The Terrible Twos, Nine Months Early

Archer is currently...

-Punching me in the face.

-Throwing every item of food I offer.

-Screaming for an hour at bedtime.

-Waking up 3 or 4 times in the middle of the night, after a good year of twelve-hour nights. Yeah. Those were the days.

-Smacking my friend's 6 month-old in the face, laughing and doing it again (laughing harder when I screamed in horror.)

-Kicking me every time I change his diaper, get him dressed, lie down with him.

-Saying "No" and shaking his head to any toy offered.

-Reaching to be held every five minutes.

-Head-butting me when I do hold him.

-Pulling my hair and biting me when I ask for a kiss.

-Ripping off diapers in his crib and then ripping them apart.

-Trying to do everything I tell him not to do, including trying to play with the stove, play in the dog's water, eat bark and trying to crawl into the middle of the street.

-Arching his back and having a tantrum everytime I put him in the stroller.

-Screaming bloody murder for no reason at all and then bashing his head into the floor.

-Throwing books, ripping them and eating them.

-Laughing when I say, "No!"

-What happened to my angelic little darling?



I am very sad.



kirida | 1:18 AM

Oh that face is in such pain. How difficult it must be to be a child.

Unknown | 1:22 AM

Now that sounds familiar!!!

Best advice I can give you is to hole up in your house for the next year, get your groceries delivered, try and get Archer into watching the tv for 8 hours a day, and forget you had any life or friends until it blows over ;)

But never, NEVER give in to the tantrums.

My daughter used to bang her head on the concrete pavements in the high street. That was fun. Obviously I couldnt walk away or ignore it. I used to pick her up and hug her really tightly.

I'm going through it atm with Sylvie. It's hard, especially when they hurt other kids on purpose. Sylvie has a demonic laugh with evil eyes when she has been told off.

All fun!

John | 4:57 AM

These aren't the terrible twos. She's just warming up the act for the the big tour coming up. you know, finding out what really makes the audience go crazy.

motherbumper | 5:06 AM

Oh oh oh... little man what are you doing? I feel for you on the hairpulling and punching. I feel like Bumper's b*tch most of the time... she is so hard on me and we are no where near the terrible twos! If I find a new tactic I'll tell you but for now... I just say "No" and watch her defy me at every turn. Such defiant little people, aren't they? Sigh. I really do feel for you. Don't be sad - you aren't alone

Summer | 5:07 AM

Two words.
Pushing. Limits.
They all do this. He has decided he is an individual and independent from you, THE MOM. This is not, and repeat, NOT the terrible two's. This, honey, is warming up for them. This is when lines need to be drawn and "tough love" takes on new meanings. It sucks sucks, but remember that is all him developing into his own unique and wonderful person. I say will somedays walk around calling him names under your breath while pulling out your hair wondering why this is happening to you. Best advice I can give is playpen timeouts and STICK TO YOUR GUNS about no meaning no. Oh and if you ever want to go into public again...forget what other peeps may think of your montrous offspring and ignore the screams. I actually used to egg Chloe on saying "Honey, I don't think everyone in the store can hear you yet, you should scream louder.....yeah, that's it. Now we're talking baby." She would get infuriated that I could be so blaise about her tantrums. Freakin hilarious!
Oh and it does get better for a very short period of time.
Good Luck!

Sandra | 6:00 AM

I have this image of Archer in my mind as this angelic, hip, perfect little man after seeing all his photos.

We experiened the "terrible twos" when my son was one too. The good news he got it all out of his system and returned to the kid I knew once he hit two. Fingers and toes crossed its the same thing for Archer.

Anonymous | 6:13 AM

Yeah. That just plain sucks.

Just hang in there and don't put up with the crap! LOL.

me | 7:35 AM

Thank You...for reminding me why I am so happy my youngest is almost 8. Because much like the pain of labor and months without sleep, I have forgotten. Hang in there this too shall pass.

ms blue | 8:00 AM

Both my children were/are board babies. The stiff, arching of the back when you try to put them in a seat makes me lose my mind.

I've been told slippery Jell-O babies are just as hard to get seated but I can't imagine.

I keep telling myself that the terrible toddler phase has got to be better than the rebellious, "I hate you and you know nothing" teenager phase.

