One of my favourite Bizarro cartoons depicts two kids, dressed in shorts and T-shirts on a summer’s day, staring quizzically at a snowman on the front lawn. “Okay,” says one, “I’ll give it one more week but if it hasn’t melted by then I’m tearing it down. It’s starting to give me the creeps.”
Witness the fossilized pile of snow-cum-dirt in the northeast corner of our front yard. I smacked it viciously with a shovel the other day and barely made a dent. Everywhere else, spring has sprung: the crocuses are budding and the snow has gone. Warmth spreads, but this one, intransigent lump remains. I imagine I will look out the window in July and shrug: “Still there. Hey, are the neighbours performing another exorcism?”
Can you see where I’m going with this? All these flowers and light vying against a hard little heart of stubborn iciness? Exorcisms? Of course: the terrible twos.
They have arrived, the toddlerific moments of ridiculousness. Almost overnight, it seems. Yesterday, during what is ambitiously known as “sharing time” at Rowan’s Kindermusik class, Isaac sat in the centre of a circle of bewildered four-year-olds, desperately grabbing at each instrument and shrieking, “Mine! Mine! Mine!” As I played an alphabet game with Rowan, Isaac kept up a steady chorus of, “My T! My Q!” Last night at bedtime, he insisted on pulling up my shirt to play with my (taut, taut, washboard) stomach. When I tried to get him to stop, he screeched, “My tummy! My tummy! More tummy! Mine!”
And, just in case we weren’t sure that he is hell-bent on world domination, this morning, he looked out the window and shouted, “My moon! MY Moon!”
I won't deny that this new season of aggressiveness has its tiresome moments. But I feel for him. He's just capturing his first glimpse of the vastness of the world and his relative insignificance compared to it all — not just his big brother or the hidden treasures of the kitchen cabinet, but the entire damn universe, moon and all. It must be a bit overwhelming.
But, like winter, it too will pass. I'm sure there will be moments where I wish I could take the back of a shovel to the two-year-old attitude. But one day I'll look up and think, “Hey — where did that go?” Assuming, of course, that I have not been entirely beaten into the ground with four-year-old attitude. What do they say? Hope springs eternal.