He’s two, he’s beautiful and he’s a leader – a ring leader.
When I say he’s beautiful, I mean he’s the good looking kind of boy that people say should have been a girl. He has very large dark brown shining eyes framed by impossibly long thick lashes. He has cupid bow lips that end in little dimples and perfect high cheek bones. His skin is brown and soft as satin and he struts like a man who knows his purpose.
If anyone was born to join the French Foreign Legion or the SAS it’s Master 2. That’s if I can teach him to use his powers for good. Otherwise he’ll be a mercenary. His nickname at home is ‘The Smiling Assassin’.
He’s manipulative, destructive, wilful, stubborn, vicious, noisy, sneaky and narcissistic. And these are just his good qualities!
He is fearless and has an innate confidence which says ‘I will always win’. While others might be working out how to climb to the top, he’s already done that and made his leap.
This little cyclone terrorises people at will, bigger or smaller kids, but especially adults, he does not discriminate. He hits, pinches, punches, pushes, pokes eyes, throws, screams and breaks. He can also be snuggly, fragile, soft and loving – sometimes. He has a gentle, doe-eyed look that melts hearts wherever he goes. However, he is not one to be trifled with, he may be small but he packs a wallop.
He defies my every attempt at discipline. Having privileges removed doesn’t worry him because he can’t remember what he did, or has a practiced look of innocence, I can never be sure. Getting a smack doesn’t affect him; he continues on as if nothing has happened and time-outs work if I am prepared to continually put him back into the time-out spot after he simply gets up and runs away. Quite frankly I am sick and tired of counting to three to try to get him to do something.
He’s cheeky. When asked to apologise he’ll yell “No, never! Shut-up!” I hope this is all a phase and that we can turn his negative attention-seeking ways around. He exhausts me. He’ll scream for something and when I give it to him he rejects it out-of-hand. Then when I take it away, he screams to have it back.
This behaviour means I spend my days protecting Master 1 and 4 and trying not to blame him for everything.
I know I love all my children enough, but there is probably a great deal of sibling rivalry going on in our house. I know logically that there is an innate awareness that the amount of love in any family is always limited and sharing it simply halves it, which, to a two-year-old, feels like missing out. I know it’s important to realise this and not feel like I do not love my children enough, but at times Master 2 is very hard to love.
I know it’s up to me as the parent not to replicate this negative behaviour by getting angry but any parent knows this is easier said than done. Of course, we all experience anger and do not like anyone being angry with us. So if we are the target of an angry response to our behaviour, we naturally get angry back and this becomes a negative cycle. For example I get angry when Master 2 hits Master 1 hard on the head with a toy and I yell at him in an angry voice, or worse, smack him for hitting.
To break the cycle we have to avoid repeating the behaviour in the first place.
To apply this in my situation; Master 2 is two and he is the middle child and probably feels that Masters 1 and 4 get all the attention. So to divert attention away from his brothers he will do whatever it takes, good or bad, to generate the most attention, even if it’s negative.
Like I said, it is good to know all this; to apply it in a busy, stressful day-to-day situation is quite something else.
Thankfully, the Foreign Legion take online applications.