My son just rounded the corner on two and a half, and I can confidently say that the last six months have been more different than the ones leading up to his second birthday. I see far more signs of “little boy” than I do of “baby” these days, and I’m not just talking about his shape and size. He’s more energetic, he’s more curious, he’s more imaginative, and he’s more talkative. Basically, he’s harder to keep up with than ever before. So, I’ve realized that there are things moms should do before their kid turns two, because once he or she is at this age, it’s a whole new ball game.
I don’t mean for any of this to sound like complaining, because I'm not. I’m actually enjoying this age a a lot since, most of the time, chasing an invisible octopus around the living room is kinda fun for me, too (as long as my son is there). The toddler stage isn't bad, it’s just not comparable, and I’m spending my energy in different ways than I did before.While I can’t say I miss the previous stages, I do look back on them fondly and see where I had room to really enjoy what made them unique. After all, I didn't know what was about to change until it changed.
So, for any moms with an almost-two-year-old, here's what I suggest you cross off the ole "to do" list. After all, you only get to experience this soon-to-be-a-2-year-old phase, with your unique, one-of-a-kind child, once.
Record Your Little One Speaking Gibberish
It’s tricky to plan ahead for this one, because it's impossible to know when your child is speaking peak gibberish. However, I can say that shortly after my son turned two, his vocabulary and his ability to enunciate drastically improved, leaving me thankful for the videos we’d captured of him “reading” books to himself (read: speaking utter nonsense while turning pages, randomly).
Enjoy The Freedom To Use Counter Tops However You Please
In our household, we haven’t had the “terrible twos” so much as we’ve had the “terrible OMG he can reach the counter tops move everything sharp and inedible.”
Wear Out Your Baby Carriers
OK, technically I think my son is still in the weight range that allows him to safely fit into a carrier. I’m afraid to try it, though, because I honestly don’t think he’d be willing to hang out on me for very long. He’d much rather run around and jump and dance and get dangerously close to the edge of the sidewalk, because that’s just what he does.
Start A Strict Fitness Regimen, So You Can Keep Up
Confession: I didn’t do this, but life would probably be easier if I had. Unless running up and down the stairs in our house to retrieve specific books counts as a workout. Either way, it’d be nice to be able to do it without getting winded.
Make Very Clear Decisions About The TV Shows You Do Or Don’t Allow Your Kid To Watch
Because once your child is able to ask for their favorites by name, there’s no turning back. Trust me.
Stock Up On Shoes....
Not only do toddlers go through them a lot more quickly now that they run, jump, and tumble more, but they will also straight grow out of them at breakneck speeds.
...And All The Clothes
Going through clothes in the baby stage meant changing onesies after diaper blowouts and messy spit-ups. Now, it’s switching shirts because of spaghetti smears and changing pants after a session of puddle jumping. It’s not quite as gross, but it’s still necessary.
Backup All Your Photos
To be fair, I would benefit from doing this on a monthly basis. However, a reminder never hurt anyone. There's lot of cuteness and plenty of milestones still to be had after that second birthday, and you don't want to miss capturing and sharing (if that's your thing) any of them.
Enjoy Actually Being Able to Eat The Snacks You Buy For Yourself
The things I don’t expect my toddler to like (artichoke jalapeño dip? Seriously?) are the exact things he’s desperate for when he sees me eat them. So, I’m forced to constantly do that delicate dance of teaching him to share while still hoarding my snacks. It’s tricky, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.
Get Your Fill Of Onesies
Just last week, I discovered a couple of onesies that still fit my son, from one particular brand. Guys, I did not expect to be this thrilled. I didn't realized I even missed onesies until I snapped one on him and got to bask in the cuteness. However, all the stores where we shop don't carry them after size 24 months, so I know my time with them is limited.
Get Your Bedtime Routine Under Control
From one mom with an hour-long bedtime routine to another (with a hopefully shorter routine); the older my son gets, the more attached our entire family is to this routine. My partner and I know a switch is imminent, but we are hesitant to make the changes. I offer this one merely as a suggestion, if you don't want to be trapped in a super-long ritual every night (unless, of course, you happen to love it), you may want to rip the band-aid off and make some changes sooner than later.