Getting Spanked

I’m getting spanked. And, no, not in the way one might enjoy getting spanked if one didn’t have an ass that slaps back. I’m getting spanked by my two-year-old. Who, incidentally, is exhausting me to the point that the possibility of sex and spanking happening on any given night is nearly impossible. But I digress…

My first two kids are 14 months apart. When they were twos and threes I had my nose all up in the parenting books. I had mastered the 1-2-3 Give Them The Look And Presto They’ll Do What You Say technique. I don’t remember needing to give them time-outs.

Sadly I have been lulled by the gentle rhythms of the older kids’ latency years and am now find myself getting a smack down from the third child, Mr. T.

How, exactly, do you parent a two-year-old asshole?

He’s not really an asshole. Yes he is. No he’s not. Yes he is.



Last week I had a small operation. I am not to lift anything over 10 pounds for the next few weeks. I sit Mr. T down and explain that I have a “owie” that prevents me from doing “up-poo” for a while, but that he’s a big boy and can walk.

Note: This child doesn’t like his feet to touch the ground for too long. He likes to preserve energy so there is always be just enough to wreak havoc when necessary.

On our first post-surgical outing we go to the library after preschool. Mr. T is in a good mood. I tank him up with some cookies food. He gets out of the car all by himself and marches into the Rec Center that houses the library. As soon as we get inside he looks at me, smiles and takes off running past the library, down the hall, and all the way to the vending machines.

After pulling him off the machine luring him back down the hallway and into the library we settle in to read books. Another child and her mother show up and everything is peaceful until I say Okay, five more minutes and then it’s time to go home for lunch.

Note: The other child is well-behaved, listens to her mother, not attempting to climb the stacks or yelling LODEEDODEEDODEEDOOO at the top of her lungs. And her mother is well coiffed.

Alarmed that his library time is being cut short, Mr. T’s revs up. His eyes dilate. I am physically powerless. There will be no scoop the child and run.

I play puppets!

Grunt, grunt.

A foul smell wafts through the air.

The other mother looks up.

I shake my head and mouth It’s my kid.

Grunt, grunt.





(Translation: I do not sit in my own feces. Remove this offensive garment immediately or I will do so myself.)

The other mother and child exit scene.

Sadly, the diaper bag is not on my person.

Hey, buddy, we need to go home to change your diaper. Let’s go! 

Mr.T throws himself on the floor of the library.



He is corpse-like stiff and I am unable to move him or convince him to follow me. I am at his mercy and he knows it and I have no diapers, no wipes, no strategy.

I look up. No security cameras. I look around. No parents. No children.

With stealth like speed I lift his legs, remove diaper, shove in my bag, pull up his pants.

Boy returns to puppet area. I am aware that at any moment he is likely to urinate on the books.

Okay, guy, we have to go now! There’s yummy food at home and we’re all done at the library. Here we go…

Boy looks at me like a wild animal. Runs to other side of children’s area. I run. He runs. Back and forth. Back and forth.

I think to myself “Seriously? I gave up a career for this shit? I am an asshole. I am chasing a two-year old back and forth in a library. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?” 

In a moment of desperation, humiliation and with the full knowledge that I have lost all hope, I say Well, I guess I’m going to get ice cream all by myself then. See ya! 

That’s how I get him into the car. Without lifting. And with great shame.

So, how exactly do you parent a two-year-old?



66 thoughts on “Getting Spanked

  1. HA! I have no wisdom for you, because I’ve got three toddlers myself, and hell if I’m taking them to the library anytime soon. “I gave up a career for this shit?” Right??

  2. Now that Jack and Karly are almost 15 and 13, I swear I don’t know how I got through those early stages; I am sure I hid my share of diapers, I just don’t recall.

    Maybe it’s because of all the wine I drank?

    Either way, if it’s any consolation, in ten years you won’t remember doing this at all.

    • Julie, That does really, really make me feel better. Just promise me one thing? Don’t let me read back on this. Ever. Unless we are both drunk. XO

  3. Please, again write this all down. Bugs already has “her way” and it scares the shit out of me. This could possibly be a blessing in that it may bring Hubs to the “one and done” realization I am holding onto (possibly temporarily but probably not).

    I too would be a sucker for ice cream. I’d follow you anywhere on that threat. Good fast thinkin’!

  4. Please write down any future learnings so that when Bugs goes through this (and she will because she already has “her way” which is throwing her completely limp body at the floor) I will have you to turn to. This may be a blessing for us though as it might convince Hubs that one kid is good enough!

