Uncontrollable mood swings (read rage). Check on both accounts. I know Ethan suffers from this in spades at the moment. Sometimes I have no idea what he is raging about AT ALL. And I doubt even he does. I'm sure this also applies to teenagers.. I know how much I enjoyed being 'angst ridden' as a teenager and I know for a fact that I was a very 'good' teen in comparison to most.
Yesterday morning Ethan informed me "no look at me Mummy!" and if I even glanced at him out of the corner of my eye he would turn his head away screaming "no no NO" whilst writhing around on the floor.
Unusual/fussy eating habits. Check and check. Ethan has days when he is brilliant at eating but he is currently going through a difficult stage. If it isn't fruit or ice cream he is unlikely to eat it. He won't even eat the sponge part of a fairy cake, just lick the icing off and beg for "more cake" until another is provided just for him to lick the icing off again.. Now, as a teen I was terribly fussy when it came to food and eating. I had some very interesting habits including having to roll sandwiches into a cadbury's chocolate log type affair and swallowing them down in one bite to minimise their contact with airborne germs (yes, seriously!). Mind you, there was the time I went off sandwiches all together and started hiding them around my bedroom because I didn't want my mum knowing I didn't want them... She found them of course, a few weeks later (probably because they'd grown enough bacteria to allow them to walk out of the room themselves and have an impromptu counselling session with my mum in which they discussed how useless their existence was since I refused to eat them). When she confronted me with her discovery, in the way only a teen can, I denied all knowledge! Ethan has ready started hiding food... writing this reminds me that there are several days worth of half eaten apples under the TV unit and I really ought to get rid of them...
Not doing what they are told. Well, this goes without saying really, doesn't it! What teen (heck, what anyone!) likes to be told what to do.. None. In terms of a toddler, well, they may make out they don't know what you mean (they bloody well do!) but they know it's a lot more fun to push the boundaries. Just how far you can push mummy depends on several factors:
- How much sleep has mummy had? 5 hours + and she'll probably cope with a fair bit of your contrary behaviour.
- How much coffee has mummy had? 3+ mugs of strong coffee and you'll be able to push her.. Beware if she can't handle caffeine well or has had 6+ mugs because she'll probably fly the other way and be so jittery and hyped up you (the toddler) will end up voluntarily taking yourself to bed 7 hours early just to get out of the way!
- What level dosage are mummy's drugs? OK, I know this might not apply to many (or even most!) mums but I know there are a fair few more of us than you might think out there who owe their ability to cope to the SSRIs they swallow down every day (I know I do!).
Doing things they shouldn't do: This is a continuation of the above really, and of course all toddlers do this!! Generally I suppose they do these things because they don't know any better (whereas teens should, we hope!) although they soon realise how much fun it can be to get a rise out of mummy by doing something they shouldn't. In Ethan's case it usually involves dancing on top of the dining table, climbing from the bath into the basin, washing his toothbrush in the loo or paddling in a pool of his own urine. In the case of teens of course, 'things they shouldn't do' include booze, drugs and sex and toddlers (we hope!) would not be involved in any of those. Although it is not unknown for me to find Ethan sat in the recycling box in our garage drinking the dregs from beer bottles. God help him when it comes to alcohol. With me as an example I won't have a leg to stand on when it comes to lecturing him! Let's not mention the time I came home from a colleagues wedding wearing a table cloth due to my own clothes being saturated in vomit. Or the time my mum found me wondering the streets at 2am because I no longer remembered where I lived..
OK, enough of all this. It's all very tongue in cheek really, and I love my toddler dearly, I really do. And I'm sure I'll love him as a teen! It's just I hadn't imagined I'd be ignored by my child until he was at least 13....