Advice Needed!!!

AJ has been 2 for a month now and let me tell you he is a whole new kid. over the past month I have watch and unbelievable transformation take place and I honestly can't believe the difference!

AJ has more energy now then ever before. He has always been the kid sitting off to the side playing by himself or with one select Friend. He also love spending time in his room playing cars or looking at books. Well friends, those days are over! AJ's new motto in life is GO-GO-GO. His diet hasn't changed, if anything he is eating less, and yet he is chalk full of energy 90% of the time.

His favorite activity is Jumping. (thank-you Mom and Dad for introducing him to Tigger) He climbs up on anything and everything and then proceeds to throw himself off it. No major injuries so far but every time I put him in shorts I'm afraid people are going to think he's abused. He is covered in bruises from shoulder to shin and everyday he replaces the faded ones with brand new patches of blue, Green, and brown.

If he's not climbing and jumping you will find him running, FAST. He loves to run around the couch, up and down the hall, in and out of all the rooms, and even running around the house backwards. This to has caused a few bruises but mostly it just helps him get ride of energy and increases our downstairs neighbours dislike for us.

I would like to say that AJ is still a great kid, he listens well and dose a great job at playing with others or sharing. Although the high energy is totally manageable these next two trait are the ones I am trying to nip in the butt before it is to late.

Since turning two AJ has discovered his voice or maybe I should say lungs. You may remember a shy little boy sitting in Mom's lap quietly observing the world around him. The new AJ is not only observing he is ask questions, "Mom, Doing?" and "Lyndz Doing?" we can go back and forth answering this simple question for 15-20 minutes. If one of us gets to far away he will simply yell it louder and louder until he gets a response. He likes to yell other things like, "Lyndz!" "Dad" "More" or spending it's 4th week at the top of the charts... "NO!"

Probably the most difficult change I have been dealing with is his new found love of throwing and hitting. Although Age is still fairly passive while playing with his friends, you can call him Mr.Aggressive when it come to time with Mom. Not only will he yell "no" at me he will follow it up with a swipe at which ever part of my body happens to be closest to him. If I am to far away to hit he will pick whatever toy is closet and throw it in my general direction.

So today at Winco everything came together in the perfect storm. When we arrived AJ decided he didn't want to come in and would rather wait in the car, unacceptable. I tried to act like shopping would be fun and told him we were getting more mini wheat's, his favorite, but nothing made him want to join us. I finally picked him up and stood him between our truck and the other car where he proceed to have a tantrum. He cried, yelled, and threw himself on the ground while I quietly stood and let him have a minute. Then I got down to his level and explained that we had things to get, he had to come in, and asked him if he wanted to walk or ride in the cart. Screaming, Crying. I picked him up and carried him at arms length (so he couldn't reach me with his kicks) into the store and plopped him in the cart, were we had another chat.

He was calmer but still pouting and crying a bit. The 20 minutes in the store went pretty well, he happied up a bit when he got to put the fruit into the bags and pick out the cans of soup. The tears however returned when he realized that there would be no animal crackers today. Some women may have just got him some but I wanted him to know that when you cry and yell by the car there is no treats, even if I had to walk around with him crying again.

At the till AJ wanted to get down and when I told him he needed to stay in the cart because we were all done he hit my hands. I got down and told him that you don't hit Mommy and that he needed to say sorry. After a 30 second stare down I told him,
"AJ say sorry"
He put his lips together, filled his cheeks with air and with all the energy and volume he could muster he yell "NO!" Accompanied with a kick to my tummy.

I stood right up, slapped his mouth and pushed him to the end of the check out while I paid and ignored him. It wasn't a hard slap but it surprised us both and he sat and cried at the till until he saw a treat go by on the way to bagging. He asked for one, I ignored him, and then he said....
"Mom, Mom AJ sorry. No be Sad." I went over and he gave me a big hug with a few pats on the back. "Mom happy now!, AJ have treat?" There was no treat but he understood and stayed happy after that.

