Monday, November 16, 2009

The terrible and awesome twos

I've been busy again. I'm crewing "Honk!" at SMT, the musical adaptation of the Ugly Duckling. It's a lot of fun to do - I get to hang out with a great group of people and because my responsibilities are a lot fewer than when stage managing, it isn't adding a lot of stress. We had our opening night on Friday and the show will run for just two more weekends.

It's a super cute show that both kids and adults can enjoy and a perfectly nice way to spend a couple of hours each day. Mostly I move a bridge, paint an egg, release the net that catches Ugly and throw a baseball to take the Cat out. The latter I actually rather suck at - my hand eye coordination is terrible and I don't have an excellent track record of actually hitting the damn cat. I could offer many excuses of bad angles and the actor moving, but the fact remains that I've never been good at hitting things with balls.

It's been nice to be able to get out of the house again, turn off my mom mode at the end of the day and just do some theatre. Joris has definitely arrived at the challenging part of being two. I was foolishly convinced for a while that he would just always remain the most perfectly well-behaved, awesome kid around. And really, of course he still is. Just with more whining and being remarkable contrary.

We have about 50 variations on the following conversation each day:

Joris: (Who was) that?

Me: That was (auntie Chris on the phone)

Joris: NO!

Then there is the deliberate not answering when asked a direct question. And the running away when shoes need to be put on or diapers changed. And the changes of mind every three seconds. And the general disagreeing with just about everything. There have seriously been days where we were unable to get out of the house because of the multitude of power struggles and I ended up just giving up.

I have found that my patience is far from infinite. Responses come out of my mouth that make me cringe as soon as I say them. It's hard to know what the correct way of handling this is - and even if I'd know, I might lack the patience and presence of mind not to react out of habit.

I'm pretty convinced that if it wasn't for the break that preschool is providing most days, I'd have torn my hair out by now.

But, amidst the incessant whining and insisting demands, Joris is a delightfully sweet and smart boy still, of course. He is getting so imaginative in his play - is not just reenacting situations anymore, but coming up with silly scenarios that haven't happened in real life. It's cute to see him make up these games with Avery and Isla and, even if they don't completely follow what it is he is trying to say or do, they'll follow him in his play.

He has also started to developed a real interest in music. It's his favorite part of the school week (they have a music 'class' each Wednesday) and, to the total and utter endearment of his mother, he is taking a liking to some musical theatre music. It started with Jacob singing him the Starlight Express song at bedtime - he then listened to the entire album and wanted to know what each train was singing about. His current favorite is Honk!. The first time we listened to it he sat on the couch through about half of the songs, asking questions about who was singing and what was happening in the story. Now, every chance he gets at home or in the car he will ask to listen to the Honk! cd and will actually properly identify "that's daddy duck singing" and "that's the cat's song", etc. each time. He is very concerned about Ugly's happiness since he sings a sad song and then his mother lost him and is looking for him. He is much relieved when "Ugly is happy and everyone is happy" at the end.


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