Jay vs. the Terrible Twos

Living in Old Crow is not for everybody, but it does have its advantages.  It’s a quiet town with good people where you can enjoy the scenery and live at a slower pace. The rest of the world is far away, and if you can get by without the allure of “urban treats”, then you’ll have no problem whatsoever.With that said, I would pay good money for a frosty pint of Ice Fog and a dozen  wings from Bailey’s Pub right about now; not to mention a child psychologist.My wife and I struck a deal when we moved up for a year-term at the Health Center — she would work and I would not only take care of our daughter Emily during the day, but also nurture and teach her. If I had to grade myself as of this moment, I would give myself a C-minus.  It’s really easy to lose track of time surfing the net while she watches Dora and Caillou, and it’s easy to give her the iPad while I clean up, or make lunch. Emily, who I love to death, has reached the pivotal stage in her life that society calls “the terrible twos”. The happy, loving, ever-hugging princess who I arrived with in Old Crow with has turned into a “mine” machine.Days are filled with my constant cries of, “go to the potty,” and “daddy’s not coming back again. Go to Sleep!”If I thought stimulating and teaching her was a challenge seven months ago, with new-found voice and attitude, I’m in a real battle to get that C-minus up to a B-plus by the end of the year.My wife says Emily is experiencing emotional states that she can’t yet control. I often wonder what goes on in her little brain. I nonchalantly look at her and she’ll frown and say “No Daddy, No!”We’re attached to the hip seven days a week and I wonder if she now views me as more of an ogre than a dad. One morning, getting out of bed, I simply walked passed the bathroom where she was sitting on the potty. As soon as she saw me, her little face crunched up in a ball, she stuck out her hand and angrily said, “You go daddy, go away, right now!”  I furrowed my eyebrows as hard as I could and said, “Good morning to you too.” Talk about deflating, I hadn’t even had a sip of coffee yet.What did she think I was going to do, walk in, toss her off the potty, and start peeing everywhere? I felt like taking a page out of the Elephant Man’s book and yelling out “I am not an animal, I am a human being.” Nap time is also a battle.It used to be she’d lay down, I’d kiss her head, and get two hours of freedom. Now, it’s a fight just to get her to lie in her bed, and just stop being so darn squirrely. I have to chase her to take a bath, and chase her to go outside. I have to stop her from throwing food, tantrums, her toys, and the kitchen sink.I grew a beard just so I could nervously stroke it.    Then, out of blue, Emily will climb up on my lazy chair, smile, give me a big hug, and say “Good morning, Papa.”My frustrations wash away with her little encouragement. A window of truce in the Battle of the Terrible Twos briefly opens.There’s still hope I can get a solid B.  To Be Continued … 

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