It was so sucky, I have never had anything like that happen before it was totally out of character for him. I think that letting him have a little space when he is upset and then getting on his level and talking to him about it is the best strategy but I am open to any and all suggestions. I don't want to be slapping his mouth, it was all just to much and it was a reaction.



lynz said...

well....i have no experience with the terrible two's or with toddlers, but as one who is with you and this little ball of energy on a daily basis, i just have to say that you are an amazing mom! you are so patient with age, and he is a very cute and well mannered 2 year old for the most part. i know that patience and consistency are key, and i just say keep up the good work and if you reach your breaking point....i'm only a few doors down, and i hope that you'll use me to your advantage and take a break with that kicking baby of yours when you need it :)

Kels said...

wow. i am proud of you lace, you sound so patient and pulled together. i don't think the slap was bad, but understand that you don't want to be doing that all the time.
here is my advice: watch/read "The Happiest Toddler on the Block," by Dr. Harvey Karp. I had to write a little report on it for my Infant/Toddler class, and I thought it was amazing. I'm definitely going to be trying the techniques with Norah when she hits that point. It's just all about understanding their language, and getting across to them that you get it. On that same note, with your tiny one coming soon, I'd also watch his first video, "The Happiest Baby on the Block." I wish I would have seen it when Nors was newborn, even though she was a great baby, I wish I could have understood her better.
Whew. That is pretty much all I've got at this point, I think both movies are great. (They are also books, but I liked seeing the techniques put into practice). I don't know where your public libraries are, but I guarantee they will have the dvds there to rent. Anyway, let me know how it goes, even if you find something else that works!!!
love ya,

MotherBeck said...

ok I swear you just peeked into my life. This was Sam at that same age, throwing and hitting and jumping off of everything. He still jumps off of stuff, i think that just comes with being a boy. The hitting has almost completely gone away unless he is REALLY mad about something, and even then he doesn't really hit just kind of throws his arms down. I think what are doing is great and like Lyndz said consistency is KEY! As for the little slap, sometimes you need to give them that little shock and get them back to reality. I have only had to do that handful of times...Good luck! Maybe you should bring him over here and let him and Sam beat up on each other...

Nicole Wagner said...

I'm sorry:( I have no advice. I know you're thinking "What? YOU no advice? you who has something to say about everything? ! LOL....well, Megan never had the terrible twos so I honestly have NO advice...but reading this scares me b/c Erika is coming up on 2 and we both know that she is not going to be the piece of cake Meg was.....YIKES!! Now you have me thinking.. "what would I do ? what would I do?" so far..I wouldnt' have done anything different from you:( you're doing great!! good luck and you can kick him over here anytime..if I can ever stop working!;)
love you!
(that was LONG for having no advice huh? haha)

Dad (Steele) said...

Hey Lacey,
I just want you to know that I am in awe at how wonderful of a mother and wife you have become. You will figure things out with AJ he is a great little boy and has been taught what is right and wrong. There is no doubt that the 2's can be challenging but keep up the good work and know that you guys are in our prayers and we love you. You are a great mom!!!

The Evansons' said...

Well Lace, it looks like you did everything right... and everything wrong still happened. You were patient, calm, and held it together pretty well I think. And you know what... it's STILL going to happen and not going to stop anytime soon! Sorry to be a Debbie Downer but it's just TRUE!! The only advice I can give you is grin and bear it and keep doing what you're doing! It'll stick one day!!! But as for now enjoy your alone time with AJ, even if it is getting kicked and screamed at in a grocery store, you'll have 2 kids doing that in no time!! I think you are a dang good mom! OH and I am not against a little spankin' now and then. But if you're not into that, disregard! haha!

Julie said...

I always thought my nephew was horrible and my sister bad at discipline...then Jake turned 2 and I realized that the jumping, shouting, hitting, running, and super aggression is all part of having a boy. Definitly be consistant in whatever you decide is unacceptable behavior (like shouting and hitting). I have found that focusing on what Jake has done right, rather than what he is doing wrong makes him less likely to do the bad stuff. It's so hard, but positive reinforcement is super effective. Just enjoy having a boy! More running around, less drama!

Anonymous said...

Well, I don't know you, but I know Lynz.... and I don't have kids, but I work with them... and it sounds like you're super...two is just a "dynamic" age :)

One thing I learned from super nanny (i know, lame) is that with toddlers in public... give them tasks. (Just like you did with the fruit and soup).... and get them excited about the tasks before you even get into the car to leave your home. That way the experience is one that they are excited about, and want to take part in.

As for the running and jumping, my brother's are 25 and 27, and they still haven't grown out of it... so I'm no help there.

Keep on keeping on :)