When I got pregnant with Caitlin more than four years ago I signed up for Baby Center’s weekly pregnancy e-mail updates. I looked forward to seeing each newsletter in my Inbox and to reading about the little person growing inside my gravity defying belly. I was thirsty for knowledge about her development. I wanted facts. I wanted reassurance. I craved information as much as I craved Taco Bell at 10 p.m. The pregnancy newsletters were soon replaced with infant and toddler updates and then preschooler updates. Now I receive weekly e-mail newsletters for Amelia. I’ll admit I rarely read them, not that I know what I’m doing or anything, but even my baby book library is dusty. The latest Baby Center e-mail, however, piqued my interest when I read the cautionary subject line:
A stranger among you? Behavior at 13 months
It seems a little early, but I suppose the Baby Center powers that be just want to slowly prep you for the Terrible Twos. Fortunately we haven’t yet witnessed the wrath of Amelia, although she shows her feisty side if Caitlin takes a toy from her. But so far Amelia seems more “docile” than Caitlin, to use the exact word their daycare director used.
Caitlin definitely went through the textbook Terrible Twos. We survived them relatively unscathed and I was even pregnant during the emotional joyride of hair-trigger meltdowns and public displays of mama/toddler smackdowns which usually involved some degree of hunger, exhaustion, or waiting in long lines. If the Baby Center folks really want to prepare unsuspecting parents for the “Terrible Twos,” they could send out e-mails with subject lines like these:
Stock Up On Hard Liquor: Behavior at 24 months
The Case For Exorcism: Behavior at 25 months
The Pros and Cons of Invisible Fences for Toddlers: Behavior at 26 months
Migraine Inducing Tantrums: Behavior at 27 months
The Child Restraint Leash, Cruel or Crucial?: Behavior at 28 months
Rethinking the Large Family, It’s Not Too Late: Behavior at 29 months
Mommy Needs a Time-Out: Behavior at 30 months
Psycho: Behavior at 31 months
And that’s just the first eight months.