I am a mother of two girls, a 2 year old and a 10 month old.  I'm happy I had them so close because I know they will grow up together and be great friends.  But right now, my 10 month old is exploring everything around her and my two year old is territorial, everything is Mine! Mine! Mine! The two stages of development are at odds. My 10 month old sees a shiny toy and immediately wants to explore it, but little does she know it belongs to her sister, the two year old. When the two year old sees her crawling to her toy, she will stop what she is doing and run like the speed of lightning to proclaim That's my toy!! I'm constantly, playing referee to two little girls who does not know how to share right now.

 I have my masters degree in School Psychology, I've studied children stages of development, but I am still at a lost in how to get an infant and a toddler to share.  I don't think, their is  enough schooling to prepare you for the terrible two stage.  When I didn't have children, I always thought the terrible two stage was a myth.  I would look at parents who toddlers were having a tantrum in grocery stores, restaurants, and retail stores, and think, why don't they get that child under control.   Boy was I young and naïve!

My first real experience of a public melt down, happened at my youngest girl 9 month old check up at the pediatrician's office.  I remember the day so vividly, the appointment was 3:30pm, so I left work early and rushed to the Childcare center to pick them up.  When I picked them up, the teacher told me that my oldest didn't nap long, that definitely put a red flag in my mind. I had my game plan when I arrived at the office, I took out my double stroller, packed my toddler snacks  in my diaper bag and entered the office.  At first, everything went smoothly, my toddler was eating her snacks and sitting quietly in the office. The nurse came in and measured my then 9 month old, everything was peaceful in the world.  But after the nurse measured my little girl, we had to wait a long time until we saw the pediatrician, and the longer we waited the more antsy my toddler became.

 My toddler had finished all her snacks and wanted some water; in my haste, I forgot her sippy cup, all I had was a water bottle.  I began to hold the water bottle and tried to give my toddler some water from my water bottle, my toddler wasn't having this, she began to scream, I want the bottle mommy! but I knew if I would have given her the bottle she would have spilled water all over the floor.  At this moment, the pediatrician finally enters the room, and my toddler is having a melt down right before my eyes.  She's on the floor, kicking and screaming, I'm looking at this little girl who I carried for 9 months in disbelief.  I told her to sit down and be quiet, she said No Mommy!! I tried to give her a toy, she threw it on the floor, all of this was happening in front of the pediatrician. 

The pediatrician tried to calm her down, but she was not hearing it.  She stumped, screamed, and rolled on the floor.  The pediatrician and I tried to get through the appointment about my 9 month old, but I couldn't focus, all I could hear was my two year old screaming.  Before the Pediatrician left the office, she told me that I was a good mother, that everything was going to be alright, that this was a stage and that it wouldn't last forever.  I was so embarrassed, I couldn't believe my oldest daughter would show out in public like that.  I was now the parent that I would look at and judge when their toddlers had tantrums in public.  So here is my question for parents, how do you get through the toddler stage? What is some advice or words of wisdom you can share?

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