Two-year-olds get a bad wrap don’t they…
I guess I write a fair amount about my struggles as a toddler parent. The, er, ‘challenging’ behavior to be precise. Oh and the fact that sometimes between the extreme guilt and the feeling that “I just can’t sodding do this anymore”, I feel I may well be losing my mind…
When out at a play class the other day then, a fellow Mum asked me the age of my son. “He’s 2.5, just very big for his age” I said. To which she replied, “Ah, mine just turned 2…its gets easier at 2.5, right??”
My exact answer was “Errrrrrrrrrrr”
I paused, had a little think, and then added “Well, he talks more, so I guess the communication is easier. But attitude comes with it…” I think she genuinely wanted to take anything positive, since she replied “Oh that’s great, more communication would be brilliant.”
I guess it got me thinking. Is it easier now, or harder? The twos are renowned for being “terrible”, but is it all that bad?
Not at all! Of course there are downs (MASSIVE, usually very public downs!), but there are so so many ups too!
Here is a list of some of the nicer parts of having a growing two year old. I guess something to remind myself of on those more challenging days too…
The affection from my son is just beautiful. He’s always been an affectionate little thing, but he can also be a violent little sod too. The love he holds in his heart for those closest to him though makes me realize that despite it all, we must be doing something right. He loves nothing more than to snuggle up to me in the evening and tell me over and over again “I love you, mama”. He knows how to melt a heart!
Yep, as mentioned, the communication grows. This is excellent when assessing what a meltdown is actually over. When your kid can actually say “my car broken” or “I don’t like t-shirt”, it really does make the whole upset easier to understand and overcome. It’s really nice when they can speak about their likes and dislikes too. You really come to understand them more fully as the little humans that they are.
“Mama, I need a poo!!” – this may not sound so appealing, but trust me, its music to my ears! To not have to change poo-poo nappies anymore because he can alert me to his need to go is just awesome!! “Mama, I’m hungry, please sandwich” and “Mama, I’m sleepy” are both brilliant examples of this bodily awareness and communication coming together to make everything easier on both of us (though, he has yet to ever admit that he is “sleepy” in the evening – we’re currently in the “I DON’T WANT TO GO TO BED” phase!
Up until recently, it was still just “playing alongside other children”. There were fights, there were tears, there were never-ending songs and dances by me and fellow parents on the importance of sharing. But then finally, something has clicked, and the realization that he can have friends – to play with, to share toys with, to have fun with – is possibly one of the best developmental milestones we’ve hit at the age of two. Sure sure, there are still some power struggles with others, but it’s lovely to be able to sit back and watch him play nicely, rather than constantly hovering like a helicopter to break up a squabble!
Our naughty cat bit me the other day and left a nasty scratch. My son was so so upset that “Mama is hurt” that he cried and has been kissing the scratch better ever since. Seeing him be able to understand and comprehend someone else’s feelings is wonderful to watch. Cuddles and kisses to any of his friends that trip in the park or end up crying somehow is something he dishes out by the dozen too. Of course, this is ONLY reserved for friends…we do still tend to hit non-friends at the moment (something we’re working on).
Interests / Imaginative Play
My son is obsessed, OBSESSED, with toy cars. Always has been! Lego too (especially if the Lego makes a car). Oh and diggers and tractors and trains and motorbikes – basically anything with wheels. It’s so sweet! I sometimes wish I was as passionate as that about any of my hobbies… His imaginative play with these cars is great too if he can stay engaged for long enough. My husband also built him this play mud kitchen for the garden, so we have been getting lots of “cuppa teas” and sand patties – yum!
So that’s it, some of the lovelier things about two-year-olds – the lovely, crazy little things with giant hearts and giant emotions. I just won’t mention the attitude, the extreme need for independence, the emotional blackmail or the refusal to nap…
(My monkey. Though he was a proper little monkey the day this photo was taken!! Good thing he is cute!)