If I had not raised three kids who were once the age of two and been privy to the antics of my other two grandkids when they were also two, I would wonder how parents ever survived this momentous stage of a child's life. I will sum up the survival of this stage of life in one word: PATIENCE! Now, patience can also be described as longsuffering, longevity, or consistency and there are myriad other words that could suffice. But however you wish to name it, the truth of the matter is two-year-olds are a challenge! If you have children or grandchildren who have survived the terrible two's, then you know what I'm talking about. If you are pregnant with your first child, your child has not yet reached the age of two or you have aspirations of producing a child anytime in the future, let this be a warning: Beware of the two-year-old! If you are deep in the middle of long, hard, provoking days rearing a two-year-old at this very moment, my sentiment to you: You can do this! Press on, dear friend, press on!
In light of my vast knowledge (ha!) of the two-year-old psyche, I was not destroyed when I dropped the kids off at the airport this morning and my little angel pushed my face to the side as I tried to kiss her. She simply refused to hug her nana goodbye and didn't seemed to be bothered by the fact we probably won't see each other for a couple of months. I guess she was done with the nana bear cuddles. Or I'd like to think she was just totally focused on her short ride to the jetway where she would enter the world of flying to which she has become quite accustomed and actually cries to go up, up, up in the plane. She was more than happy to ride in the stroller because she knew the stroller would get her to the plane faster than her chubby little legs and that was her sole intent at the moment (FYI: She had a mini meltdown on the jetway waiting to board on the flight up. Even flying is not fast enough for this little winged creature). Two-year-olds have one daily agenda when they begin their day. They want to do what they want to do, and they want to do what they want to do now and not a minute later! If they are in the mood to play, they want to play now and please don't require them to be elsewhere. If they want to eat, you better make it quick and something delicious that they want. If they want to look at pictures on nana's phone, it doesn't matter one iota to them that nana is needing her phone for, well, making phone calls. Don't even tell a two-year-old that you're gonna do something and then not do it, because you are asking for your day to go straight downhill. The funny thing about these little creatures is they are smart enough to know the difference in what you said you were gonna do and what you actually do.
But in case I have totally discouraged you of the hopes-and-dreams-of-having-children bunch, there is a good side to this story. Two-year-olds are incredibly resistable and I would venture to say it is not just one of the most challenging years of rearing a child but also the most adorable as well. At this stage of life they are vocal, smart, friendly, and at times exceptionally loving. When they do an act of kindness, it will melt you into a puddle and give you the strength you need to face another day with a demanding toddler. All it takes for you to become putty in their hands is for them to repeat a totally cute rhyme or a random rendition of Twinkle Twinkle Little Sta-wa, and all else fades into the background. And occasionally, contrary to what they consistently tell you to your face, they find themselves realizing their need for mommy or daddy (or nana for that matter), and they deliver the most delicious wet kisses and surprisingly protracted hugs you have literally ever received and everything is, once again, well with the world.
I guess the part of this time in a toddler's life that is so demanding and tiring is the parodox that always brings a smile to my face. They absolutely believe they are as big and intelligent as you, yet they are walking around with a load in their diaper. Cracks me up when I think of a little person acting so dang big, but can't even put their pee and poo in the toilet yet! Such a contradiction of what they think they are and what they are actually capable of, and it makes me love them so much more! They need us, even if at times they truly believe they not only don't need us, but they don't want us as well! And this is where the patience comes in. If you have told a two-year-old "No" once in a day, you've told them a hundred times! If you filled a large cistern with the patience needed to deal with one of these amazing little creations, it would overflow each and every day. The only time it would not be full is when they were sleeping, as their little bodies recharge for the next day ahead, when they will once again drive their parents to the edge of the cliff and threaten to throw them over!
I commend those of you who are doing a fine job with two-year-olds...those of you who love enough to have your face pushed aside once in awhile and for the zillioneth time tell your toddler that action is unacceptable...for those of you who insist they eat their broccoli before their bread...for those of you who stand firm and strong, clothed with all the battle gear needed to deal with every two-year old tantrum that comes your way.
For you, my friend, are in what I call the great war of "you versus the terrible two's." And trust me, the battle is hard, undeniably long and at times gut-wrenching, but the rewards are some of the best life has to offer.
(Editor's Note: No toddlers were harmed in the producing of this blogpost, and absolutely no parents went over the cliff!)
Posted by CC
I love to write; you love to read...let's share!