    On a side note, I’d follow you anywhere for ice cream. Fast thinkin’!

    • Thanks, Bri! I’d trained myself out of bribing the big kids but I guess anything goes with a 2-year old. Right? I’ll try to take notes for ya, but I think you know just as much as I do & this is my 3rd. I bet Bugs is a cute little tyrant.

  5. Mine (recently three years old, no longer two) is trained to sit with me on the bed, travel into the den for some Xbox, eat some snacks, all while waiting for his brother and sister to come home from school. It’s a routine I’m comfy with that doesn’t include library visits :)

  6. They’ll become 17, wreck the car, and forget to tell you until the letter comes from the DMV about your impending arrest for a hit and run. And then you’ll forget about this. But not until then. B/c this 2-3 year old thing bites.

    • Holy shit, Pamela! This is a good reminder. Crapping in the library is a whole lot easier to deal with than imprisonment. (Though wouldn’t prison be a nice temporary respite?)

  7. My God. What is WITH two-year-olds? They’re insane…seriously. And it’s like they KNOW when you’re at your weakest and then they exploit that. Bless all mothers for dealing with two-year-olds. I’d prefer being locked in a cage with a tiger than face them sometimes…

    I admire your tactics…desperate though they may be. A good mom thinks on her toes and doesn’t mind putting a shitty diaper into her purse. Well, maybe “doesn’t mind” aren’t quite the right words…

    PS – You rock at writing funny. I think that’s one of the hardest things for me…to write funny. I always admire people who are good at it, and you genuinly are. Hats off, lady.

  8. I completely identify but sadly, have no advice because I feel like I’m getting spanked this same way daily by my 3 and a half year old – haha! I so feel for you and I hope your recovery from surgery is going well. I hear 4 is much better and 5 is awesome so also believe and cling to – “this too shall pass”. Thank goodness for other awesome moms, blogs, twitter, t.v. and chocolate in the mean time :)

    • It definitely does get better. At least my 7 & 8 year old are able to be reasoned with on most days. You’ve reminded me that I need to stock up on chocolate to help ease the pain. xo

  9. I think amnesia has settled in. I don’t remember those years! You just keep on keepin’ on. When you talked about spanking, I was thinking of something else…:) Hang in there Kvetch! I love ya!!

  10. Oh lord woman. I have no idea. B is great one day, a tyrant the next. With L & C in the toddler realm too- L decided to start the biting phase (something that was thankfully short lived, albeit painful with B). I don’t know what I’m doing right now other than counting down the days until my freaking trip that I may not return home from. Good luck. If I was at the library with you I would not have abandoned you! Well, I might but for reasons of my own (3) not because of you.

  11. My son turns 2 at the end of the month and the sweet little toddler we once knew is slowly turning into the Hulk. If there is a proper way to parent a 2 year old, I’d also like to know.

    • See? I am an asshole! I totally forgot that rule. To be safe I think I’m just going to keep him on the house for the next couple of years. No one wants to see my flabby butt out in public anyway!

  12. The ice-cream lure is my FAVORITE! Good job, Mama! It gets better. Two is hard. I love that you tell it like it is. We DID give up careers to chase these little poop-covered-terrorists, and that just flat out sucks sometimes. On the other hand, I took a two hour nap yesterday while Scooby Doo and the gang held down the fort. Pretty sweet side benefit. Also, those well-coifed moms with the perfect kids? Totally hiding a deep dark secret. Believe you-me, sister. Carry on.

    • Leslie, (AHHHHH…I can call you Leslie!) Poop covered terrorists indeed! The fact that you were able to nap with Bucket Head in the house and no babysitter gives me such hope. Such hope. I’m about to fall asleep with my Shaggy beard nestled in my chinny chin chin. XOX

  13. First of all – I am always suspicious of anyone who is well coiffed. Usually something wrong right there!
    Also, I am so glad that our terrible twos are over! It does get better! I usually went somewhere with the kids where I would probably never go again and then I didn’t care how they acted.

    However, for quite a few years I did not go out in public at all in the town we lived in, after my daughter ran away screaming from our house into the street, proclaiming that her life was in danger because I insisted she clean up her room (she was about 5).
    That was probably Karma’s payback though for the time when I was four and called 911 late at night and told the cops to bring my dad home from the bar because my mom wanted to go to a tupperware thing.

