I love my children with all my being – and then some. But there is something about a having a two year old that makes one wonder why sometimes: Why does the cute, little bundle of joy have to turn two? Why do I have to claim this two year old? Why did I agree to this – or did I? Why did I pick out the “wrong” spoon? And most importantly, the non-why questions: When will this end and how do I survive to that point?
I have no answers, yet. My daughter is just now 26 months, but I already feel like she has been two for years. And I think my anxiety and stress levels would agree.
If you need a reminder of what two looks like, or if you aren’t sure what to expect when your little one turns two, here’s a roadmap of the joys to come:
- You must convince yourself that French fries are a vegetable, possibly even an entire food group themselves.
- You may have to do the same with catsup.
- You must convince your two year old that any sort of potato is a French fry. Scalloped potatoes = French fries. Hash browns = French fries. Baked potato = French fries. Mashed potatoes = French fries. You get the point.
- Just because your two year old liked applesauce yesterday does not mean your two year old will like applesauce today. The applesauce is different today than it was yesterday. There is no going back.
- Your child wants to wear that shirt with those pants. Let her. It is not worth starting World War III over a mismatched outfit.
- Picking out the “wrong” spoon will lead to a temper tantrum that will make you wish your eardrums really would burst. You will also want to get your four-month-old’s ears checked after this.
- Replace ‘spoon’ in the above statement with fork/cup/plate/bowl. Every dish and piece of cutlery must be the one your two year old has envisioned eating this meal with. If you picked the wrong anything, you will be sorry.
- Whatever is on your plate for breakfast/lunch/dinner will always be better than what is on your two year old’s plate. Oh, it’s the same thing, you say? It doesn’t matter.
- The calories from that half-meal you got to eat will be burned off next diaper change as your two year old turns into Jason Bourne and practices her escape artist moves. Advice: Potty train ASAP.
- The taco shell is cracked? The hot dog has a smooshed end? The cereal bar is broke in half? All things that could lead to another World War III battle.
- Do not try cutting off the smooshed end of the hot dog. It will not, I repeat will NOT, make it better. It will, though, give your two year old something to do while she cries for the next five minutes trying to put the hot dog back together.
- Don’t be surprised when your two year old requests food/snacks and then never takes a bite of it. Aggravating? You bet. But the second you try to put that food/snack away for later eating, she will notice that it is gone. Again, a World War III battle may ensue.
- As quickly as the tantrum began, so it will go. Especially if you start jumping around, flailing your arms in a similar manner as your two year old while making monkey noises. Yup. See what happens. (Make sure no other adult is nearby to catch glimpse of this ridiculousness.)
And all this is likely to happen within an hour. Just think – a-whole-nother 15-or-so hours to go until bedtime (finally!), and you get to do it again tomorrow!
There is always naptime for you to regain your sanity, or at least pieces of it. That may be a battle all on its own, but at least there is a light at the end of that tunnel.
Well, unless your two year old is like mine and protests naptime on the days that you need it the most. And those are the days when your brain gets a little extra oxygen from all the deep breathing you’ll be doing. Remember the breathing exercises from being in labor? You’ll need those again when the pains of labor turn into growing pains of a toddler.
Fortunately, for all the shrills, shrieks, screams, and tears, there are even more tickles, smiles, giggles, hugs, kisses, and snuggles. No matter how atrocious your two-year-old’s behavior, those moments when she sneaks a kiss on your forehead, spontaneously giggles, or holds your hand while walking through the park makes those hair-pulling moments you thought would never end just a minor hiccup in the day.
Besides, if she wasn’t so terrible, you wouldn’t know how much to appreciate her sweetness when it slips through.
I’ve been told three years old is worse than two. Honestly, I can’t imagine anybody being so cruel for that to be true. Check back in a year to see our progress.