I'm geeky about movies to the point that I read about upcoming films on the internet, and one of my favourite sites is Ain't It Cool News. I read a story the other day that there's a plan afoot to remake The Exorcist as a TV miniseries - an interesting idea or blasphemy depending on your point of view.
Anyhow, the guy covering the story on AICN had this to say about the original film:
"I'm well aware that it's one of the greatest horror films of all time. That's pretty much undisputed. For a long time, when I was in my 20s and thought I knew everything, I blew this movie off. 'It's not really scary,' I would say. 'Much of it gets silly.'
Then I saw it after I got married with a kid on the way, and it scarred me. If you're a parent? THE EXORCIST is far more frightening than when you're younger and full of beans. Watching your daughter turn into some kind of alien thing in her bedroom, screaming obscenities and doing horrible things to herself - if that's not a metaphor for adolescence I don't know what is."
That's kind of how I'm feeling right now. My daughter's levels of, shall we say, independence, are hitting new heights. She seems to be spending an inordinate amount of time pushing the boundaries and asserting herself more when challenged about it. How does this relate to the above passage? She's cranking up the screaming and stomping when she doesn't get her way - not every time, mind you, just when she gets into a certain frame of mind. Sometimes it really does feel like "where did my sweet little baby go and what is this monstrous thing in my living room?"
We've developed a few new strategies to cope with the latest phase of development. First, there's the "time outs", for when she gets stuck in what I like to think of as an infinite feedback loop, where she can't be placated and just keeps repeating herself. This is usually required when she's over-tired or over-hyped. It's also the state that most puts me in mind of the Exorcist reference.
We've also got some tactics for cajoling that work well when she's just being difficult and won't do as she's asked. When we're out and about, strangers make a useful reference point , as in "the waiter will come and tell you off". Mummy and daddy can tell her off until we're blue in the face, but the idea that a stranger might tell her off seems to get things moving pretty quickly. There's also the threat of a phone call to [insert random family member here], which seems to hold some mystical weight.
Making things into a game is proving useful too. If I can't get her into her pyjamas in the evening, I get her to run across the room and jump into them (kind of - it works in principle anyway). Taking turns is another one. If she's resisting having her hair washed, she gets to take a turn at rinsing it herself first, though she usually winds up pouring the water into her face. And hey, if all else fails, there's always the trusty bribe to fall back on.
How is/was your experience with a two-year-old? What strategies have you got to share with us? Or if you haven't got there yet, are you looking forward to it or dreading it? I know this post kind of focuses on the negative, but there's a heck of a lot of good fun stuff at this age too!
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