Now that Declan has been 2 for almost 2 months, I think I understand why people for decades have referred to the “Terrible Twos.” It’s a very real condition and it’s unlike anything I’ve experienced to date.
It’s not just that 2-year-olds throw tantrums (but they sure as hell do). It’s that they throw them over NOTHING. Literally, the most insignificant detail will set Declan off to the point where I wonder if it’s legal to give a toddler xanax. Or if I should just take some.
For example, I might hand Declan his sippy cup, and he will proceed to throw across the room and scream. Um, ok. Sorry about that.
Or he will want to go outside. He’ll spend 20 minutes standing at the door saying “GO OUTSIDE? GO OUTSIDE? GO OUTSIDE?” without taking so much as a breath. But when I go to put his shoes on, total meltdown.
The public tantrums are the worst. The ones like the other day at the park, when I had Declan and the baby I keep walking around. The baby was in the (single) stroller and Declan was running around and wanted to go up the big hill on the walking trail. Halfway up said trail, guess who wants to be carried? The 35lb toddler. Yea, not happening. My huge mistake for not bringing the double stroller that day. So for the next 30 minutes, I’m trying really hard to prod him down the hill and to the car, all the while he’s SCREAMING “NEED HELP MAMA! NEED HELP!!” with snot and slobber and tears flying everywhere. I’m not a cold-hearted woman, and there’s very little I won’t do when faced with my child begging me for help. But there was no WAY I could push a stroller and carry Declan the half-mile to the car. Uh-uh. So, while Declan is in complete meltdown mode, people are running past me looking at me like I’m the Worst.Mother.Ever. Of course, once we got close to the car, I gladly obliged and life was good again, but nobody was there to witness my heroics then.
But despite all the tears and screaming and whining that come with being 2, I get an awful lot in return.
Lately, Declan has taken to grabbing my face and kissing me upwards of 10 times, all while giggling and saying “Kiss you, mama!” Or for some reason, I can walk in a room after being gone for, oh, 10 seconds, and he’ll run to me and grab my legs, saying “Mama!!” like I’d been gone for 6 months.
He loves to entertain Paul and I, and goes out of his way to make funny faces and animal sounds to get us laughing. He loves showing off for us, but also loves playing independently, giving us a chance to enjoy our morning coffee. He loves to lay down on his stomach and “draw rainbows.” He jumps everywhere he goes, preferably in my dressy sandals (they are loud on the floor. And pretty cute, too).
He begs us to “tickle you!” and for the cat to “Come back, Dot!” He has recently taken to “helping me cook” by sitting up on the counter and “stir, stir, stirring” or helping Paul “mow the grass.”
He has an airtight schedule, so by 8 p.m., we are usually done for the night, which gives Paul and I plenty of time to unwind and enjoy each other.
All in all, I think the Terrible 2s aren’t so bad. Tantrums suck. Whining sucks worse. But after a day of kisses and tickles and rainbows, the terror fades away.