This is 2

So we’re in the thick of it, here. The terrible twos. The tantrum phase. And it’s real. Don’t have kids? Congratulations on feeling well-rested and having unscratched corneas! Let me explain it to you:

Parenting a two year old is like living on top of a dormant volcano. There’s no telling when it’ll go off, my friends, but oh, it will. I’ve become adept at conducting level five hostage negotiations while catching puzzle pieces whipped at my face in fury, all while simultaneously digging in my purse for anything/everything/a hair-covered raisin that might put the fire out. I have hauled a rigid and unwilling-to-leave screaming dead weight all the way across the park, sometimes upside down if I have to, while unwrapping a granola bar with my teeth. I have witnessed melodrama worthy of eight Glenn Close performances when I (god forbid) say it’s bed time, and I’ve been smacked by sticky little hands who five seconds later want me to hold them. These explosions do not have rational cause. They are not predictable. One minute these little cave people will be laughing hysterically at their own farts and the next they are furious because you won’t let them eat toast in the shower.  It’s hilarious if you don’t have to deal with it, or if you’re at home with a fridge full of wine and therefor the patience to wait out the storm without succumbing and just giving it what it wants. But if you’re in a public place?  A grocery store?  An airport?  An airPLANE?  Oh, heavens open up and swallow you.

Before I had kids and witnessed a stranger’s child having a full-blown meltdown, I would politely avert my eyes and assure myself with all the blind confidence in the world that my future child would never do such a thing (previous Jewel was a real know-it-all. I mean, even more so than this Jewel). But here’s the truth: even the most precious child who looks like they just stepped out of a Pottery Barn Kids catalogue has the capability and the inevitability of going Chuckie doll on you. It’s just a natural part of their brain development, and all you can really do is learn a few tricks, stay patient, take deep breaths, and perhaps self-medicate.

But the saving grace in these moments, when my own child has gone batshit feral because I won’t let him throw my wallet across the produce section, has been meeting the eyes of a fellow parent who smiles knowingly as if to say, “I get it. I’ve been there. You’re doing great.” Because as parents, we HAVE all been there. And if you’re not a parent, and you’re witnessing an epic kiddie meltdown and silently reminding yourself to renew your birth control prescription, just remember that you, too, were once a shithead toddler embarrassing your parents. So try not to judge us and our silly little babies. Just know that we’re all very tired, and we’re all trying our best.
I want to share one of my favourite weeknight recipes with you, one I’ve done again and again because it’s delicious, easy, and even kid-approved in our house. I love making quick curries because they’re super satisfying and also a great excuse to toast up some naan for dipping. Hope you like this one.

PS. I love you like crazy, Wilder. Please buy us a nice house when we’re old.

Easy Chicken and Mushroom Curry


1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bitesized chunks
1 cup crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 yellow onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp curry powder
1 tbsp red curry paste
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup whole milk
2 cups baby spinach
2 tbsp mango chutney
1/2 cup cashew nuts
Salt and pepper

4 cups of cooked rice
4 pieces of naan bread


In a bowl, toss the chicken with the curry powder and some salt and pepper.
Heat a large pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tbsp of the olive oil and sauté the chicken until browned. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Toast the mushrooms in the hot pan for a few minutes until they get some color, then add the olive oil and curry paste, stirring to combine. Add the onion and garlic and some more salt and pepper, and saute until the veggies are soft, about five minutes. Add the chicken broth and bring up to a boil, then add the milk and turn down to simmer. Let the sauce thicken for 10-15 minutes, then add the chicken back into the pan. Stir in the mango chutney and the spinach, wilting the spinach in the hot curry sauce. Adjust the seasonings, adding more salt and pepper if needed.
Place the naan on a cookie sheet and drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Toast under the broiler until golden, about two minutes, and flip to toast the other side.
Heat a pan over medium heat and toast the cashews until golden, about five minutes. Roughly chop.
To serve, spoon the curry over rice and top with a handful of toasted chopped cashews.

Serves 4, or 2 tired parents with leftovers to spare and one spirited little boy




17 Comments Add yours

  1. Jerry B. Bagley says:

    Jewel; Wish I could tell you it get’s easier, but it doesn’t…my youngest (twins) are now 41 and you are still trying to understand where they are coming from! Only, now you don’t have to deal directly with the fallout…oh, and it helps to get a puppy who then goes through the terrible 2s to remind you of those great and memorable years! 🙂

  2. Liz says:

    Thanks for sharing! I’m a new Mom of a three month old and we’ve entered a stage of rage crying! I can handle crying without tears…but some reason, crying with tears tugs at my heart strings like a baby sloth getting a bath.

    The “batshit feral” comment was priceless! Also reminding non-parents watching a melt down (with horror), to renew prescription for bc. Thank you for a post about the savage side of parenting! I know I am not a perfect Mum, and won’t be when the two’s strikes…but this makes me feel oddly comforted (and only slightly afraid☺️).

