Monday, October 31, 2011

Feisty Fours & Terrible Twos

Our ward's primary presentation is in two weeks. Rachel was asked to give a talk. This means that she gets a full thirty seconds (or however long it will take her to say the talk that I keep making shorter and shorter) of glory in front of a microphone. And the entire congregation.

It's that last part that she's worried about.

She's so worried about it that she cried all through sacrament meeting. And all through the first hour of primary when we were practicing the songs. And all through the second hour until she got up to say her part.

It was a little agonizing for her. As her teacher said, "I wish they'd have put her first so she could just get it over with."

Rachel is, apparently, a worry wart. She just sat there getting more and more nervous the entire day. It was pitiful. I almost started crying watching her be so nervous.

Fortunately we have another couple of weeks to get her nice and ready. Unfortunately, crying for three hours in the morning kind of broke her for the rest of the day, which she, for the most part, also spent crying.

"I'm just so nervous about my talk! I can't stop crying!" she'd sob.

It was a long day.

At the end of the day we went to a fireside at the Hale Center Theater. For the first time in nearly a decade, they put on Are the Meadowlarks Still Singing? written by Ruth Hale. It was free, of course, given that it was a fireside...on a Sunday...but it was fabulous. The theater was packed when we arrived. We thought we had left early enough to find good seats but instead ended up being lucky to find four seats together, meaning that at any given moment two people had young children on their laps since we were a party of six.

From what I saw, the show was good, but holy honk—talk about the terrible twos! It's like a switch went off in Miriam's brain and she now questions everything, does the complete opposite of what I ask her to do, and won't sit still and suck her thumb. She was horrible.

"Miriam! Be quiet!" I whispered.

"Why?!" she'd demand to know before telling me, "Me not be quiet. Me be LOUD!"

"No, no. Shhhh-shhh-shh! Just suck your thumb and snuggle with me," I suggested.

"No, not suck mine thumb!"

"Here, Miriam—it's a butterfly!" my mom said, handing her a paper she'd accordion-ed.

"No! Not butterfly! Make me airplane!"

"Alright. I'll ask Grandpa to make you an airplane," said my mom.


Sheesh. I don't know when this happened, exactly, but I'm pretty sure it was sometime around October 25th. I'm kind of glad it's happening, truthfully—not because I'm looking forward to the terrible twos, the throw-a-fit threes, and the feisty fours, but because I suddenly appreciate Rachel so much more.

Rachel was so well behaved at the play. She whispered when she had sometime to say—which was rarely—she sat still and tried her best not to bother anyone. She was so good.

The past few years have certainly been a strain on our relationship, but perhaps we're finally breaking through the ice. My child knows how to behave! You know...sometimes. And if she knows how to behave sometimes then eventually she'll begin behaving more and more until one day I'll forget that she ever threw world-class hissy-fits. It's only logical. Except for the part about me forgetting about her fit-throwing skills. That will never happen.

Will our feisty fours turn into something fabulous?

(Or at know...fine?)

Only time will tell.

And hopefully I won't shoot myself in the foot later for saying this, but I have a hunch that Miriam's terrible-twos won't be as terrible as Rachel's were. Miriam has always been slightly less passionate about life than Rachel is so there will be a little less passion in her fits. Take tonight, for example. Miriam was misbehaving and although I know the people in front of us noticed I'm not sure anyone else was terribly bothered by her—in fact, I got no dirty looks from audience members at all—because even when Miriam's at her loudest she's typically pretty quiet.

Bring on those terrible twos!


  1. This was kind of funny considering the post just before it.

  2. I believe you mean two posts before.

    I still hold that something advertised as "family friendly" should be prepared to embrace even the most terrible of two-year-olds.

    Also, the play from two posts ago was a charming musical full of dancing and music and whimsical costumes. Something a two-year-old might fancy.

    The play from this post was full of serious adult conversation. No dancing. No singing. No whimsical costumes. And as I mentioned, though she was horrible (by her standards) she was actually all that loud. And she wasn't the only child in the audience misbehaving. And we could all hear the actors the entire time because they knew how to project and so forth.

    In short, I still think that children should be allowed into performances marked family friendly. And also, we're all allowed to have a grumpy day. Even two-year-olds. :)