“Oh, boy! You’re brave,” a well-meaning lady said to me as we walked through the doors of a store, giving my toddler a smile.
I knew what she was referring to, as many people have given me the same all-knowing look as my 2-year-old and I are out and about: The Terrible Twos. Sure, we have our fair share of tantrums. The wrong socks, the wrong cup, or opening a door she wanted to try to open first… you never know when it may happen.
While two may seem a bit like a ticking time bomb, I have to admit I absolutely love the Not-So-Terrible Twos!
Two is loving, despite the kicking while changing a pull up or the occasional smack while “playing.”.In the morning, I get to wake up to “I love you, mama” and those words are so sweet to hear back after saying them to her for years. She loves to help pick out outfits for each other when we get ready. She’s learning to point things out, like when I wear a necklace or different earrings, and she likes to try and match. Around naptime, she’ll lay her head on me and say, “I’m tired; you tired, too, mama?” She runs up and eagerly tells me about her day when I get home or when I pick her up from daycare. She worries when someone doesn’t feel well, always likes to bring a blanket to someone, and gives the best hugs.
She is so excited to spend time with us! If I tell her I’m going anywhere, even to the next room, I’m often met with “Mama, I come too!” Most mornings she grabs her pink rain boots (the only shoes she wants to wear!) and asks me for “coffees.” In toddler, this translates to the coffee shop where we’ll split something for breakfast over milk for her and iced coffee for me. These little mommy-daughter dates are so much fun, and I can’t believe how much something so simple has helped her learn and grow. She asks for her own milk, helps pick what to order, and even pulls a dollar out of her purse to “pay” the tip jar. She is so excited, telling everyone who will listen that they’re “cooking” her breakfast, or that “it comin’ fast!” She’s learning to say please and thank you. I’ve watched her relationships with those around her blossom, waving to those she recognizes (and, ahem, a few she doesn’t), all because she wants to get out and explore with me.
Two is exciting. In fact, everything is exciting to a two-year-old! If she sees a long hallway, it’s the perfect place to practice galloping like Spirit. A car ride means we can point out different colored vehicles, or look for the biggest tree. A new word means she can practice. Hopefully, though, I understand everything she says or I may get a pretty good side-eye already! A good beat on the radio requires a little dance, no matter where we are. She is so full of energy I wish I could bottle up, and discovering everything at a speed I can hardly keep up with.
She is also becoming more helpful! I hear “What you doin’?” more times than I can count in a day. I’ve also heard those words change depending on what task I am doing. If she sees me cleaning, she’ll often ask if it is time to “pick up.” She’s slowly learning how to put her own toys away, or find sock matches as we do laundry together. Yes, I usually end up with a little more work than if I would do it alone, but watching her excitement at getting to assist and learn whatever I am doing is worth it. Cooking together turns into lessons on safety around ovens, how to peel an orange, and cracking eggs. She knows how to wipe up a spill, throw something away, and put dishes in the sink.
Two is ever-changing. One day, she may like something I make for dinner, the next she’ll spit it out with a big, “Oh! I don’t like that!” While, sure, this causes some frustration, it has also been so much fun. We choose to view this time as a celebration of a growing child, in size, skill, and knowledge. We try to embrace the challenges that may come along with it by knowing she is gaining the knowledge and skills to become her own strong, independent person one day…even if it does mean a few temper tantrums here and there.
But most of all, it’s that little hand on my face saying, “I love you, mama…” that makes the terrible twos a little more not-so-terrible!
What about age two was your favorite?
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