    • Kerstin, Ok. That is hilarious (calling 911, not your daughter screaming in the streets). You have always been a force to be reckoned with & I love that about you! Thank you for the reminder–I really need to just keep this kid at home until he is civilized!

  14. I am trying so hard not to laugh because my family is sleeping and failing. At the not laughing part, I mean. Aw man, how do you parent a 2-year old? With a wing and a prayer, sister! And as Renee said, I too kinda wished he peed on the books. Is that wrong? Seriously–been in your shoes, unable to pick up any of my toddler/babies and it is so hard!! Especially when they have soiled their diapers. Hehehehe . . .

    • El, I was just praying no one could see me wiping my kid’s butt with the clean side of his dirty diaper! So gross. But necessary. Parenting is the ultimate in teaching one humility, right? I’ll let you know the next time Theo pees on something. It shouldn’t be long now…

  15. Do I dare say that 2 year olds are the worst? When I look back at that time, especially with my daughter, I shudder. Ben was mellower, but Annie…Annie just about put me off kids forever. She was a cute little thing, but one of those kids who bit and scratched kids, me, whomever was closest. Also, if I strapped her into her seat or buckled a shoe, she immediately undid everything, and then proceeded to exert her independence and do it herself. I nearly lost my mind. I also had Ben a month after she turned 2, so you can imagine what a basket-case I was. Seriously, thinking about this now gives me the shakes.
    I am here to tell you it gets better. While I was envious of other mothers with their compliant children at 2, Annie is now (at 8) an awesome kid. And I can say that because of the crazy I went through to get here. My theory is if they’re a hellion when they’re young, they make up for it later.
    2 is all about surviving. You just get through and hope for the best.
    Love you. xo

    • Heidi, Thank you so much for telling me about Annie! That does make me feel better. Theo is totally doing the Everything MYSELF thing–especially in the car. I have to add 30 minutes on the start and end of any activity so he can do. everything. in. his. own. time. Is 3 any better? I remember thinking 3 was hard with my older kids. Just lie to me. 3 is great, right? Right…sob.

  16. Oh my goodness–we have ALL been there (as evidenced by all the comments here!)

    How do you get through it? By knowing it will pass eventually, I guess. And a little bribery never did any permanent damage. I love the “no he isn’t” “yes he is” ;)

    • Nina, It’s hard, at times, not to imagine that he might always be a little terrorist! He won’t. Maybe. Let’s hope not. I’ll try my best! GAH! xoxo

  17. I heart poop. My life revolves around it and this makes me feel so much better about myself! I feel for your poop story, it’s awesome! I feel like I write about poop everyday…kids, husband, dog, critters my kids dig up from the backyard. I don’t discriminate.

    • Tracy, Do not take her to the library. Just, don’t. Or come prepared with lollipops and other such bribes. I would take your 2 year old, because when I have mine around other little ones it seems to cancel out his evil streak!

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  19. Really? Your 2 year old wants his diaper off? Mine prefers to sit in his squishy stench and puts up a smelly fuss if he hears the wipes in their packet. He laughs at us when we call him ‘pig dog’ and threaten him with a lonely existence because nobody likes a smelly life partner.

    How divine to share your exploits – thank you for being so eloquent with your keyboard!

  20. Oh my goodness. I am laughing. I’ve been told it’s a side affect of my PTSD- Post Toddler Schizophrenic Disorder. There’s a walk-a-thon next week. Hang in there, soon (because what is time?) you’ll be able to leave him with your older ones. Ellen

  21. Bribery is an essential parenting tool. And ice cream. And wine.
    My son had the terrible 18 months to two and a half. He will be three in September but lately here it’s been pretty…easy? I hope I did not just jinx myself. He’s finally potty trained, responds to limits and time outs, and is really sweet. So here’s hoping your little guy’s phase is over soon!
    Awesome post.

  22. Just when you think your safe, the house is quiet and stays clean, your car does not hold car seats and strange smells, you don’t walk the floors at night hoping your teen will call before the cops do…there’s a knock at the door and there stands your daughter, a toddler on each hip and one hanging on to her leg…you stare like a deer caught in the headlights and yer stomach tightens, you knew you should have put that “moved left no forwarding address” on the door, you think of saying “do I know you?”…and then there’s those big ole crocodile tears and suddenly your nice quiet world is turned upside down and all you can think is …someday she’s going to feel safe…

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