HELP! There’s a Neanderthal in My House!

There’s a caveman in our midst.

He’s primitive yet smart, ornery yet agreeable (when he chooses to be) and has very little interest in “acceptable behaviour.”

This little Neanderthal has brought utter mayhem to our house.  Every day he pulls out all toys in sight and tosses them around the house; uses various tools – toy cars, cups, food, other items within reach – as projectiles to strike people and furniture at will; hits, tackles and kicks with learned precision; searches for signs of vulnerability (e.g. a relaxed stance) then thunders in like a bull, hard skull pointing forward, full force.  All of this while grinning and giggling with an infectious laugh.  *sigh*

Who is this creature?

He’s my husband 21-month-old toddler.  Yep, a Neanderthal.  Except with less body hair.  He (“B”) is our youngest, and he’s driving us up the wall these days.

Every day is a new adventure.  It’s kind of like riding a rollercoaster in the dark… we never know what the next moment will bring, just that we need to hold on (to our patience) for dear life.

image source: Google Images

Simply getting him to daycare in the mornings is a feat.

It takes strategy,  physical agility and swiftness to get him into his car seat when he doesn’t want to be there.  Screaming is often involved, closely followed by excitement at the cool things he sees out the car window.

Then, upon arrival, I lift him out of his car seat and set him down in the parking lot.  He doesn’t want to hold my hand and decides to enact his “rubber legs” manoeuvre where he crumples to the ground.  Yes, in the parking lot.  Awesome.

But, I do have choices: reason with him (doesn’t work), drag him along the ground by his arm (tempting when I’m desperate, but not a real option), or simply pick him up.  You’d think the latter, right?  Hah – that means screaming ensues again, this time with crying and kicking.  But then… he sees a construction truck (“DIGGER!”) across the street and his frustration is immediately forgotten.


I then comment on the exciting digger, carry him into daycare (which thankfully is a place he loves), drop him off and stagger out, looking as if I’ve been through a natural disaster – exhausted, hair disheveled, clothes covered with footprints, face red from trying to keep my temper in check.  All at the beginning of the day.

And B is very adventurous.  My husband left him alone in the kitchen for a couple of minutes, returned and found him sitting in the middle of the counter.  Then later I left him in his room for a minute, came back and found him sitting on top of his dresser.

Where did my incredibly happy and easygoing little guy go?  I swear he was here mere months ago.  And now… Neanderthal Boy.  He tests us at every move, taking great pleasure in his newfound “independence” by doing the exact opposite of what we ask him to do or not do.

Thankfully, he tempers all of this with his characteristic charm, giggles and great hugs.  And I realize that his physical, mental and emotional capabilities will continue to develop for a long time, and all of this is normal and just a phase.  But frankly, we’re pretty tired.

There’s hope though.  His big brother used to be a Neanderthal toddler too, and has since developed into a wonderful, empathetic and fun six-year-old.

So for now, I guess we’ll all just put on protective bodysuits, cushion our furniture and wait it out…

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

mindfuldiary July 6, 2012 at 2:59 am

Pheww, I know the feeling. 🙂 Going through that phase is a hard work. that stage is pure surviving phase. Remember avoiding public places as much as possible, because I never knew when the caveman would decide to appear. There are many people with many opinions, who just jump into conclusions, when tired mum attempts to cope with the caveman in public. Whatever tired mum does not satisfy neither the caveman or the crowd as they try to “rescue the caveman from tired mum” (in grocery shops, cues, streets). You are right, talking never works in that phase. Just stay with the cavemans screaming and BREATHE. Thanx for great post. Was nodding with my head through out the post. best, Kristi


Christine (The Brighter Side of Life) July 6, 2012 at 10:43 pm

Kristi, thanks so much for your comment! You’re so right – it’s survival mode for us right now. And I know just what you’re talking about… I too have seen raised eyebrows when we’re out and about. But you make a very good point… it’s impossible to please both the caveman and the crowd, so there’s no point in trying. Best to just focus on our little one and do the best we can… though I find that staying calm is probably the biggest challenge in those moments!!


carolbiederman July 16, 2012 at 4:57 pm

Oh how I remember those days! My now 8-year old, at the age of 3, locked me in his room! How? We had turned the lock around to lock him in so he wouldn’t “take off” during the night. Silly me forgot that one morning. Got out by removing the door from the hinges – with a toy hammer! He’s now a sweet, fun, “love to have around” kid – though we all still talk about his “younger days antics”.


Christine (The Brighter Side of Life) July 17, 2012 at 10:34 am

Oh no!!! It’s incredible what they get into, isn’t it? Very resourceful of you, though, using a toy hammer to remove the door! Awesome. 🙂


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