It is no big surprise to me that the Noodle has been difficult of late; the twos have a certain reputation after all. He is advancing rapidly in some areas and not so much in others and this may be a cause of his frustration and erratic behaviour.
He can, for instance, name a dozen dinosaurs and tell you if they are carnivores or vegetarians (or naughty / not naughty - the intricacies of evolution being, for him, reduced to a question of binary morality). Yet our black dog and white dog are nomenclatutorily interchangeable.
He can recite picture books word for word, even if he doesn't know what the words mean; work a CD player; sort of ride a tricycle and be generally charming. Yet he continually kicks his little brother in the head, throws things, hits his parents and refuses to obey reasonable instructions.
Again not surprising to anyone I suppose, even those who aren't parents are aware that children exist (long gone as those halcyon days of seen and not heard are) and a fair bit of literature and today tonight time is given over to them.
What has hit me recently though, as Knickers and I have been dealing with his behaviour and a teething Pudden, is that there really, really is no end to it. Noodle is not - in three days, three weeks or three years - going to suddenly have an epiphany, 'oh, right, he's my little brother, well then I'll love and cherish him always and we'll never fight again'. No. He and Puddenare going to grow into more and more complex individuals that no parenting skills will transform into good little Stepford children.
So Noodle is balanced between infancy and boyhood, Pudden between baby and infant and both their parents between coping and the madhouse.
It is still a joyous time and I revel in each new development and discovery. Other parents say it gets easier once they're toilet trained or at school or left home, but I'm beginning to think each stage is just as challenging as the preceding one. Maybe we as parents just get better at managing that challenge?