Own sauce topped with breaded chicken-did I mention that it was good? The only thing that Cara might’ve disagreed with was the pasta but the green beans and chicken should have been golden.

And then she threw a fit.

She didn’t want to sit in her chair. She sure didn’t want me to put the tray on her chair. She spit at the food. She spit at her shirt. She squalled and growled and if she had spit pea soup and disjointed her cervical vertebrae…well, I can’t say that I would have been surprised.

It was one of those moments when you know that if you give in then you’re sunk. I knew that if I let the bitching bag of Cara out of that chair while she was still losing it that she would never sit at the table with us ever again-it would always and forever be a fight.

So, I made her sit there-actually she screamed there but I’ve gotten good at ignoring all of that noise. She didn’t have to eat the food. She didn’t even have to look at the food. I told her that again and again but, alas, Caroline’s brain and good sense had left the building.

Twenty minutes later she finally SHUT UP and I let her down. Five minutes after that I had tossed her into the bathtub. I cut the bath short since she decided to play Moses and flood the bathroom…well, I guess she didn’t really part the Red Sea or any of that…it just sounded right in my head.

Cue more water works when I got onto her for the squishy bathmat, the dripping wet shower curtain, the water logged trash can…

In an effort to make peace and put a stop to a now almost three hour mental break, I sat Cara on the kitchen table and gave her the chocolate milk that she hadn’t drank earlier because she had refused to drink it at the table.

For the five minutes that it took her to drink her milk, the house was peaceful and all seemed right with the world.

And then she saw her tray [with her uneaten food] sitting just a bit too close to her on the top of the table and she flung it to the floor. Newman’s Own. ALL. OVER. THE. CARPET.

Needless to say, she earned herself a one way ticket to bed.

I read her Olivia Pig and at the end she told me, “I love you anyway too, mommy pig” and everything was good again.

I know that tomorrow will bring more breakdowns because she gets frustrated that she can’t draw her numbers and letters and that she will get hysterical because she has to take a nap.

But, for tonight, I’m just going to focus on those five minutes of tranquility.