The Terrible Twos Are a Lie

8 Jun


I’m not sure who coined the phrase, and I do remember feeling challenged by No1 as she mastered running and climbing, talking and potty training (do I *really* have to potty train another child??? I barely survived round one). Challenged, but not driven to madness.

What no one tells you is that when toddlers turn three, a switch clicks and they develop free will. Or maybe they just recognize it for the useful tool that it is. Either way, that burgeoning independence makes for some heinous behavior. I’m talking screaming, explosive tantrums because a zipper is onlyhalfwayupandohmygoditmightfalldownfixitnow, and a loss of that “want to please you” innocence. It means arguing over how much water to drink before bedtime, every night. Even the smallest task is negotiated. The question “why” is not just reserved for the wonders of the world; now it is applied to every command and request made of your little psychopath. And you spend hours fixing hurt feelings instead of just bumps on the head.

It’s intense. And some days I feel like I’m failing.

And then No1 says, “hey, Mommy!” and makes me giggle with her sharp sense of humor mixed with a love of inappropriate noises. Her reasoning and debate skills blow me away. And I have to hide my pride when she writes her name in crayon on the windows while I’m busy with the baby, lest she think I’m impressed with window art instead of her beautiful letters. (Coolest milestone of this year, by the way.)

And suddenly I don’t feel like such a failure anymore. She’s a handful. But she’s absolutely amazing. Bright, devious, joyful, kind. We’re doing just fine.

7 Responses to “The Terrible Twos Are a Lie”

  1. Andrea June 8, 2012 at 10:46 pm #

    She’s adorable! I say all the time that so far 3 is soo much worse than 2! I love this age and all the cool milestones and seeing everything my daughter is learning but the tantrums!! My daughter does the same thing as yours, if something isn’t done just right, I better watch out 🙂

  2. quinn0808 June 9, 2012 at 1:05 am #

    Yeah I get that. How do u discipline when they have done something wrong but u are kinda proud of them. It’s hard to hide that smile. Good job mommy

  3. quinn0808 June 9, 2012 at 1:07 am #

    Totally understand. How do u discipline whenever u are proud of them. Hard to hide that smile. Good job mama

    • learnedhappiness June 9, 2012 at 9:59 am #

      I know, right? I have to keep from smiling when she does something “bad” but hilarious or devious. LOL

  4. Kimberly M (@momgosomething) June 10, 2012 at 9:18 am #

    We blew right past terrible 2s…and right into the 3s….the first few months of the threes were so hard on all of us. I have no idea where the attitude came from. But there were days…oh…many days…
    But it gets better. Four years old is right around the corner and he is the sweetest kid again. It’s a phase. A crappy one but it does get better xo

    • learnedhappiness June 10, 2012 at 2:14 pm #

      From your lips to god’s ears. Hoping i can make it 4 more months to four years old.

  5. talkingismyprimaryfunction June 12, 2012 at 5:55 am #

    I’m not laughing at you, but, yes, I am. 😉 Three is the age of the devil with dimples.

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