I have been warned on numerous occasions to “prepare for the terrible-twos,” because “when they hit two is when they are the worst,” and “wait until you get to the terrifying threes.” It all sounds so hurtful when you say it out loud and I don’t like it. These little humans are working through some big emotions during their toddler years and it sucks that we consider it the worst years.
As our children grow, they go through stages just like we did and continue to do. At two years of age, they are speaking more clearly, putting sentences together, working on their coordination, testing their limits and boundaries, becoming more independent, and trying to understand their emotions and how to express them. Toddlers do not understand the concept of “there’s a time and place for everything,” they do not understand that a minute isn’t an eternity long, or that mommy isn’t gone forever just because she went to take a shower or use the bathroom. They are learning the way the world works and it can be challenging for us and for them.
I have been told this is the most trying stage yet, and I completely agree because I am physically and mentally drained. My daughter has moments where she’s defiant, emotional, independent, and needy at the same time, and we have experienced her tantrums and her breakdowns. She has thrown fits and shown her angry side but we have also experienced the vulnerable side that usually follows after it all comes crashing down. I have to say that this “trying stage” feels like I’m dealing with more than one tiny toddler.
Nonetheless, let me tell you about this “trying” stage, it’s my favorite one yet and your daddy’s favorite too! This stage is teaching us how to grow as parents and guide you through life.
Because this stage, this stage is where you first said “wuv you too, Mommy.”
This is the stage where you enjoy running around and screaming with daddy. Where you wrestle, and play fight, and show off your muscles while the sounds of laughter fills our home.
Where you follow mommy around and help me cook, just so you can steal a bite or two.
It’s the stage where you sing “happy birthday” all day long because it’s your new favorite song.
It’s the stage where you pull our faces close and give us the sweetest kiss at random moments.
The one where you run up and nestle yourself right between daddy and I and steal our popcorn.
The stage where in the middle of your favorite cartoon, you’ll turn towards Mommy and give her the sweetest smile and tell her you love her.
And where you and Mommy sing your favorite songs at the top of our lungs during our long car rides!
It’s the stage where you’re learning how to express your love as much as you’re learning how to express your frustrations, sadness, and happiness.
I’m not going to sugarcoat it, the toddler stage is definitely “trying” and there are tears and tantrums, the days feel long and it all feels endless. However, what no one tells you is how much fun the “terrible-twos” are and how you will fall even more in love with your child during this time. They don’t tell you about how beautiful these moments are and how much you will learn and grow together. They don’t explain how wonderful it feels to watch this beautiful human you made, learn new things everyday or how quickly it all happens.
Your daddy and I talk about your wonderful, independent, daring, curious, and loving personality all the time. We constantly reminisce about all the things you have done and that you have learned. We talk about how much we love these moments, no matter how difficult they may be, and we’re in awe at how fast you’re growing. We talk about all that you’re learning and how sweet you can be. Your darling, untamed curls, your big brown eyes, and that cheeky smile, and the way you shower us with your love. The tantrums, the tears, the meltdowns, the fits, the emotion-filled moments, the kisses and hugs, we want to freeze them all.
One day you’re not going to be this small. You’re not going to cry because mommy is taking a shower, you’re not going to be upset because I have you the wrong princess cup, and you won’t be upset because I said goodbye.
You will be experiencing real-life problems and grown-up hurts, ones that a quick kiss, and a hug won’t fix.
This stage will eventually end and I’ll miss every moment of it…
For now I’m going to snuggle you and enjoy you being two!