Jake is almost two and a half.
When people ask me how old Jake is, I always slant it so that it sounds like he just turned two, as opposed to the reality, which is that he is almost two and a half. I don’t know why. I guess the “mama bear instinct” comes out in me, trying to protect Jake from the possible judgement of others who may they realize he is almost two and a half and cannot speak.
Jake is not terrible. I don’t think he has entered the “terrible twos” yet. In the past few weeks, however, I can see glimpses. I see it looming on the horizon. Here are our telltale signs:
The whining. Not whiny words, since Jake doesn’t speak yet. But did you know that you don’t have to be able to say actual words in order to whine?! If you are still unconvinced of this fact, please come and spend some time at our house when I tell Jake “no”!!
The flailing. The all-out, fling-your-body-backwards, arms flapping a mile a minute, pushing me away, head-butting, kicking of the legs, occasionally taking a swipe at me flailing that happens when Jake is frustrated.
The throwing. The throwing of anything that Jake doesn’t want to do or eat. Hard. With authority. While staring me down.
So, this morning I was at our local science center, The Telus Spark. Jake, Cole, and I had a fantastic morning, full of intentional play, learning, gross motor skills, fine motor skills, and all around fun. (okay, that list doesn’t sound like fun at all. It sounds like hard work. But the truth of the matter is, I just let my kids play, and I intentionally played with them!)
We had a great time. But there were a couple of transition times between activities where I could sense the “terrible two-ness” of the situation was rearing its ugly head. Now, I’m totally okay with a little tension between Jake and I. I am completely fine with him having a moment. I understand that the terrible twos are aptly named. But…
I am a people pleaser. Always have been, always will be. So for me, people’s perceptions mean a big deal. And as I glanced out of the corner of my eye at the parents who were close to me, I could almost feel their condescension. I felt as though they were looking down on Jake’s behavior not because he is a two year old, but because he has a visible disability.
And this is where I get stuck.
Chances are, no one was being condescending. Chances are, they were looking at me having a tense moment with my child, and were sympathizing with me (I mean, come on, all those parents there have kids who are around the age of my children…surely they get it, right?!). Chances are, they were remembering the moment, ten minutes earlier, that they had been in the same battle with their own child. I know, I know, I know that I jump to conclusions. That I don’t always give people the benefit of the doubt. That I am quick to judge that others are being judgmental (Ha. How’s that for ironic?). I didn’t say I was right. I said I was confessing:)