If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times: I don’t know who said the twos were terrible but I could not disagree more. Matty’s twos were magic. He was hilarious, communicative and an all around joy to be around. Bot’s twos, so far, have been mellow in comparison to his rage-filled, psychotic ones (facts are facts). He’s talking more and more every day and though his fiery spirit hasn’t dimmed an ounce, he’s jovial, snuggly and, more so than Matty ever was, animated beyond belief. He loves Matty so much he can’t help but squeeze his cheeks when he wakes up in the morning and whenever he’s excited for something he can’t help but screech a high-pitched ‘woohoo!’
I like to reminisce and relish in the twos because now, as we approach summer and Matty’s 4th birthday, I know what the threes have in store for me. You might remember last year when I was biting my nails in anticipation (AKA dread) for Matty’s third birthday. With one week left of his twos I worried he was slowly morphing into a demon. Screeching, howling, retaliating. I thought I was in for a real nightmare but the last year has turned out to be less of a nightmare and more of a rollercoaster. This year Matty has tested the limits at school, struggled with the lack of attention due to an increasingly demanding little brother at home, started to grasp the basics of master manipulation and somehow acquired the vocabulary of a slick car salesman along with skills of a novice ninja.
As his third year starts to wind down and we approach his birthday, his behavior is trending in a not-so-positive (for Seth and I) direction. He frequently says, “I told you!” and is always correcting us. He’s fighting with Abbott all of the time, he’s whining about everything and when he’s not whining he’s making demands and all but holding his brother for ransom. Last night he got out of his bed and walked into the living room to tell us something. Seth stopped him before he could say anything.
“Matty. Who is going to be in trouble for being out of their bed, me or you?”
“Well, Dad -”
“Matty. Why are you out of your bed?”
Abbott came barreling into the living room with a giant smile on his face and climbed up on the couch. Seth repeated his question to Matty.
“Well – but – Dad!”
“Who is going to be in trouble for being out of bed, me or you?”
Matty, with the straightest face, very quickly lifted his left arm and pointed his finger out straight at Abbott without even looking at him. Abbott, completely clueless, happily jumped up and down on the couch. Seth and I both struggled to keep a straight face.
Two minutes after sending them back to bed, Matty reappeared in the doorway to tell us that Abbott was pooping.
There is nothing he enjoys more than throwing his brother under the bus or pointing out when Seth and I are wrong. The other day he didn’t speak to me for 35 minutes after I accidentally flushed the toilet after wiping his ass, despite my profuse apologies. 15 of those minutes he spent lying on the bathroom floor screaming, 10 of them he spent flailing on the hallway floor whining and the other 10 of them he spent sitting in the doorway of the living room just staring at me with evil eyes.
If I tell him no, he’ll sneakily go and ask Seth and if Seth says no, he pretends he didn’t hear either of us and tries to get things on his own. He’s started helping himself to items in the cabinets, the fridge and the freezer. I mean, we’re really just a couple passive aggressive post-it notes short of a weird, overly-angsty new roommate situation (which I totally expected but not until the boys were like 13 and 14?)
Is this build up fourshadowing (see what I did there? #proudMOMents) something or just a short phase that will clear up mid summer? It’s too early to tell but also much too long to wait to find out. But ALSO how is he going to be FOUR?!
Maybe the fours will be fantastic. Maybe they will be fearsome. Maybe they’ll be finicky. Maybe they will be all of the above. The only thing I’ve learned for sure is that, regardless of what they end up being, they’ll come too fast, happen too fast and someday I’ll miss them, so for now I’ll keep embracing the hilarity that is a toddler’s constant state of anguish and the fact that he’s still – if only for a couple months – three.