Miss Misery

I used to go out every day. I managed to lunch and shop and work-out five days a week. I tried on jeans in cozy boutiques while archer snacked on rice cakes in his stroller. I met up with friends while they hung their paintings in galleries. I went everywhere and did everything I used to do, before I had a baby.

Archer slept in his stroller on walks. He held my hand down stairs. He stayed close to me and enjoyed flirting with the pretty shopgirls in the local boutiques. He nibbled madeleines at cafes, while I sipped coffee and read my book. He played quietly with Legos at the Y daycare while I read Entertainment Weekly on the bike.

"I don't know what everyone is complaining about," I thought. "This is easy."

Because more or less, everything was wonderful and motherhood was a joy. Kind of like giving birth to a best friend whose farts you like the smell of.

I miss those days.

I miss them when I meet a friend for lunch and have to leave halfway through. I miss dressing rooms and sorting through sale racks for summer dresses. I miss chatting up strangers on busy boulevards as Archer smiled sweetly on. I miss being able to stop at an intersection, without holding my son down in his stroller. I miss hanging out with childless friends and having intelligent conversation (because what childless friend wants to hang out with two psychos?) about things that didn't involve child behavior patterns.

I miss taking Archer to museums and libraries and on nature walks without him throwing a temper tantrum because the sun is in his eyes, only to throw another temper tantrum because I tried to put a hat on him. I miss being able to work out for longer than five minutes without being asked to leave by the daycare ladies. I miss magazines on the porch and Archer playing with the dogs on the stoop, without running off.

"Being a mother doesn't have to change your life," I have always said to myself and to my friends.

But that was before I was the mother of a two-year-old.



Anonymous | 12:59 PM

I'm with ya. Who is this cranky person? The little man now likes to RUN FROM ME, especially when I angrily shout words like "STOP!" and "FREEEZE!" I'm friggin' 8 months pregnant and couldn't catch him if I tried. Thinking of carrying a police baton so I can fling it and knock his feet out from under him when he tries it again. Or the leash. Sooo understand the leash now.

He almost fell asleep in his lunch plate, but now refuses to have a nap, so he cranky, clutsy AND annoying. Worst part, my mom stops over and gushes about how wonderful he is. Yeah. Take him.

A related sotry-- The other day, I was driving down a fairly busy city side street while a mom was on the phone, chasing her toddler son out the front door-- with his pants and underpants around his ankles-- laughing and screaming at the top of his lungs. Guess we have that to look forward to... Sigh.

Blog Antagonist | 1:36 PM

You ain't seen attitude until you have beheld an adolescent with too many hormones flooding his bloodstream. Oy. Come to think of it, they are very much like two year olds!

Karen | 1:52 PM


My Liz was an angel, AN ANGEL I TELL YOU, until she hit the twos. Then the shit hit the fan. But lucky for us (and for her), she turned three and it was better.

My sister, Mrs. Chicken, recently wrote some soul-searching posts about being the mother of a two year old.

I wish that I had something better to offer you and her than just my admonition to stay strong. A firm hand now will make it so much easier later.

BlondeMomBlog (Jamie) | 3:02 PM

I'm in the twos now for the second time and it does get easier. I never thought my second daughter would throw tantrums to rival her big sister's because she has always been dubbed "docile" and "easy going" by everyone, including her daycare teachers. Apparently they save it all up to unleash during the "twos." My aren't we lucky! ;)

Wendy | 4:06 PM

I would like to say that those easy days will come back, but that would be lying. My daughter was much like Archer as a baby and a young 2 yr old. Now, she is almost 5 yrs old and wont sit quietly while I have a conversation or try on clothes if you paid her. It is a constant stream of complaints and trying to be involved in adult conversations. Not to mention, we have to watch what we talk about unless I want her to repeat the whole thing to a stranger.

I say count your lucky stars that you had it easy until now. My son, 15 months old, has never just sat still. He has been cranky since he came into the world. I never forget pushing a stroller through Target while he screamed his head off. I just wanted to get out of the damn house and we needed diapers.

Now, I miss those easy baby (with my daughter) days. She was so easy that when she was 5 months old we were able to go to San Diego and do almost all the fun things that the single people we were with did. We had late dinners at a great Italian restaurant while she slept in her stroller. We were able to attend the beach wedding while she slept in her stroller. We were even allowed to bring her into a restaurant that didnt normally allow children, because she was asleep in her stroller. *sigh* The good ole days. Now, sometimes I have to tell myself it would be wrong to sell them to gypsies.

Motherhood Uncensored | 4:18 PM

word. just word.

Anonymous | 5:17 PM

I hate to tell you it gets worse. Caleb has been an absolute terror recently. In the last 2 weeks he has: 1) climbed under the house and got stuck in the time it took me to swap a load of laundry. I had to call 911. 2) thrown a rock at the shower door and chipped it . . . he was mad that after crying to get in the shower with me, then crying to get out, I wouldn't let him back in again 3) completely stopped using any form of verbal communication. The minute he wants something and I haven't telepathically figured it out already he throws himself into a fit of rage that will last at least 10 minutes and includes hitting, screaming, crying, biting, and pushing. He has plenty of language now, he just prefers screaming. 4) the mere word "NO" can send him over an edge that takes sometimes an hour to recover from. Oh and napping? Ha!

We had lunch with my childless sister last week and she said "lets do that again when he's like 10 o.k.?"
I took him to the doctor today hoping and praying he had an ear infection. Sadly, his ears are fine which means I won't be until further notice.

