My Time in the Terrible Twos

Recently a co-worker was telling me about her struggles with her two-year old and it reminded me about a time when I was battling through the Terrible Twos.

JWo_Gavin_SlideTammy and I were still living in Illinois and we kept our nephew, Gavin, one Saturday a month as part of a family wide kid-watching rotation.

Now I’m the kind of guy who doesn’t like babies until they can hold their heads up by themselves and can scoot around on the floor. I’d prefer they could go to the bathroom in a toilet by themselves, but my No Crap Contract went by the wayside when I had to change my first diaper at the ripe age of 39.

Most Saturdays with Gavin were a mixture of eating, watching some mixture of Sesame Street/Elmo, Toy Story, Curious George, the Mickey Mouse Club or just about any cartoon on the Disney Channel, while playing with countless toys. We’d usually take a nap together then play some more until his parents picked him up.

JWo_Gavin_snowf88a8dc7-02ac-4999-bf3c-9d0c09408d93The weekend prior to Gavin’s arrival, we found some cardboard blocks at a garage sale, enough to fill a large garbage bag full, and brought them home. I kept them hidden from the rest of his toys because I wanted to surprise him with the sheer volume of blocks we had purchased.

After our morning routine was over, Gavin and I headed downstairs to where I had the blocks stashed.

I watched his eyes light up with excitement when he saw all of the colorful blocks that I had stacked neatly against a wall.

We sat in the floor and started going through them all, looking at the different shapes, sizes and colors. After a few minutes of checking everything out, I told Gavin that we should build something and I again saw excitement in his eyes.


Most of our times were spend chilling like this…

Well, I thought it was excitement anyway. Turns out it may have been something more sinister.

Gavin_Elvis_GlassesGavin stood and watched as I began stacking multiple boxes on top of each other and then, without warning he struck. With one swift kick from his chubby little leg, my creation collapsed.

I was so shocked at what had just happened that I just stared at him with my mouth open while he giggled. I eventually told him I was trying to build him something and started my masterpiece again.

Gavin stood peacefully, watching intently as I began stacking blocks. By time I realized he was luring me into a false sense of security he had once again karate kicked my walls.

Giggles ensued. I gained my composure but this time I was a little much more stern with my tone in telling him I was trying to build something and he shouldn’t kick it down.

He seemed like he understood what I was saying so I started working on round 3 of my masterpiece, but this time I was paying attention to Gavin as he stood off to the side. When I saw his foot lift off the ground, I put out my hand to block his attempt to break my walls down.

It turns out kids at that age are a little top-heavy because after his foot hit my hand, Gavin’s momentum caused him to tumble to the ground. Tears ensued.

Me: Oh Gavin, get up. You are fine.
Gavin: (cries)
Me: You can’t kick down my walls.
Gavin: (cries louder)
Me: Gavin that didn’t hurt. (helping him up)
Gavin: (bawling)

Now I was really getting frustrated, so I just picked him up and headed upstairs in hopes Tammy could help calm things down.

I’ll let Tammy take over telling the rest of the story from here…

Jason came upstairs with Gavin slowly walking behind him. I noticed he had a very sad face and tears in his eyes.

Tammy: What happened?
Jason: He knocked my blocks down.
Tammy: (Staring at Jason)
Jason: What? I told him not to, and then I stopped him from kicking it down and he fell and started crying.
Tammy: (Still staring at Jason)
Jason: I’m not playing with him anymore
Tammy: Are you serious? He is two Jason.
Jason: I know but he keeps knocking down my blocks.
Tammy: (Louder) OHMYGOD, HE IS TWO.

I started consoling Gavin, and taking him downstairs where I sat as a mediator between Jason and Gavin.

Tammy: Gavin, see how Uncle Jason is building a tower for you? Let’s ask Uncle Jason if we can knock it down.

Gavin proceeded to look at me every time he wanted to knock it down and then with that cute little smile he’d kick down all the blocks.

After realizing that he really had no control over the situation, Jason gave in and let Gavin knock all the blocks down.

We then built a chair for Gavin to sit in. I just smiled knowing that Jason had just gotten his first true taste of the Terrible Twos.

I’m pretty sure these kids were Photoshopped in this picture because there’s no way that many blocks would still be standing.

I’m pretty sure these kids were Photoshopped in this picture because there’s no way that many blocks would still be standing.

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3 Responses to My Time in the Terrible Twos

  1. Gede Prama says:

    I really like and very inspired… 🙂

  2. daisy says:

    I like your caption on the final photo — although I think that little guy on the end must have just come running in, he looks ready to smash! It was so fun to read the back-and-forth between you and your wife and I’m sure most dads can relate to your honesty! Great post.

    • JWo says:

      Tammy was shocked at how I handled that situation with Gavin and definitely was confused as to which one of us was acting like a two-year old. HAHAHA…

      Thanks for stopping by and feel free to check out some other posts because there are a lot of fun (and interesting) back-and-forth conversations between us.

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