Benny has gone through so many phases in his short life. The newborn phase, the baby phase, the toddler phase. Within each BIG phase are a succession of smaller phases: mobility, teething, independent eating, sleeping in a cradle, then crib, then bed. And in each of those phases are even smaller phases - some lasting as long as a month, and some passing so quickly I don't have the time to mourn them until much, much later. Some phases are good phases. Some are not so pleasant.
Since Benny turned two and a quarter, he's been going through the cliched "terrible twos" phase. I would agree with most parents that this is the most fun, yet most frustrating phase yet. He's an independent boy: He wants to do nearly everything himself - from getting into the car, to picking out his clothes. And in so many ways, he's still such a little boy. He still needs a kiss from me when he hurts himself, he still gets incredibly frustrated if something doesn't go his way. And so, the tantrums continue. They aren't nearly as bad as they once were, but they pop up from time to time.
So, last night when Benny got upset because we wouldn't put his pants back on after sitting on the potty (we were going to get him dressed for bed soon anyway), he threw a massive fit. I'm talking screaming at the top of his lungs during his time out, nearly passing out from crying so hard. When the time out was over, we talked about how to react to something when he's frustrated. It's not appropriate to cry, but it is appropriate to talk about it. When I asked him what he was planning to do the next time he was frustrated he said: "Say 'Doggonit!' I'm frustrated!'"
It's at times like these, I am so glad for the phases and the sheer entertainment they bring to my life.