The cure for the little boy who grew up too fast

It’s never a good omen when your darling two-year-old greets you with “Hi, Poopy!” shortly before you leave to visit two new preschools.

It’s almost as bad as him chanting “Candy, candy, candy!” all the way to his very first dental appointment.

Hands down, someone will name you Mother of the Year.

But, realistically, The Elder never did this. He was so sheltered from candy, that he kept giving it back on his very first trick-or-treating outing. As if to say, “What? You actually expect me to eat this obviously non-nutritious substance?”

But The Younger, he has no such confusion. He knows what he wants, and he learned it all from The Elder. He’s eager to fight the first-graders; begs to see the banned “SpongeBob SquarePants”; plays with teeny, tiny, hugely age-inappropriate ultraviolent Legos; and even feigns enthusiasm for totally scary robot dinosaurs.

And the battling! Oh, the battling. Thankfully that phase has passed. I couldn’t take much more of a tiny toddler leaping onto the couch toward his brother, incanting “Battling!” in his best baby baritone voice. My best guess, though, is that he thought “battling” actually meant “jumping.” So, um, it’s OK. (Right?)

Recently, he’s also been pointing and mumbling for me to buy him chocolate-covered espresso beans. The pursuit of wine, women and song can’t be far behind.

So, before this slide into toddler decadence continues any farther, I’ve come to the conclusion that there is a solution: Boot camp for second children.

You take a kid of maybe 2 or 3, remove all the scary robot toys and well, basically cut off all interaction with the big sibling, and put them in a lovely pastel room full of bunny rabbits and sheep. You play soft music, speak quietly, and read them only the gentlest nursery rhymes and play only the softest lullabies. You can even dress the child in a lovely bonnet and booties, just to get your baby back from the brink of tragic maturity even for a minute.

Yes, that is what you could do, if your wee one weren’t too busy trying to jimmy the handle on candy machines, that is.—Jillian O’Connor

 How do you know when your kid is getting too old too soon?

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