Tonight, the Peanut got pissed at me because I wouldn't give her a cookie.
Honestly? I don't even know how she saw the fucking cookie. It was perched on a countertop way beyond her line of vision and semi-hidden by a sippy cup.
All I know is that, at one point, the two of us are hanging out and playing musical instruments together. She's jamming out on the harmonica and I'm rocking some serious triangle action. Next thing I know, she completely freezes up and I see her tiny eyes scanning the entire kitchen with the intensity of Jack Bauer looking for a terrorist in a crowded mall. For a second there, I half-expected her to pick up an empty toilet paper roll and start using it as a telescope. Instead, she made an immediate beeline for the cookie and tried to use her one inch vertical leap to grab it.
Since it was close to dinner time (and because I'm the world's most sadistic father,) I refused to give her the cookie. In my best approximation of an actual grown-up, I calmly told her that the cookie would spoil her appetite and that, if she waited a little while, we'd have dinner together.
First, tiny tears start welling up in her eyes. Then, she begins whimpering softly. Next thing I know, she's screaming so loudly that I'm convinced my neighbors will think I'm flushing a cat down the toilet. I lean down to hug her but she kicks me in the nuts. She then starts flailing around on the floor like an epileptic fish. Her arms are going in one direction, her legs in another. If the screams hadn't been so maddingly deafening, I think I would have sat back in a chair and laughed my ass off.
Instead, I gave the Peanut a "time-out."
This was actually her second time-out. BossLady gave her one the other day because the Peanut thought it would be fun to overturn the laundry basket and start tossing Diet Coke cans out of the pantry. While BossLady and I thought this was hilarious, we didn't want to set a bad precedent so we suppressed our smiles and scolded the Peanut. Of course, our lovely daughter went absolutely bonkers, started screaming again, and commenced throwing soda cans like a young Satchel Paige.
So we stuck her in her crib until she cooled out (thank you, Supernanny!)
Clearly, we're at the beginning stages of the Terrible Twos. I'm fully cognizant of the fact that the Peanut's behavior stems from an irresistible urge to make her own choices. Recently, I've been reading a lot of parenting literature to help me prepare for this latest phase of the Peanut's development (and the ensuing onset of oppositional behavior, constant impatience and decision reversals.)
All the same, it's fascinating watching it up close and personal. In one moment, the Peanut is cute, adorable, and charming. Two seconds later, she's stubborn, demanding and impatient. She's like a miniature Asian version of Sybil.
Wish us luck, my friends, and feel free to offer up any advice. Because right now, BossLady and I are locked in a battle of the wits with a 20-month old girl who has suddenly come to realize that she knows exactly what she wants at any given time. Nature and Nurture are colliding straight-on and the stakes are high.
Winner gets a free cookie.