Lately, I have come to understand the “terrible twos”. I read somewhere to try and look on them as the “terrific twos” because of how amazing it was when you stopped to think about all your child was learning and developing in this phase. And I really do try and think of them that way. But, lately it has been hard. We have to keep going with small jobs at her pace. I should generally be in eyesight if not touching distance at all times. And if I change the plan too soon, or try to hurry things along too quickly, then God help us all.
She got up this morning and sang songs and danced around our bedroom while I pulled myself together to go get the coffee on. We got as far as the kitchen when she spotted her wooden train set that we had been playing with the previous night. While she slept, the kittens had gotten to it and parts were lying around the floor. This in toddler world is a huge disaster and I think set the tone for the rest of the day. Or at least, that’s sure how it felt to me.
We got to town eventually and even made it in to Mass. She smiled at everyone and chatted away to me as we walked along. She won’t speak to too many others at the minute but that’s fine. I have days where I would prefer not to speak to anyone either. We went to the local supermarket to get a few bits for our elderly neighbour. This neighbour always insists on buying the Little Paddler some kind of treat. Usually a chocolate bar. And if she can’t do the shopping, I am dispatched with instructions to make sure and buy the Little Paddler something. But we had been up with her only the other day and the Little Paddler had gotten a chocolate bar then. By some miracle, half of it was still left at home. So in the shop, we agreed that she had chocolate at home and she wanted a yoghurt this time. All was well. Until we were halfway back to the car, when she had a complete meltdown upon realising that we had got no chocolate and weren’t going back to the shop. Second major crisis of the day.
I was determined not to waste the beautiful day and get us out to the woods for a walk and then on to the beach. This seemed like a good idea to the Little Paddler. But it took ages to get us packed up. By then it was lunch time. I got us fed. We sat in the sun and shared her yoghurt with the guard dog because sharing is caring after all. Her aunt and baby cousin arrived up for a visit. The guard dog disappeared. Never mind. She always heads straight for Mr. Fairweather’s home place to hang out with the million other dogs down there. We would just get her after the visit. We waved goodbye to her aunt as they headed off. The Little Paddler lost it. She missed them. They were gone twenty seconds. You could still see them and hear them as they walked on home. This would not do. Eventually we agreed that if we hopped in to the car and drove down to get the guard dog, we could see her aunt and cousin as they walked along. Great plan. No way no how could I get my toddler in to her car seat. There is no sound on earth quite like an hysterical two-year old being made to do something they don’t want. She was crying. I was crying. I am pretty sure all the neighbours in a mile radius could hear her. I gave up. I didn’t care if the dog never came back. We sat on the floor of the house crying at each other and eventually agreed that a cup of warm milk and a snuggle on the couch watching a little television might be just what the doctor ordered.
My one small comfort was that at least I had Mr. Fairweather’s dinner sorted. He is in college part-time a few evenings a week. And on those evenings, I have to be super organised as he has just under an hour to come home, get fed, unwind and get out the door again. I like to be able to give him something he likes and not just throw another vegetarian stir-fry at him because I ran out of time. Today, while we were in town I had spotted a kilo of mussels on offer at the fish counter. I adore mussels. Seafood in general to be fair and if it swims I’ll chance it at least once. Mussels I hadn’t had in a while. Its a bit of a luxury and money is tight. But I am being frugal with the shopping in general so I thought, why not. The only problem was every recipe I found called for cream and white wine. Neither of which I had. I did however have a bottle of red wine still hiding in the back of the pantry since Christmas. Would it work? Was I nuts?
Turns out I am not nuts. Someone else tried it and kindly posted up a recipe. It is delicious. I think it may be my new favourite mussel dish. I made a small substitution of chilli powder for red pepper flakes and half a small onion in lieu of chives as that’s what I had to work with and served it all up with a bowl of spaghetti. Mr. Fairweather and the Little Paddler devoured everything. And. For the first time in a while, there were no tears at dinner and the Little Paddler stayed glued to her seat until all was done. I call that a rousing success. Lets hope tomorrow is easier.