I consider myself to be somewhat well versed in parenting two-year olds now, my eldest has just departed her year of being two and my youngest is into it. In fact for a whole month I had two two year olds.
As two-year olds go my daughter wasn’t TOO problematic, or is that my rose-tinted glasses benefiting from hindsight? She had her moments don’t get me wrong, she was fickle, meal times were laughable and eating out remains a tall order. She was certainly the boss, she would tell me where to sit, how to sit and what to do. Failure to comply would usually result in a meltdown of some sort. She could be very up and down, happy and laughing one minute only to be in all out breakdown mode the next. She was very sensitive and if she did have a melt down in true female form you would know about it. She would drag it out, whinge and cry and then throw it back in your face next Tuesday.
All in all though I would say we fared relatively well. Now though it is the turn of my boy, who has been two for all of two months now, and don’t we know it.
Granted he is less miserable now than he used to be, according to Nanny Pat anyway but he still portrays some sterling characteristics embodied by many a two-year old, I suspect, hope.
Man alive is the little man stubborn. He will not yield if he does not want to. If he doesn’t want to do something he will not do it, you will just be told a loud and resounding NO. Similarly if he wants to do something he will do it anyway, climbing over the sofa, jumping on the bed, usually something destructive and naturally dangerous. My girl however I think wins the stubbornness race, she is fiercely stubborn and I found myself tricking her into getting shit done. You soon become a master negotiator when parenting two-year olds, or great at bribery. One of those. The other day the boy did a wee on the potty and INSISTED he emptied it. So there we were walking slower than ever has he went to empty the contents in the loo. We get there and having the motor skills of a two-year old he threw it everywhere. And there we stood, the boy got his own way and we are both covered in piss.
Oh the classic phase of the toddler. Something the boy has adopted with full gusto, of late. Usually resulting from the aforementioned stubbornness and my attempts to not let him have his own way all.the.time. If of course things aren’t going his way, he will sulk, throw himself on the floor and screw up his face. Unlike the girl however his attention span is not that great and he’ll soon forget whats he’s moaning about and move on. The girl, well we could be subject to an actual hour of soul-destroying screams. Yay.
This has to be the biggy for our house, he is oh so naughty. My mushy mummy glasses might be tempted to say cheeky but we all know. Bed times are met with hot angry tears and wails of ‘NO’, unwanted food is thrown forcefully on the floor, in fact anything and everything is thrown, at all times. He will run up to his sister take her dolly throw it and run off, because it’s funny. You can tell him off or not to do something and he does not give two shits, he will quite literally laugh in your face and do it anyway. Sharing does not compute, everything is always ‘MY TURN’ and he hits, man does he like to hit his sister. Incidentally she is the biggest grass going. I can come into a room of screams and you can guarantee she will run up to me, or anyone who will listen and report back the events of sabotage. I don’t know how I will ever tame the naughtiness because he simply does not care. Anyone?
Two year olds are loud, have you noticed? Even my quiet girl found her voice and this age but oh lord it is nothing compared to the volume in my tiny man. He shouts all.the.time. He wants to be seen and heard, he wants to be centre of attention at all times. He has short man syndrome. He is playful and boisterous, he charges about the house singing (shouting). His yells for MUMMA are deafening. There is never a quiet moment in these 4 walls. Please tell me I am not alone?
Despite being run ragged trying to tame them, battling their surprisingly quick wit and frankly ridiculous logic not to mention trying to get them through the day in one piece, despite being utterly exhausted and in need of some serious down time, those terrible two can be really funny. Trying and infuriating yes, but also funny. Watching them break into spontaneous dance, or adopt a yoga pose (which the boy does daily, declaring he is doing yoga. Listening as they try to speak and fluff their words always makes me giggle. Or as they try to replicate you and you hear a sigh followed by ‘Oh my sake’. Watching them order each other around or actually play together and start to be little children is quite amazing. When I look back at the toddler my girl was when she turned two to what feels like the young girl she started to become as she turned three I can see such progress in her, such growth. There were some ridiculous moments during that year that probably left me crying, or drinking, but there were some bloody good ones too.
Maybe it is the twos, maybe it is the gender difference, who knows, but when it comes to the ‘terrible twos’ well they’re not totally terrible but when they are bad they are terrible.