Age two started out sweet. Big smiles, mispronounced first words and learning to run. But somewhere over the past ten months, sweet two turned into challenging-almost-three. It’s truly an age of split personalities—easy going, joyful and happy one minute, then devastated, howling, and limp noodle on the floor the next. This age is hair-pullingly frustrating, and heart-meltingly beautiful, all bundled together. Here are some of the highlights and lowlights of this challenging age:
Meltdowns over nothing
You didn’t cut the crusts off the sandwich—cue meltdown. You DO cut the crusts off—cue another meltdown. The thrashing tantrums come hard and fast with no warning.
This isn’t fun, and it takes a lot longer than three days for most children. It’s frustrating and hard for the whole family, and something best avoided until you feel it’s absolutely time to be done with diapers.
Suddenly your “I’ll eat anything” kid, who shoveled down broccoli, green beans and begged for carrots, will now only gingerly pick at a piece of plain herb or vegetable—after carefully removing any sign of offending sauce. Your toddler is surviving on air and crackers.
“I’m a big girl”
Or boy, of course. Your toddler now wants to do EVERYTHING by themselves, and will actually repeat actions like walking down stairs or climbing up on a chair if they’re assisted or carried the first time. Frustratingly. the “I’m a big (girl/boy)” often occurs mid-meltdown, when said toddler is in a puddle on the floor and refusing to walk/put their pants on/have their hair brushed/go to the potty.
The bedtime routine
At some stage, your toddler will climb or fall out of their crib and need a toddler bed. At this point, your evenings as you know them will be over, and you’ll need to retrain the kid to stay in their room. Yes, easier said than done. Prepare for several nights (dare we say it, even weeks?) of a certain little person discovering they can actually leave their room during the night to come and disturb your precious Scandal watching time—or, God forbid, wake you during the night seeking milk, water or a hug.
Basic words and short sentences turn into complicated words and phrases almost overnight: “I hear my echo!,” “We’re sharing, mommy!,” “Daddy said I could watch the iPad!.” Your baby has turned into a big kid—which means it’s officially tIme to start spelling out F.R.O.Z.E.N. unless you want to be watching it on repeat from dawn till dusk.
Song and dance
Little kid breaks into “A Whole New World” from Aladdin, with all the words absolutely perfect. (Wait, when did they even see Aladdin?, you might ask yourself!) This is the age of making up songs (“I have a little dog, I have a little dog!”) and dancing with joy on the sidewalk when a car drives past with “Happy” pumping out the windows.
The Disney movie is so crazy popular with toddlers, it deserves it’s own section. One of the most entertaining ways to start the day is when you hear the knock, knock, knock on the bathroom door while you’re trying to shower—followed by “Do you want to build a snowman?”.
Being schooled on technology
Your toddler probably is now able to use the iPad better than you can. So next time you can’t figure out how to play a game or watch a video or turn it on, just ask your child …
Hugs and kisses
Right after those meltdowns come the hugs so vigorous they almost take your head off. “I love you Mommy, you’re my best friend!” is exclaimed as frequently as the wet noodle maneuver occurs, and is literally the best thing about having a toddler. That, and the exuberant kisses that cover your face from morning to night. More of this unexpected affection, please!
This article was first published on Mommynearest.com