You hear it all the time, “Just wait till the terrible twos!!” Terrible twos, a popular phrase for the time period of monumental change that toddlers experience transitioning from babies to young children. Two-year-olds begin to have the desire to communicate complex thoughts like wanting a specific colored M&M when they successfully use the potty. “NO, not red. NO, NOT yellow! BLUE, Mommy!!!” Have there been extremely challenging days when my son Kamden is “very two” as I like to put it? Absolutely. Fall down on the floor, flailing arms and legs, scream, scream, SCREAM. No, don’t hold me. No, don’t comfort me! Definitely do not offer me anything at all… except for that one thing I’m screaming about… oh wait, never mind – it’s too late, I don’t want it. I’m too upset now!! Have I had days where my patience is pushed so close to the final limit that I have to use my deep breathing techniques and try my best to think of a single – uh I mean, all of the wonderful qualities of my son? Yes, indeed.
I’m here to boldly say, however, that twos don’t have to be so terrible. In fact, I dare to say that it is one of my absolute favorite ages!! What? Terrible twos my favorite age? I must have lost it, right? Well, it’s not just because my Kam man is a fantastic kid (he really is). In my opinion, every age is enjoyable in its own way, but I have always been fascinated by two-year-olds and their daily development at an astonishing rate!
Kamden is now coming up with all kinds of sentences lately. It is the sentences that he comes up with on his own that just amaze me. Just this morning, “Wow! Yay! I so happy now!” (after rescuing his Lego man out of his empty potty – haha). It’s the total wide-eyed wonderment that he is filled with everytime he experiences anything new. It’s the excitement and love he shows me when we’ve been apart. “I yove you, Mommy. I meeessed you!” The silly giggle that goes on and on when he finds something funny no matter how many times it’s been repeated.
A grandpa I spoke with at the park put it great: “Why do we lose that joy?
My two-year-old is just full of JOY. Sweet, innocent, pure joy. Every day. Living in the moment. Laughing out loud. Being silly, silly, silly. Fully enjoying a “deeelicious” cookie. Of course I am thrilled about watching him grow and experience new stages, but I really am loving these crazy, busy, fun-filled terrific twos!! Just look at him.
Getting the most out of the twos is about more than just optimism and gratitude, although that is essential (and something I live my life by). It is about connecting with your little one. Getting down on their level, literally, physically, vocally, and often, showing your appreciation, your attention, direct communication, and your love for them. It is our job to teach these little people. Not just ABC’s and 1-2-3’s, but teach them that they’re so important, that they matter, that they mean the world to you. How to communicate respectfully, and most of all, how to treat others. Show them love the way that you would want their future spouse to treat them, and they will eventually seek out that type of true appreciation. It all begins at home.
I guarantee you that what you receive in return will be more joy than you will think you can handle!! Enough smiles to get you through those tough, no-nap, cranky pants days… and to still be smiling at the end of the day. They’re counting on you for those smiles. To fill those little love buckets so they’ll feel valued and they’ll truly know joy!!
Look all around. There is love, beauty, and joy everywhere around you. You just have to look! 🙂