Solveig is now 2. I've mentioned that, now a few times. Sorry. We had her birthday party on Monday night, but her real birthday was actually Tuesday. Tuesday night, we had a roast with potatoes and carrots for supper. We had leftover chocolate cake for dessert.
Solveig screamed through it all.
You see, we made a grave error. We put sour cream on her potatoes, and you see, she didn't want the potatoes. She likes potatoes. In fact, we haven't found a food yet that she doesn't like. It's just she was planning on just eating the sour cream by the spoonful, and when Knut saw her intention, he simply mixed the sour cream in with her food a bit. Whoa, that made her mad.
She said she wanted milk, but after we poured it, she demanded water instead. Too bad, milk was already poured. That made her even more mad. As we sat around the table eating, she had her mind set to scream at everyone and everything.
Happy Birthday, Solveig. Welcome to 2.
Since she was safely strapped in her booster chair, and it was very evident that nothing was going to stop the screaming, Knut simply picked up her chair, and moved her into the dining room to eat by herself. The screaming was softer a room away. The older kids were obviously bothered by it.
The other 3 kids looked wide eyed at us, and David said: "What's the matter with her?"
"She's 2" we told her.
Silje and David looked at each other, confused.
"She's a toddler now", we explained to them. "Toddlers get frustrated sometimes when they can't have what they want. She'll get it, though. She'll learn. You guys all did. She just needs a minute to settle down, and we'll bring her back in."
Silje and David insisted they had never acted so irrational. They never screamed like that for silly things like wanting to eat a container of sour cream.
Then the stories came out.
"David, do you remember when we were camping out at the lake, and you woke up in the tent and screamed for 3 hours straight while Daddy held you so you wouldn't hurt anyone as you were kicking and screaming and waking up everyone in tents around us?"
"I did that? Why?"
"Because we told you that you had to put clothes on, or was it shoes? You really wanted to be naked."
"3 hours I held you!" Knut chimed in. "From 6am to 9am, I got punched and kicked and a really big headache. You were so mad."
Giggles erupted all across the table. That morning that lived in infamy in Knut and my memory was something we were finally laughing about. Now, I'm not sure most parents have a child as strong-willed as our David, but for those who do, let me encourage you. You will get to the point of giggling together.
"And Silje, do you remember the time that you were so tired for a nap that you couldn't keep your eyes open, but you cried anyway for over 2 hours that you didn't want to sleep until you finally fell over? I couldn't get you to sleep for anything, and you were so tired you just cried and cried, but you were determined not to sleep."
More giggles. No, they didn't remember.
(We refrained from saying: "And Elias, do you remember that last month, you...")
"And now Solveig just wants to eat sour cream from the container, and not have her supper. That's not okay, so she's going to be upset right now."
A few minutes later, Solveig was brought back to the table, and decided to at least have a few carrots before her chocolate cake. Then she got to open up her package from Grammy and Papa that came in the mail that day. She loved her new coloring book most especially and spent most of the rest of the evening doing some serious drawing.
"Toddlers are weird" David said.
Yes. But we love them. Toddlers grow up, too. That's knowledge that makes this 4th time around a bit easier.