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Maybe ‘Terrible Twos’ do not really end

Nothing quite gets your attention like a 2-year-old headed toward you with outstretched hands saying, “Daddy, I poop.”

But that potty lesson has been one of the more memorable challenges tied to my daughter’s “Terrible Twos.”

Other debacles include throwing herself on the ground in dramatic fashion because I won’t let her do things like play with scissors or get inside the refrigerator. And then there is her recent aversion to clothes.

First the shirt comes off, then the pants. The diaper isn’t too far behind. Avery celebrated her second birthday shirtless.

She may have taken “birthday suit” far too literally and I hope this is the last birthday she spends that way.

But I think the strangest thing that parenthood has taught me is that these stages of immaturity in childhood seem to reoccur at points later in life.

I’m not sure if it would be the “Obnoxious Twenties,” the “Unpleasant Thirties” “Frightful Forties” or the “Foul-tempered Fifties” or something along those lines, but I have started noticing that some of the poor behavior doesn’t go away with age.

Well, hopefully the public display of bathroom breaks does.

In fact, it may actually get worse.

As adults the tantrums are often louder, longer and laced with profanities.

I never cease to be amazed at how a significant portion of our population seems to have no manners at all.

It might be the diner in a restaurant who berates the waiter or waitress because the food isn’t to their liking, often failing to realize they are simply shooting the messenger.

It could be the driver who curses, screams and tailgates other drivers only to then almost cause a wreck with their own driving.

Or it could be the average citizen who tears down other’s ideas while never offering any of their own.

These adults in the throes of childhood regression are much harder to deal with because they aren’t likely to be swayed by Sesame Street videos or trips to get ice cream.

But as we look around for these types of people in our lives, I think it is important that we start with gazing into a mirror.

Each of us have probably acted like this a few times in our lives. I think the first step is admitting it and the second step to work to change.

My daughter has taught me many things in her two years in this world. I’ve learned so much about her and what makes her tick.

And as I’m sure all parents can likely agree, I may have learned even more about myself.

Michael Caldwell is publisher of The Tribune. To reach him, call (740) 532-1445 ext. 24 or by e-mail at mike.caldwell@irontontribune.com.