Pinterest Failures | 5:30 PM

I won't bore you with the details, but I am going through this misery for a second time. While I am better prepared this time, it is still hard. Not to bum you out or anything, but the threes were much worse for my older daughter. I am praying that the gods smile down one me and take it easy with my second daughter. It's amazing how I no longer judge mothers when I see them dragging off a combative toddler. Now that I have lived it, I give them my empathy. Hang in there.

Emery Jo | 5:32 PM

I hear you loud and clear on this one.

Unknown | 5:45 PM

My daughter is 15 month old, and I thought I was seeing a change! I am humbled in the presence of all this strong (and funny as hell) mothers.

Unknown | 5:46 PM

okay, make that "THESE strong (and funny as hell) mothers."

Rainbow Momma | 5:57 PM

My girlie was a good 2-year old. Sure she had her moments, but she never threw a tantrum. That is ... until she turned 3. For us, it wasn't the terrible twos, it was the terrible threes. I hope you get your "terrible" year over with now. Hugs.

Chris | 7:21 PM

I don't even attempt to take the kids to meet someone for lunch when I'm flying solo. It's not worth the headaches and ugly stares.

Heather | 8:54 PM

It does get better, then it gets worse again, then better...and I'm sure it will get worse again.

The great thing is that they get a little older and you can start to reason with them a bit...a bit I said.

At least you know you're not the only mom dealing with this, right?

Anonymous | 11:23 PM

Girl. seriously. it sucks. i'm going through the 2's with my daughter. and my boy, who never had the two's has decided to go through the FUCKING FOURS (trust me when I call them that) at the same time his sister goes through the TERRIBLE TWO's and i'm seriously about to lose my mind.
I had my own tantrum today where I just completely lost it on them because I coudln't take another round if them fighting over absolutely NOTHING. All.DAY.LONG. The golden years are supposed to be from ages 5 to 10. Then it gets all ugly again for the pre teens etc... I'm 3 years away from some sanity. I hope I make it. Scratch that.. I hope THEY make it :)

Ann Marie | 4:06 AM

It will get better I promise..
at 9 he will NEVER be around and you will wonder what that quietness is.

Fairly Odd Mother | 4:52 AM

Welcome to the club. I was in a cold sweat the last time I brought my three to a museum. And, the last time I took them clothes shopping, I bought most ill-fitting bathing suit b/c I just needed to get the hell outta there. There are some things that really should be 'child-free' zones b/c they just don't want to be there.

Anonymous | 5:36 AM

I felt that way about motherhood too- until I had my second child.

That really did change everything.

karengreeners | 5:50 AM

Oh, I could have written this. But instead of pining, I'm having another. Clearly motherhood has made me insane.

moplans | 6:04 AM

Yeah. It seems to always come around. The good times only last for so long but it will get better again.

Anonymous | 6:10 AM

At the risk of sounding redundant - hang in there!!!! My son is 7 now....And while we're mostly done with temper tantrums and freakish public behaviour, we've moved on to I'm not even allowed to kiss him when I drop him off at school - I have to pull over 2 blocks before to get my hug and kiss because it's embarrassing to kiss your mom in front of the school...*Sigh*

PunditMom | 7:13 AM

I so hated when I had that realization. My perfectly behaved little girl turned into an attention sponge --ME, ME, ME!! It's all about ME, her tantrums said.

Don't worry -- soon there will be preschool and playdates and you will have time again to breathe.

Anonymous | 7:40 AM

I am soooo dealing with the same issues right now, and mine isn't even 2 yet!

BOSSY | 8:30 AM

True, true. It's amazing what we moms get used to. And meanwhile - before kids - Bossy used to think putting a diagram in was a lot of effort. Geesh.

Virtualsprite | 10:30 AM

So true... It sounds exactly like my life. I keep repeating to myself, "This, too, shall pass." It's my mantra. I try to take comfort in the fact that my Goober will turn 3 next month, but I'm not optimistic.

Anonymous | 11:05 AM

Aw, sorry mama. Being the mother of a 2 1/2 year old girl, I can relate to some of this. And I'm expecting a boy! Eek! The only thing I can do with my daughter when she acts like a psycho is just keep telling myself that this stage can't last forever.

Amy | 1:14 PM

I could have written this. I'm dying over here.

Thanks for letting me know I'm not the only one. Here's hoping it gets better for us both, soon.

ONEwayORanotherWAY | 2:14 PM

i love those pants! :)

Jaelithe | 9:05 PM

Ah, it sounds to me that you got more not-so-changed time than most of the rest of us, I think. Cling to that.

It will get better, fo sho. Cling to that, too. We can be party GILFs together when our kids are old enough to have kids themselves and we're still in our forties. *High five*

Creative-Type Dad | 10:47 PM

I'm laughing and crying--

Those early days (a year ago) were so much more easier. I think they're in this 2-year old stage for at least 6 years.

Anonymous | 11:23 PM

I envy that you were able to do those things even in the first 2 years. Glowing green over here. :) Imagine two 2 yr olds, running in opposite directions ... Thankfully, 4 yrs has brought us some relief. I said *some*. :)

Her Bad Mother | 10:00 AM

This is shamefully lame, but - as Kristen said - WORD.


kittenpie | 11:02 AM

Oh yes, my dear, it's a brand new world, and while it brings amazement, it also brings frustration. They are work as babies, but it's different work, and leaves a bit more room for yourself. Toddlers are demanding, requiring of lots of effort, even on their best and happiest days. I have never felt more like a harried beast of burden, but I must say, I've been loving some of the stuff that comes with it, too.

Unknown | 8:21 PM

Ladies, that's what Benadryl is for - so mama can go shopping!