Unknown | 8:50 AM

PMSL at board versus jell-o babies, that is so true! I have had both and have had to use my knee (quick jab in the tummy) to get them into their buggys before now.
My baby girl who used to bang her head on the pavement and once bit her brother so hard on the back that it left a full set of her teeth indented on his skin like he's been branded, she is the most kind, loving gorgeous 6 year old now. She sits inside with her friend who has hayfever at school playtime to keep her company.

It's a cliche but...It's just a phase!


Thank you ! I think the slapping baby in the face/laughing thing was what threw me because Arch is the coyest little bunnyrabbit (was). Shy and happy and quiet and suddenly he grew horns. It's just so sudden! Sniff.

Anonymous | 8:59 AM

not my darling, little, sweet, little, charming, little, heavenly, little, sweetheart grandson archer. ecg

Anonymous | 9:00 AM

not my adorable, sweet, cherub of a grandson!!! no, no, no! ecg

Kristen | 9:10 AM

Hang in there. Stand your ground now, otherwise the terrible twos will make this look like a cakewalk. He'll come around, once he figures out that he DOES have limits. He'll get it. Just don't go insane in the process. (Easier said than done, I know.)

Andrea | 9:27 AM

Terrible Twos doesn't have to wait until he's two to start. Gabe started them when he was about 20 months old, and everything was a battle. When he would hurt himself, me, or once another child, I pulled him away from the situation. I set him in his crib (or his room after we changed his crib to toddler bed) and closed the door. He would scream, cry, scratch himself, call out for me. I would be just outside the door through it all, sometimes crying myself, just to make sure he didn't start destruction in his room. I let him sit for a couple minutes each time, but never more than five (the rule is a minute for each year of age, but sometimes Gabe needed a little longer than that). When he would calm down enough that he could actually hear me talking to him again, I would go in there, hold him on my lap and explain as simply as I could, "No hit," and point to my head or face. "No scratch," and point to where he'd scratch. "No throwing," and I'd make a throwing motion. Then I'd hug him, tell him I loved him, and then all would be well until the next eruption.

I had to remind myself that he was showing frustration over feelings that he didn't have the skills yet to verbalize. I tried to pay attention to what would set him off and teach him the word for what he wanted. Just the word, "want" was a huge help in lowering Operation Frustration to more manageable levels. He could point and say, "want," and I could help him out. Juice, truck, dog, ball, blanket, and food were other words that were easy and helped.

I calmed myself by counting, by imagining being unable to talk to my caretaker and understand what they were saying to me, and sometimes I was able to avert tantrums by tickling him. Getting him to laugh sort of wiped the slate a little and he wouldn't erupt as bad. Hang in there. It gets better over time.

Anonymous | 9:43 AM

I am so very sad with you. My real little man and your real Archer must be off frolicing somewhere where sweet boys go because mine is gone baby gone and I am ready to tear my hair out. Someone told me this lasts until they are 4. I smiled sweetly but I wanted to sic my son on him.

Jenn | 12:22 PM

Awww hun, my daughter does a lot of those things and isn't even a year old yet. I guess it gets worse before it gets better? Just think of it this way your 5 months closer to it being over than I am! =o\

kittenpie | 12:24 PM

Ugh, toddlerhood totally starts around 1, 2 is just a good average codeword for the whole mess. I got a headbutt so hard on my cheekbone Saturday night that it still hurts. Fucking ow.

Kristina | 12:29 PM

When I first was reading this, I thought, "Is he getting a tooth?"

Then I read on. Poor kid. Poor, poor Mommy.

I've heard that the "Terrible Twos" really is a misnomer -- it goes from ages 1 to 6.

This, too, shall pass.

Amy | 12:36 PM

Oh, I hear you on this! I've been having major struggles with my 16-month-old - headbutting, kicking, etc, and i have a terrible reaction to being overpowered by a toddler.

Just keep repeating, "It's only a phase."


Ahhhhhh!!! That's it. I feel like Archer's bitch. Gah!

SuperWife | 2:20 PM

That's why they have to be so cute in the first place. They sucker you into falling in love with them with all that adorable cuteness. Cooing and smiling. Doing the dat-dat-dat thing. Giving you the look. You KNOW the look. You get attached. The co-dependency is established. Then you're screwed. Then they become...::shiver::...toddlers. No stopping it.

By then, you already love them too much to drive them to the country and leave them by the side of the road. You're stuck with them.

These babies are smarter than you think. And organized. You have no idea.

