Sorry if I misled you with the title, as nope, no, I’m not announcing that we have a second baby on the way. No – I’m talking about age. And the fact that I am absolutely loving two-year old Zachy!
Yes, we’re absolutely prone to the odd tantrum here and there (ok, this is a daily occurrence, usually caused by a battle of wills when he doesn’t want to leave soft-play, the pool, the park, go for a bath etc), but overall he is an absolute gem of a darling and I am here to say that TWO years old is fabulous – and WAY easier than one in my opinion.
I had my concerns about two. We’re all warned against the “terrible twos” right? But back when I was a mum of a strong-willed one-year-old adventure tot, I had always kind of thought to myself that “seriously, it can’t get harder than this!”
I’ll admit openly that I adored the first year of having a squidgy smiley gorgeous baby…but that I found the age of one very difficult (I’m informed that people usually experience the opposite). My son definitely has a strong character – he knows his likes and dislikes – and this character, coupled with his physical strength, came fully into bloom when he hit, hmmm, I’d say 10.5 months (basically when he had mastered walking more than four steps). Add to this the fact that I was back at work, full time, spending long chunks of time away from him, I don’t know, something just changed with our relationship. And it’s really really horrible to admit, but I would often feel more stressed than happy during the “special” time we did spend together. I missed the easy cheeky baby version of Zachy so much.
You see, the thing with one-year-olds is that they’re exploring their big little world. It’s their right and it’s how they learn. Great! Except for the parents, whose job it is to keep their little darlings alive. And my god, it can be a HARD job sometimes when all they want to do is stand on chairs with their wobbly bambi legs, stick things down plug sockets, climb on bookshelves, and generally escape from you when out in public. It is tear-your-hair-out stressful due to their lack of understanding about the world, coupled with their general tendency to implode when you remove them from said activities.
And that is the difference I have found between the ages of one and two. Yes, they blur a lot, after all what a huge difference between 12 months and 20 months. And we definitely still have the tantrums, but there is also a level of knowledge. An understanding of consequences. They can form sequences in their head that tell them that “if I run away from Mummy, I may lose her”. That “if I jump on the bed and fall down, I may hurt myself”. And that “if I throw this toy at Mummy’s head, I may hurt her too, which I don’t like”.
I tell you, it’s been a breath of fresh air to be able to relinquish some of the stress and the worry, and replace it with the pure pleasure of simply playing, interacting and communicating with my son, who can now concentrate on activities for longer than five minutes at a time.
And the communication is something which is truly wonderful. I think one of the sweetest (and kind of most heartbreaking) things my two-year-old has started saying is “sorry”. “Oh sorry Mama” if he does something to make me say ouch. “Sorry Mama” if he realizes he has done something he shouldn’t. And much to my melty-heart “Oh sorry” when it is actually me that should be saying sorry to him if I have bumped him or whatever. Such a darling! (He is very clearly British apologising for things he shouldn’t!)
And best best best of all – he is expressing his love verbally. I must say “I love you baby” about 100 times a day, maybe more. And he has started to, on occasion, reply with either “I uvv you Mama” or a simple kiss of the lips. Oh, this makes the trials of motherhood SO SO worth it!
So yes, I am very much enjoying two. Indeed there are new challenges we are facing that we didn’t when he was one (anyone else have a non-sharer? Or a slightly larger than average tot that doesn’t know their own strength?), but overall this is a walk in the park compared to one.
We’ll see what the year brings – especially since we have now started nursery. Quite simply, I hope this sweet, loving, cuddly character is here to stay! I’ve heard stories about these “threenagers”!
Did you find one harder than the baby year? Or did you find two harder than one? I find it fascinating how all our experiences differ and love to hear all your stories!
P.s. AMAZING NEWS! I am nominated in the ‘Parenting Blog Of 2016’ category of the Time Out Dubai Kids Awards. The ceremony is on September 26 – watch this space and wish me luck! Full list of nominees here.