  3. Captain Andrew Ferreira says:

    When my daughters were little I referred to this phenomenon as UMS… Ugly Mood Swing. Also, the Chicken Mushroom Curry sounds amazing!

  4. Old Burley says:

    Hey Jewel,

    I hope you have a good support group of parents going through the same stages as yourself. I could not fully appreciate the saying, ‘It takes a village to raise a child.’ until our 2nd girl came.

    Our first was an angel, content to self entertain on a blanket, and would never move outside her little cottony square of the universe. We were convinced that our stellar child was a direct result of our AWESOME parenting skills.

    Until Ava, The Unbreakable Will; Destroyer of Worlds; She Who Demands; Harbinger of Humility (ours);

    And that was just the 1st week. It just got worse through the two’s.. and really it didn’t clear up until last year, when, after moving out on her own, she had to buy cheese on her own for the first time.

    “Mom did you KNOW how expensive cheese is?”

    “Yes dear, we had 6 kids, and you always had cheese.”

    It’s those #respect moments when they’re older that make it all worth it. In the meantime.. save your sanity, farm as much of that parenting shit out to third parties as possible.

    “Hi my name is Jewel, would you like to join my village?”

  5. Josephine says:

    I love the blog post! Though I’m not a mom I have worked as a nanny for the past three years and this is the most accurate and well humored thing I’ve read about the terrible twos:| I wish you the best of luck during the torrential( torturous) threes. The kids get the attitude at two and then gain the vocabulary at three to really get you. Also, it was a pleasure to meet you at DragonCon and I hope to see you again!
    – Josephine

  6. Jasen says:

    Love this post it has so much truth in it! My first one didn’t have these terrible twos, I laughed at those who had them. My high and mighty thinking was crumbled with my Son. He fits everything you said above perfectly. But we love them all anyways 🙂 Wine dosen’t hurt either though!

  7. John Thompson says:

    No kiddies, but my wife and I are school bus drivers… all ages. We feel your pain!

  8. Elizabeth Buchan-Kimmerly says:

    One of my many nephews went through Terrible Twos, teething and mumps at the same time.
    So, drooling, swollen, hot, and prone to tantrums.
    Oddly, my sister went on to have two more children.

    Oh-mumps? Nephew is now a 50 year old wine salesman with two post-grad children. Thank Ghu for the MMR vaccine. At least you won’t have to put up with that horrorshow.

  9. DWG says:

    My toddler once had a grand mal hissy fit on a city sidewalk in Marquette, MI. Just as she was approaching an Oscar winning performance, a concerned sranger walked up.
    “Excuse me little girl, is this your father?”
    After a moment’s careful thought my daughter repied.
    “Sir, give me that child!”
    My patients spent, it was all I could do to say nothing while stuffing my flailing little Tasmanian devil into my car and driving away. I spent the remainder of my evening looking out my window, wondering which direction the SWAT team would approach from.
    Now nearly 30 years later, the appropriate reply has come to me.
    “Sure lady, here ya go”

    1. Jewel Staite says:

      This made me laaaaaugh. Thank you.

      1. DWG says:

        Thanks Jewel. Glad I could make you smile.
        One thing I should add is that my daughter eventually grew up to become a happy, well adjusted, contributing member of society who has made us very proud.
        Hang in there, things will get better … uh … eventually.
        On further thought, I have never raised a child born with a genetic predisposition towards world class acting skills. Good luck with that one. Better keep that wine close by after all 😉

  10. Jerry Klippenstein (@kl1pp3r) says:

    The real fun is at 3!! Our oldest (7) has ADHD, so that’s fun. I’ve learned that in the case of parenting, it’s like the Sartre play No Exit: Hell is Other People- at least the shallow, appearance is everything type. Kids humanize you. It’s a good thing. Very grounding. Like Jayne’s honesty!😉

  11. Scott McInnes says:


  12. Amalia says:

    We’re following nice and close behind you. Ours is turning 2 in September and decided for the slow crawl tantrum method, but mixes it up with laying on back pushing her self across the floor method when given the opportunity. It is rewarding when you can grit back the frustration and divine your voice into the most enticing form and a simple question becomes the most beautiful distraction and the wailing is cooled to a simmer. And then 5 minutes later you’ve got to come up with something else. Cheers to both of us! *CLINK*

  13. Matt Lewis says:

    The twos were tough but our daughter’s nightmare time was 4.5 to 5. We somehow all survived with our sanity intact and I love her dearly (she is 27 now). Parenthood is the most amazing roller coaster ride of all. ❤️

  14. ADAM says:

    I’m not single without kids for lack of trying, hell in high school you’d have voted me most likely to get married! Even tho I don’t have kids all of my friends do so being an “uncle” all over the place has given me plenty of these examples mentioned above to remind me of what’s to come… someday.

    I say that bc it’s likely many are like me and while we don’t have mini-me’s of our own, we get it. Oh and be sure to take your own friends, who act as aunts and uncles, up on their offers to help out. Every lil bit, right? 😉

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