Anonymous | 2:44 PM

I will offer no ass-vice here, because every kid is different & every parent has a different parenting style. Drives me mad when people (read "family") try to tell me how to fix her or punish her, or what to think about the whole situation. Hello? Been there. Done it all. Now won't you kindly return MY child & take away this evil twin?? I am in the same boat as you. She's 30 months. I'm counting the days till her 3rd birthday & SOMEone throws the freakin' switch back to my angel. Its really comforting to know someone's in this sinking boat with me tho'. {{hugs}} Soory if this is a tad pissy. My eyebrow bone is throbbing from her headdrop she laid down on me the other night. She really needs to join WWF Toddler -'scuse me.. "WWE". Is there such a thing? Should we start one? B/C this kid will get me all sorts of $$ with her moves.

Heather | 2:48 PM

Gah I'd have trouble not going to join him to play in the street... guess it's good I'm kidless. And? I think I'd better go run and make sure I took the pill this morning. Just in case.

(but? he's totally cute)

The Domesticator | 4:22 PM

My first child went through that phase when he was 3...
My second one acted like that when she was 1, and my third did that when she was 2. I am happy to report all three of them outgrew that behavior...and Surprise! They are alive, and I am not in the nut house. Hang in there. This will pass.

Cristina | 5:42 PM

I think that experienced parents everywhere are playing a huge practical joke on us new parents by telling us about the "terrible twos". As far as I can tell it's more like the terrible "13 month-old to 3-year-olds". Yeah, it doesn't have the same ring to it but it's a bit more accurate, I'd say.

OhTheJoys | 6:12 PM

We found that 15-21 months was UNBEARABLE... and now it's fine at just over two. Is 18 months the new two? Maybe.

Anonymous | 6:32 PM

GGC- I feel your pain.

Anonymous | 7:04 PM

my son is 16 months and all i can say is... i understand!!!!


i have advice. it's the only thing i offered to others when i was going thru this (and continue to dispense this pearl):

don't have children.

i will look into an emergency care package of things to get you through immediately. what size earplugs do you wear?

Jaelithe | 9:54 PM

I'm sure there's still an angel in there SOMEWHERE.

One thing I found that really helped with my son whenever he would hit me at that age was to make a point of looking genuinely hurt when he did it (even the times it didn't really hurt all that much). I would look him right in the eye and say, "Ow! That HURT Mommy!" in a very hurt voice; then I would say "Don't hit people" very sternly. That usually gave him pause.

I think most of the time angry toddlers don't really want to HURT someone; they just want to get a reaction, and hitting always provokes an instant response, but I think many of them are just too young still to work out the logic that hitting really hurts, or to bother thinking about what the consequences of angry actions might be.

Good luck! This too shall pass . . .

Gina | 11:19 PM

I would be sad too! You have very good reason. I see what I have to look forward to... angel turned head basher! Eek! So sad...

Anonymous | 11:58 PM

I just finished a great book (recommended by Mary P) that deals with this exactly! And, especially, how not to let this natural testing limits period (that usually starts somewhere between 14 & 18 months) turn into the really bad terrible twos!
It's called "Raising a Happy, Unspoiled Child" by Burton L. White. It really WAS helpful. Especially how it breaks down child development with what types of discipline work best at each age (and that age changes by months!). I totally recommend it. I've been working with Chance on not biting and it's getting much better.

Anonymous | 12:22 PM

I think I know what happened to Archer.

My kid astrally projected his personality over to yours. Archer is now possessed by Lucas.


My float | 1:35 AM

I too am tired of the pinching and hitting and scratching and yanking of hair. Where's MY darling boy?
If you find yours, please tell me so I can look in the same place!

Alisyn | 3:33 PM

Girl's gone child!
Child's gone wild!

(Violet is doing the same thing, right now. I'm ready to sell her on the black market.)


Anonymous | 8:37 AM

This'll probably piss someone off, but our first did this from 1 till 2.5 when I finally got so fed up, I gave him a spanking on his bottom, and confined him to his bed for 30 minutes. The last straw for us though, was not the attack on me, but the attack on his 6 mo. old sister...our children...they learn what they can get away with, I swear.

The "twos" tend to come early in bright children, and bright children tend to learn rapidly how to get what they want, if not thwarted with loving boundaries.

Just had to comment. You can consider me a child-abuser freak if you like.

Anonymous | 11:05 AM

Oh man do I feel for both of you! I recently posted about twos and the world from THEIR perspective. Don't know if it will help, but here's the link:

I am not techno saavy so maybe you can cut and paste? Good luck!!