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Watch Out, Here Come the Terrible Twos! – Diary of an almost-2-year-old


April 27, 2018 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Diary of a Baby


Watch Out, Here Come the Terrible Twos! - Diary of an almost-2-year-old | Baby & Beyond

This post is part of a series of posts I am writing titled Diary of a Baby chronicling the candid confessions of a baby from 0 to 2 years old.

You can read the previous post in the series here: The Dreaded Recurring Viral Infection – Every Preschool Mom’s Nightmare

You can find the entire series here: Diary of a Baby


Age: 20 months old

 

Dear Diary,

 

Oh my gosh I am so mad. The absolute worst thing happened today. I want to scream. In fact I did scream for a good 10 minutes!  You are probably wondering what happened. Well I’ll tell you exactly what happened and then you will see that I was not being unreasonable at all.

 

We were going down to the park and I wanted to go dressed as a lion, using my toilet seat as my mane. Ingenious isn’t it! But Mamma said absolutely not. Huh? What? Why? I really, really, really wanted to. I needed to. I absolutely had to. Can’t a kid express his individuality and sense of style around here? But she didn’t understand and she refused to take me out like that.

 

Watch Out, Here Come the Terrible Twos! - Diary of an almost-2-year-old | Baby & Beyond

 

After 10 minutes of drama, she issued an ultimatum. I would either have to go to the park without the toilet seat, or I would not be going to the park at all. No swings, no slides, no rolling around on the grass. Now when she put it like that…I just got angrier and screamed some more! Eventually she picked me up and took me out of the house kicking and screaming and squirming to get out of her grip. Although once we sat in the rickshaw I got distracted by the sight of a dump-truck and kind of forgot what the whole showdown was even about, until now. I just remembered it now and I am mad again!

 

In fact this wasn’t the first time something like this happened. These days it seems like every day that the adults are fighting me on something. The other day I wanted the whole box of cookies but Mamma said I could have only 2. What? Only 2?? Naturally I was upset, I kept screaming “cookie cookie cookie” until the box was handed over to me. Then just to make sure that no one else would be wiping off my cookies when I wasn’t looking, I went ahead and nibbled a bite off each one, which caused showdown #2 of the day with Papa. *sigh*

 

Watch Out, Here Come the Terrible Twos! - Diary of an almost-2-year-old | Baby & Beyond

Watch Out, Here Come the Terrible Twos! – Diary of an almost-2-year-old | Baby & Beyond

 

Don’t they get it? I’m pretty possessive about my cookies. Yesterday I wanted to take the box of cookies into the bathroom while having a bath just to be sure no one else ate them, but Mamma wouldn’t let me. Kept saying they would all get wet and then no one would be able to eat them. not even me. Yes but I have to have them with me at all times. Why doesn’t anyone ever understand me??

 

Like the other day I wanted to help Mamma with the laundry. So while she was loading the washing machine, I reached out for the detergent and tried to pour it into the slot but I couldn’t really reach and I guess I must have missed because all of a sudden there was powder everywhere. Mamma shrieked pulled the detergent out of my hand. “Ok maybe let me try helping out by starting the machine instead,” I thought. I jabbed a few buttons like I’ve seen her do, but instead of starting, the machine started beeping wildly. Uh-oh. This made Mamma really angry. She picked me up, deposited me outside and firmly closed the door to the laundry room. I kept banging on the door crying “machine, machiiiiine, my machiiiiiine,” but she didn’t let me in again. But I was only trying to help her!!

 

And this morning I wanted to drive Papa’s car. I snuck the keys out of his drawer and refused to hand them over, even when we all sat in the car. I kept saying “in the front, in the frooooont” but they insisted on making me sit at the back in the car seat. “I drive on my owwwwwnnnnn”, I cried but to no avail. Papa would have none of it.

 

It seems like ever since I have started having an opinion of my own, the adults are out to shut that opinion down. They waited a year for me to start talking and now that I am, they don’t want me to say what I want or how I feel. How am I to express myself then? Man growing up is tough! It’s easier being a baby and just doing what you gotta do. No one expects you to behave in a certain way. You get off easy doing whatever you want because you’re a baby after all. Toddlerhood is overrated!

 

– Not-so-terrible almost-2-year-old N


First up let me just say that I absolutely do not like the term “Terrible Twos”. It has such a negative connotation to it. 2 year olds aren’t really intentionally terrible or naughty or bratty. They’re just starting to understand that they have opinions and are able to use words to assert them. They’re uninhibited when it comes to expressing their emotions. Most of the times they’re testing boundaries because that’s how they understand their environment. Also as in our case, many times the phase starts somewhere between the 18-24 months stage and lasts till 4 years.

Here are some tips on dealing with a toddler outburst:

  1. Offer choices within reason. Give them 2 options on what they would like to wear or eat and let them decide. Let them think that they have control and authority. However offer choices within reason. Offering to cook up an entirely new dish after lunch has been served because the toddler is being a picky eater may not always be the best approach. As parents we need to set limits and boundaries. Toddlers will try to test those limits and the more we give in, the further they will push.
  2. Give them responsibility. Kids like to emulate us and also feel important while doing so. They thrive when they are given an important responsibility. For example in the laundry situation, I realized that Baby N just wanted to help out. So we’ve made loading the clothes into the machine his daily responsibility. Then I load the detergent and then hold his hand so he can press the Start button. And when he insisted on helping me set the table, I did away with all the Corelle cutlery and brought out the old melamine plates for him to lay out. Doing these simple things around the house gives him so much self-confidence and prevents unnecessary meltdowns
  3. Let them run, jump, climb and fall. It’s not our duty to stop them from exploring but it’s our duty to protect them – helmets while learning to ride the cycle, pillows all around the bed when they’re enacting 5 Little Monkeys. Of course we set the limits again, so riding in the front of the car is a complete no-no.
  4. So what do we do when the ask is entirely unreasonable and a toddler tantrum is brewing? Check out my post on Dealing with a Toddler Tantrum Gently– One Tip that is Actually Working for Me
  5. Lastly remember that toddlers live in the moment and don’t hold grudges. I remember after a particularly horrible meltdown when I myself completely lost control and started yelling at Baby N, he ran to his grandmother and kept saying “Mamma go away”. I felt so utterly miserable for 2 whole days after that, but literally in 5 minutes he had calmed down and came running to me to play puzzles. So when a storm is brewing, just remind yourself that after a few tumultuous moments, it will all pass

 

I am participating in the April A to Z blogging challenge

I am participating in the April A to Z blogging challenge

 

Feature image courtesy Bethany Petrik at Flickr

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Comments
  1. Shirley Corder said on April 27, 2018 8:03 pm:

    Absolutely loved seeing the inside of a two-year-old’s way of thinking. Thank you! 3rd last letter of the alphabet in the 2018 A to Z Blogging Challenge. X is for Xerosis.

  2. Alice Gerard said on April 28, 2018 1:12 pm:

    The story from the perspective of the two year old was quite delightful and funny, although I could definitely sense his frustration. My two-year-old great nephew gets frustrated because he tries to explain stuff, only no one understands what he is saying.