The weekend was made up largely of a spectrum of emotions. From all three of us.
As it's the twins birthday on Friday, and because we are going away for Easter, (to somewhere sunny. Hooray!), we thought we'd unveil Sebastian's birthday present a little early.
We got all psyched up about it (first mistake), and planned a whole morning outing centred around the gift (second mistake),while setting our expectations such that it was going to be the BEST THING EVER (third mistake).
It started off well enough. The Brit wrapped it up and Sebastian exclaimed, "Itta....BIKE!" before he had ripped off the wrapping.
He got a bit more snippy when I insisted he at least try to balance the helmet on his head. Wasn't completely down with that idea, but eventually kind of let me balance it on his [precious little] pip.
Very excitedly got some pictures of him on his very first bike.
We hadn't even reached the end of our street, when he then decided he had had enough and didn't want to get on the bike anymore.
Fine. We'd calmly just carry it across the road to the common and head towards the bandstand cafe, where we'd sit happily as a family of three, shlurping coffees and babycinos, maybe indulge in a spot of cake eating. All very civilised; all very content.
By the time we got there, Sebastian was ready for his performance. He didn't want to get into a high chair, and he didn't want anything to do with his fucking raisins. That he usually covets from rooms away.
He certainly didn't want a fucking babycino, and showed his displeasure by throwing the whole cup all over my [Mulberry - sob] handbag and wool coat.
For the love of Christ.
The table next door, conveniently, was having an altercation with another table about the whereabouts of their pissing spaniel that had relieved itself over someone's bag, so they were arguing loudly, all while Sebastian was building himself up into a crescendo of displeasure.
Soon, he was thrashing about on the grass, while onlookers did one of two things:
1) the parents gave us a knowing, yet encouraging nod (and thank you, for those that did. As you could see, things were pretty dire);
2) those without children looked at us with complete disdain.
We decided to laugh. What else do you do when your child is having a shit fit in public? We agreed that this outing had somewhere along the line gone horribly, horribly wrong, and had somehow ticked off our 2 year old completely unknowingly, and now it was time to go home and admit defeat.
But Sebastian wouldn't bend. He physically wouldn't fold his body to get him back into the buggy, and he didn't want to be held.
Two year olds are extremely talented - it turns out - at planking and then relaxing every muscle in their body, from one moment to the next, to ensure that no one can put them in anything.
Thirty long, cold minutes of public disobedience ensued until he decided that he now wanted no-one except "MUMMY!" (why thank you), which meant I had to carry him home on my 22 week belly, for a mile.
We've learnt a few things from the recent spate of events involving the new personality of our 2 year old.
1) Set expectations really low.
Never expect an outing in public to go well. That said, hope for the best. Then be pleasantly surprised if your 2 year old doesn't go ballistic.
2) It's normal, according to the books and Google.
It'll be bad for the next 6 months and then hopefully start to taper off. The one [massive] thing that may disrupt this cycle is the fact that there'll be another tiny human joining us, demanding all of my attention and undoubtedly throwing him into a state of torture, slap bang right in the middle of this. I feel guilty and I'm also aware that there are tough times, they are a-coming.
The arrival of a new sister?
He is going to be furious.
3) We handle tantrums like this:
We sit near him and let him just get on with it. It may take 30 minutes, but we can't leave him (bad) and we can't pick him up (bad). We just let him clam down and if we can distract him, then (good). We must also approach him with a completely over-enthusiastic Disney-voice tone, as it helps. [SINGSONG!] "SHALL WE GO AND PLAY AT THE PARK! OOOH YAY! WE ARE GOING TO PLAY AT THE PARK TODAY!"
His Oscar-winning performance:
We lost a wellington in the scuffle. Had to go back to retrieve lost merchandise.
Then once home, he held onto me for a full twenty minutes. Chatting, smiling, being fucking adorable. Two year olds are the most amiable schizophrenics you'll ever hope to meet.
Yup, it's official. We've entered a completely new chapter of parenting. Suddenly. There's no denying it now. The man has a mind of his own.
Strap yourselves in, because if yours is almost two or getting there, you're in for one hell of a ride.