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The terrible twos

Frankie Leigh, blogger at www.themilkrose.com gives us an insight into life with a 'terrible two' year-old.

I am currently half way through the 'terrible twos'. Since Luna was born she hasn't always been the most laid back, easy going kid on the block so I was expecting the twos to follow suit. And they have.

So far this week Luna has had a tantrum because:

* I wouldn't let her run around a busy carpark.

* The biscuit she wanted was downstairs and not upstairs.

* She wasn't allowed to run into a stream fully clothed.

* Her dinner wasn't ready at the exact moment she decided she was hungry.

* I was cooking her dinner.

* I offered her a drink.

* She wasn't allowed to pull the cat's tail.

* It was windy at the top of a very large hill she had been carried up.

And that's not even mentioning the usual issues of not wanting to nap/go to bed/eat most of the food she is given...

I completely understand it, she is frustrated by her lack of understanding and comprehension about a lot of issues, health and safety being one of them. She is also fairly limited in her current vocab. She has the important words 'puddle', 'wow' and 'backpack' down though. All of these combined, plus more teeth, potential growing pains and generally discovering who she is and what she likes, makes for a fairly draining combination.

However I'm not so sure that the twos really are that terrible (I write this while Luna is still awake at 9pm and shouting "Mama" from her bedroom as she's decided she doesn't need sleep). While I miss the squishy baby snuggly stage, this age is amazing. Watching Luna learn and discover is the best. I get to take her to new places and everything seems like an adventure. Almost any outing, however boring, can be spiced up by pointing out the animals/vehicles/colours that you can see. Watching her face as she experiences something new and can understand it, is the best feeling ever. Her personality is coming through more and more each day. Without a doubt she is strong willed and knows her own mind already, which isn't always easy, but I love seeing that fire and determination in her character. Always wanting to lead the way and forever pulling my hand so we can follow the path she has in her mind. She somehow remains my shadow while also building her independence.

The majority of the twos is not easy and trying to reason with a child whose favourite answer is no is somewhat tricky. When they cannot communicate what they want you can see the frustration build and it's not surprising it spills over. On the days when I find myself in Sainsburys as she lays on the floor screaming because I said she couldn't eat the plastic on the outside of the cucumber, I try and remind myself why she is upset. She doesn't understand, it doesn't make sense in her mind. When it's just us, this reasoning helps; in public when others are tutting or rolling their eyes while jabbing a thumb in our direction it's a bit harder. I try to not let the public outbursts upset me, but I can feel the real, and I'm sure sometimes imagined, judgement from others around me. I feel the need to justify her crying and reassure strangers that I'm not a terrible parent, just trying to look after her as best I can.