Goodbye and hello to terrible twos

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STEVE CANAVAN: The case of the 'kitchen' door is open and shut

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Life with young children is amazing, full of fun and laughter.

But of course there are times when you feel like you could pull your hair out, or more likely feel your hair falling out, with the stress brought on when this little person you created is being defiant.

With my eldest daughter Caitlin turning four this year, I can confid-ently say that she is now out of that most stressful stage called the terrible twos.

It’s that part of your young child’s life when a lot of their time is spent moaning, whining, crying and saying no to simple requests.

Don’t get me wrong, she still has a tantrum now and then, but now she is that bit older they don’t normally last long and she has realised that bad behaviour means that certain treats and privileges will be withdrawn.

To be completely honest, although I think my first born is growing up way too fast and I already miss the days when she was smaller than she is now, I am really happy the terrible two days are over for her.

It seems like only yesterday when the slightest little thing would set off a full-blown temper tantrum and it could happen at any moment in any place.

I remember when we were shopping in Sainsbury’s at Farlington. It started off as a regular visit to get the week’s groceries, much like any other visit to the supermarket.

That soon changed. Caitlin, sitting in the child seat of the trolley, was holding the six-pack of crisps we were buying, when I took this off her so the checkout woman could scan its barcode. And Caitlin suddenly had the mother of all tantrums.

All control of her body seemed to be lost with her arms and legs flapping all over the place and a screaming sound that I’m sure could be heard in Scotland.

All of a sudden I could feel that eyes were on us.

For all the people queuing at the checkout we were suddenly the entertainment.

It wasn’t an experience I enjoyed or wished to repeat. Although these sit-uations did crop up again, I learned that ignoring the bad behaviour and not giving in to my daughter’s demands was the quickest way to get situations back to a pleasant state.

But as I say, these days are over. I can’t see Caitlin having any more supermarket meltdowns.

Her sister Alyssa, on the other hand, turns two next month and it is now obvious the terrible twos have started early.

Recently, when her request for some chocolate was denied, she proceeded to throw herself on the floor and flap around like a fish while crying loudly (but with no tears).

Here we go again, it’s time for round two.