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My Two Year Olds, The Teenagers

By Carrie Friedman

For the next couple of months, I have two two-year-olds. Two kids going through the terrible two’s, simultaneously: Our youngest turned two the other day, and just like that, she changed. It was subtle, but real. As she was blowing out the second candle, she became just a titch more whiny. Moody.

The soundtrack of my life is now their screaming tantrums. About what, you ask? Good fucking question. The other day, the older one started crying because she wanted to hear a “different” version of This Old Man. Since I was singing it for her (also at her request), I offered a few options (you know: Reggae, Opera), then realized she was only using this as her spring board into tantrum town. For my younger daughter, the catalyst that catapulted her into shitty screamville was the fact that her older sister was crying.

There comes a point during their simultaneous tantrums when I fear the screaming will kill me. That my ears will bleed and  burst and I will die that way, on the kitchen floor, and the kids will still be screaming, too wound up to notice or care. Last night, during the moment when I thought I would die, I noticed that our dog was staring at me. At first I thought he felt sorry for me. He’s a beagle – they have those sympathetic eyes. I thought maybe he was commiserating. Then I realized his look was more one of disgust that I let our lives – his life – devolve into THIS. “See what you did?” his look said. “Are you happy now?” I’m pretty sure our dog dreams at night of dropping the kids off at the pound. I can’t say I blame him.

On particularly horrendous tantrum days, I greet my husband when he comes home from work with two simple words, a gentle plea: “Institutionalize me.”


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