What we think parenting will be like compared to what being a parent is actually like are often completely different pictures. Even if you feel like you're an awesome parent, the Terrible Twos will make you question your awesomeness. The Terrible Twos of toddlerhood are, well, terrible. They were given that name for an extremely valid reason. Two-year-olds have a way of turning a clear, sunny day into what feels like a natural disaster with their manic meltdowns and impenetrable egos. They're pushing boundaries and learning limits. If you draw a line, there's no doubting that they're going to cross it. Eventually these little dictators will mature enough to respect our parental authority, but until that time comes, it's a good idea to keep Tylenol on hand because convincing a child that asparagus is delicious is a huge headache.
As with most aspects of life, time certainly flies when you're so stressed that you can't think clearly (Isn't that how the saying goes?). Having a toddler is no different. Before you know it, their irrational emotional fits will taper off, and the only tears you'll be wiping away will be your own as your heart breaks watching your squishy little baby turn into a full-blown, smelly, awesome kid.
Come to think of it, you might actually miss the Terrible Twos. Well, maybe not every aspect of them, but definitely certain parts that you were previously unaware were actually sort of cute...in hindsight...when they're far, far behind you...in the past...burning in hell where they belong...you'll totally miss these things.
Their Entertaining Theatrics
Oh the drama that these little nuggets display. There should be an Academy Award ceremony for toddler theatrics because these kids know how to put on a show. Whether it's dancing or singing or crying or yelling, their enthusiasm for expressing their feelings is seriously impressive. Sure, it makes us want to pull our hair out when these outbursts happen in the middle of Target, but when they're dancing to a Rolling Stones record in the living room, it is literally the most adorable thing ever.
Their Contagious Curiosity
As adults, there's little in life that truly impresses us. We've been around for a while now and have experienced our own fair share of highs, lows, surprises, failures, and successes. It's a little more difficult to peak our interest these days.
Two-year-old's, however, are curious about everything. They need to touch and feel and smell everything. They need to know how exactly cabinet doors open and close, and why pots and pans are so loud when they're used as drums. Everything is new for them, and it's something that as adults we should try to practice ourselves.
The Feeling Of Being So Needed By Someone So Cute
As our kids are learning they need us to pave the way. Being constantly needed is, sure, sometimes annoying but it's also an incredibly validating feeling. It's our job to feed and clothe and nurture and soothe our kids. It's a lot of work but it is so worth it. One day they'll be tall enough to reach that cookie jar on their own and we'll long for the feeling of having someone that needs us to hold their hands through life.
How Hard They Love
You are your child's world. I mean, they're basically obsessed with you. You are absolutely their everything at this phase of their life and it's the best feeling ever. If we could bottle it up and keep it forever, we definitely would because nothing compares to the way the a child loves their mother or father.
The Inspiring Way They Explore Everything
Before children truly learn what fear is, they will endlessly explore their big worlds. No boundary is off limits and no line won't be crossed while they're figuring out their place in the world. To see everything in the eyes of a child is a beautiful thing. Eventually they'll be complacent, watching TV on the couch, so take heed of the little magic moments of discovery and covet their enthusiasm.
Being Kept On Your Toes
Parents need to be held accountable too, and 2-year-old's are more than happy to call us out on our crap.
The Eagerness With Which They Learn New Things
To a 2-year-old, everything is interesting. We might understand the basic concepts of fairy tales and cardboard boxes, but they it's all new to them. Their imaginations are growing by leaps and bounds every day and they quench this thirst by exploring everything. This is actually a very fun time in their lives and it's an opportunity that you will miss once it's over.
The Way They Wear Their Heart On Their Sleeve
You never have to guess how a 2-year-old is feeling. It's written all over their faces, their tantrums, their tears, and their giggles. It's frustrating sometimes to adjust to the constant roller coaster of emotions that 2-year-olds feel, but eventually they'll be teenagers and their moods will most likely be consistently annoyed with everything we do. So, like, enjoy the sporadic displays of emotion while they're still cute.
The Way They Appreciate The Little Things
The other day, I was helping my son brush his teeth and put on his socks and he was genuinely thankful for my aid. "Thanks, Mah." he said. (We're from Tennessee but he calls me "Mah" as if he's from Staten Island. I have no idea why but I think it's awesome.) The gratitude of kids is contagious. We could all stand to say "thank you" more often, and it goes without saying that the little things in life are truly the most important.
How Easily They're Easily Entertained
Toddlers pretty much love everything (except vegetables and bed time, obviously). They're so easy to entertain. I mean give them a box or a balloon and you've pretty much made their entire day. There's no way I won't miss that once my kid grows up and develops more complex needs and wants.
Kisses Fixing Everything
When a 2-year-old falls and scrapes his or her knee, all they really need to feel better is the healing power of a kiss. My son is constantly tripping over his own feet. When does this he comes to me with his boo-boo and requests that I kiss it. Nothing not to love about that.