I have always heard parents talk about the terrible twos, but I have to admit that before I was a parent I never thought such a thing existed.

I have always heard parents talk about the terrible twos, but I have to admit that before I was a parent I never thought such a thing existed.

How terrible could an adorable little toddler really be? So cute and cherub-like in appearance, most 2-year-olds bring joy and happiness to everyone around them.

They say and do the most precious things. Now that I am the frazzled mother of a child who is turning 3 this summer, I understand why the term exists.

My little one brings so much light to our lives most of the time. She is a well-behaved toddler who listens to me every once in a while. "Melt-downs" are the newest term my husband and I have learned as first-time parents.

These little hissy fits seem to be reserved for dinners out. While the economy has had some effect on where my husband and I choose to dine, our daughter's antics play the biggest role in where we can eat.

We try to choose loud, family-laden restaurants, and stay away from the nicer places full of couples longing for a quiet romantic night out. The filets and fancy fish dishes have been replaced by chicken fingers, hot dogs and French fries.

Our last outing turned into quite a fiasco. My daughter stood up in our booth and began squealing at the top of her lungs. Her high-pitched utterances easily cut through all the other noise in the restaurant. Heads turned and she was the center of attention.

I whispered in her ear, teeth clenched, that mommy wants her to whisper. She in turn screamed at the top of her little lungs, "Mommy says whisper!" She followed that up with a great impression of me, screaming through clenched teeth, "Stop making a scene!" I guess I am glad I didn't say anything worse.

Just then some friends of mine walked sheepishly up to our table with their perfectly behaved older children. They admitted that they didn't really want to stop by and say hi, but they had to pass our table on their way out.

I wonder just how long the terrible twos last. Depend-ing on whom I've asked, it's anywhere from 6 months to when they graduate. Either way, I am ready. So if you see a flustered mother in a bad wig and dark sunglasses when you're out to dinner, it's not me.