Daily Dose of Jekyll and Hyde

When I get my son up when he starts to make noise, he is a sweet, cooing toddler whose smile and own-language commentary on the world is the definition of cute. The bonus is that my daughter keeps sleeping, because she is not so cute right when she gets up.

Mr. Hyde shows up often at the first diaper change of the morning or at the sight of a sippy cup of milk being prepared. I sometimes get the diaper change right, but most often it is a case of thrashing feet and loud, piercing screams. I sometimes get the bottle prepared beforehand, and that, too, can circumvent the strange and wondrous transformation.

As suddenly as it comes, it goes, and Dr. Jekyll is back. Food and clean diapers are good things, after all. However, offer the wrong food, the right food at the wrong moment, or the right food in the wrong way, and Hyde appears in a sideways thrashing and screaming. If there is a hard object like a table in the way, bonk and more screaming.

Then there is a long period of Jekyll. The mornings are best for that–until close to nap time.

Today, I handed off little Jekyll though my daughter was Hyding all over the place as I got myself out the door and to work.

In the evening, both tired children can channel Hyde easily. Any provocation, imagined or real, can bring out the less patient and reactive responses from both children. Tonight as I put them through bath and bed, it was my daughter who really took on the role of Hyde. At last they were in bed, I came downstairs, and after a few frustrated screams from my son it is now quiet.

On the days when I am home I have a better chance to avoid these episodes when I move at their pace and interest. Those times are wonderful. On other days, I remind myself that I may not be Mr. Hyde.

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