Written on Alice's 2nd birthday, August 7, 2000
When my fourth child, Allie, turned two years old, I felt like checking her birth certificate, surely she was not just two, she should have been 4 or 5 years old - 3 at the very least. Seemed like she had been 2 years old for the past 14 months.
I have always heard the term “terrrible twos” and never quite understood what people were talking about. My first three children were quite mild mannered. They rarely made big messes, played quietly, and willingly sat in front of the TV to watch Barney at 5:00 p.m. so that I could make dinner. Then I had Allie.
She has completely redefined motherhood for me. I didn’t like calling this stage the “terrible twos”. I would try to think positively and called it the “creative twos” or the “energetic twos”. But frankly, most days it was just plain terrible, and some days it was horrible and awful on top of terrible.
I honestly can say that Allie has gotten into and created more messes than my three older children, COMBINED! When she’s a teenager and asks why she isn’t getting an allowance like the rest of the kids in the family I’m going to show her this list.
In the past two years she:
- Unrolled all of the plastic wrap, wax paper and foil from their tubes.
- Filled my shoes with coins and threw them into the bathtub.
- Dried out all of the ink pads I used for stamping by taking off their lids and hiding them (I discovered it too late).
- Dried out all of my markers I used for stamping (same story as the ink pads).
- Eaten or broken every crayon we own (my kids now tear off the wrappers from the crayons because that seems like the normal way to color with them).
- Smeared more food in her hair, on the walls, curtains, and the high chair than she could have possibly eaten.
- Emerged from her bath more dirty when than when she got in (turns out she snuck out, colored herself with markers, then got back in the tub).
- Dumped out my embossing powder and sawdust (that I was saving for who knows what) onto the carpet in my bedroom and mixed them up together.
- Smeared my lipstick all over the toilet, shelves, herself and the floor.
- Painted her lips with my mascara.
- Dumped out my drawer full of hair accessories, scattering ponytail holders and barrettes throughout the house, I found them in the oddest places.
- Dumped out my sewing supplies and strung thread throughout the house (made it easy to find her, just follow the thread).
- Escaped from the house and went to a neighbor’s house two doors down.
- · Found the McDonald’s sauce packets and covered herself, the carpet and walls in honey and sweet and sour sauce.
- Finished eating pancakes and proceeded to rub the syrupy plate in her hair.
- Tore open her diaper leaving a trail of white crystals that are inside of disposable diapers (again easy to find her, follow the trail).
- Unwrapped my year supply of tampons one by one and laid them neatly on her bed.
- Got into my jewelry and arranged all of my necklaces and earrings on her bed in a beautiful display. Then she found my Mary Kay facial cleanser and squirted it all over the jewelry and her bedspread. Amazingly, they had never been so clean.
I’m so mad just remembering these messes that I can’t stand to write any more of them down, but trust me there are MANY more!
I don’t think withholding her allowance is going to cover all her expenses. I think I’m going to have to dip into her wedding fund.
I imagine you are probably thinking, where was this child’s mother? Someone should have been watching her! Half the time I was in the same room with her, but my attention was diverted to the other four children. Other times she was supposedly taking a nap, and other times she was somewhere else in the house while I was cleaning up the previous mess she had made earlier.
I considered giving her for her second birthday a year’s worth of cleaning supplies, but actually that’d be a better present for me.
This daughter is now 14 years old and goes by Alice. She is the brightest, smartest, and most creative person I know. Right now her plans are to get a PhD in Astrophysics. She likes to spend her time studying, trying new recipes with friends, painting her nails, and watching Audrey Hepburn movies.