Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Return of the Terrible Twos (in 3-D)!!!

Birds of a feather, Patrick and Peter! 

I am not a big sequels person. Why not leave well enough alone, I say? I find the endless parade of quickly-made animated movie follow-ups (Do we need The Land Before Time 5?) to not only be blah, but to actually diminish happy memories of the original flicks. I’ll grant you, the returns of both the Jedi and Pink Panther were good, but they are rare standouts in a litany of “Return of…” flicks that have screened over the years, including such “treasures” as Return of the Dragon, Return of the Killer Klowns from Outer Space in 3-D (that film was, I believe, intended as a joke) and so on.

On the literary scene, does anyone remember the mediocre Scarlett (sequel to Gone with the Wind)? I bet you never heard of Tom Sawyer, Detective (Mark Twain really did pen this), or Milton’s rather less popular work than his masterpiece (Paradise Lost), Paradise Regained. As with movies, with books I also question the necessity of continuing the sagas (for the most part).

Which brings me to the sequel I am now living. It may be a clich√© to label the third year of life as “the terrible twos” but if the tiny little shoe fits…

Aiden was a relatively mild mannered toddler, as his father had been. Oh, he threw his periodic fits, but for the most part he was a breeze. But Peter Britten! He is now finally starting to talk, but for the last few months his intense frustration with being pre-lingual caused some major tantrums. He seemed to want a certain book, or ball, or stuffed animal, so I’d fetch it. But NO!!!!! That was not what he was after at ALL!!! And the screaming would commence. Whenever he had no words, he substituted high notes rivaling Pavarotti’s. Want food! Done with food! Don’t (ever) want diaper changed! There was the perfect shriek for every situation.

As I daily searched for my earplugs, I was reminded: I survived the original. The one. The only. PJ. Patrick was a late talker. That was because he learned, very early on, that words were unnecessary. Not when you had a voice that could shatter glass. His scream-and-point communication strategy worked like a charm, with both Steve and me, but with his older siblings as well. He’d open his mouth, all red-faced and ready to roar, and we’d all race to give him what he wanted before the eruption. Deep down I knew this was probably not stellar parenting, but with so many other kids to deal with I wasn’t big on nuance.

The good news? Not only did Patrick eventually begin talking, but he became very well-spoken. Not only that, he has the calmest, friendliest, nicest demeanor in the whole family. He’s 27 now, and he hasn’t screamed in days (kidding). I predict Peter will someday follow in Patrick "Shushu"’s footsteps, and be the best-natured guy in the entire clan.

May the changeover begin soon! These sequels are killing me!

Our cherub at age one! The lull before the storm!

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