He pops in and out without warning, but no one can miss his arrival. Growling, teeth bared, brow furrowed, eyes slit with burning focus, his wrath is unpredictable.
Anyone in his path beware. Anything within his reach can become a painful weapon flung in your direction when he is angry. His tiny stature is misleading. His head only reaches my waist, but he can make the whole house tremble when he stomps his little foot and lets out that high pitched sound that rings in your ears.
Sometimes I can distract the monster with food, colorful objects, or cartoons, but if not quick enough he will fly into a rage which is hard to escape. He speaks some garbled demands during his fits. "I don't want to! Stop! I want to do it MYSELF!" Still his favorite is repeated over and over, more loudly depending on his mood, "No, No, No, No!"
Everyone in the house ducks, hides, or does whatever the monster wants until he retires back to his hiding place. We don't know how long he's been creeping around our home, but we saw him for the first time just a few months ago.
Since then he's made me late for work, given every member of the family a bump or bruise to remember him by, scared the family dog, and flung his body to the floor in a rage too many times to count.
We hope to survive the monster's visit, and evict him soon. But, we must tread lightly, you see we love the most unpleasant creature because he has taken up residence in the most treasured place.
Sometimes at the end of a fit I see the change taking place. The monster's sharp teeth, angry eyes, and clenched fists soften. A smile, tear stained eyes, and chubby outstretched arms all beg for an embrace.
I begin to recognize the sweet, cherub face of my 2 year old son as he says, "I'm sorry, hug mama?" It's called the terrible two's for a reason, but even a mama monster can forget when her baby melts into her arms.
No matter how unpleasant those fading monster moments, treasure it all. They're only young once.