The Terrifying Twos
We often hear of the ‘terrible twos’, occasionally we read rebuttals about how the twos are actually ‘terrific’. To me, though, the two year milestone is neither terrible, nor terrific.
It is terrifying.
Why, you may be asking yourself. Well, there are loads of reasons, they will probably seem barmy but hear me out…
The age of 2 marks a huge shift in the paradigm of parenting, in the balance of power and the dynamic that exists between parent and child, in the way that your child views the big wide world around them, and ultimately how they respond to their surroundings. To me, that is TERRIFYING for the following reasons;
They become waaaaaay more independant. Suddenly, your tiny tot wants to do things themselves and doesn’t need you so much anymore. Sob. The prospect of this fills me with fear. The ‘what ifs’, the potential accidents and lessons learned… though I know it’s an important stage, it is still both sad and scary for me.
Personalities, teasing us under the guise of babyish innocence and leaving us wondering ‘who will this child become’ up until this point, bubble to the surface in such strong amounts and so very quickly that it can be hard to handle. Max has always shown signs of being headstrong, don’t get me wrong, but WOW. The past few weeks in the lead up to his second birthday have been… challenging. Interesting, delightful, but an information overload and I feel like I am getting to know my own child aaaaaall over again.
Your child will suddenly know what they want, when they want it. This is usually something they should not have, and NOW. No amount of persuasion, distraction techniques and admonishment will divert your two year old away from their goal. We have to let them learn through experience and watch them make mistakes, potentially hurt themselves, and we won’t always have the solution for them!
The two year milestone marks the sudden attaining of an astonishing amount of new skills and tricks. For me & Max, this is the skill of being able to put a key in the front door, turn the key, and ESCAPE. He has also suddenly mastered the kitchen baby gate. FML. So, for this one, I am full of fear about potential babynappers and my kitchen full of hazardous items, and have to be on red alert in my house-cum-Alcatraz at all times.
All of this is perfectly natural, normal child development – I question why people class this as ‘terrible’. I mean, hell yeah, it feels pretty terrible at 4 in the frigging morning when your toddler is howling for Peppa Pig and brioche (this happened to me this very morning), but they don’t mean to act out, do they? It is important to remember all the lovely, beautiful moments you share with your wee one too!
For me, it isn’t terrific, either. I’d be lying out of my arse if I claimed to enjoy being screamed at, slapped, scratched and cleaning up spat out food 24/7 because he knows it pushes my buttons. Granted, seeing Max learning and growing IS amazing, and it is important to see the silver linings.
Having a child is scary full stop, from the moment you realise you’re expecting, all through the pregnancy, and the birth. I don’t think you ever really stop being scared even when they’re adults with their own families! For me, thus far, the ‘terrible’ & ‘terrific’ twos has been the scariest phase so far. I’m sure I’ll be saying the same about his other milestones as he grows up though so watch this space!
Max is two, it is terrifying, but being his mummy is the most rewarding thing in this entire universe.
Love from Katie. Xx