In all the hoopla, Wedwand almost forgot. Here’s the last part of the Toddler Trepidation Trilogy from twenty years ago…

TERRIBLE TWO TALK

My daughter just recently turned two years old. The first thing about your child turning two years old is that you as a parent begin to describe their age now in terms of years rather than months. For nearly twenty four months now, when passers-by on the street, well-wishing friends or even your spouse ask how old your child is, you’ve been responding something like this, Oh, she’ll be 17 months old in a week and two days” or “he just turned 22 months old yesterday.”

To which the reply is, “Wow, she looks older than that to me. By the way, how old are you now?”

“Me? I’m on the north side of 400 months now.”

“You don’t look a day over 300 months to me.”

“Well, thank you. It must be the shirt.”

Now, you simply reply, almost proudly, “She’s two.” This of course will almost always get a sympathetic nod. The “terrible twos” are well known even to those who are not parents.

As I write this, the twos don’t seem terrible to me yet. So far, I can only recall just one incident when my darling daughter threw herself on the floor of a local grocery store, screaming, kicking, and gyrating about because I committed the heinous parental crime of disallowing her a candy bar. After assuring those in line that this most definitely was not an epileptic seizure and that my daughter was simply two, they nodded their understanding and went about their business.

By contrast, I know parents who are currently going through the “terrible teens” and that seems a heckuva lot tougher to me. When they are two, you can put them IN their room, but when they are fourteen, you have to figure out a way to get them OUT of their locked room as they ring the phone bill up higher than a kite on a breezy day in May.

The two’s are just a period of emerging independence. Thus far, your child has been totally reliant on you for virtually everything. But slowly, as they’ve developed in these two years (or twenty-four months if you will) they are not so helpless anymore and begin to do things, anything and everything for themselves. The talents they learn in this process should not go unnoticed.

They can drink juice from their own cup and decorate your furniture in the process with pretty red colors.

They can feed themselves and your dog at the same time while also adorning their face, hands, legs and neck not to mention the table chairs, floors and walls with the special of the day.

They can now somewhat clearly communicate with you and make their wishes known, quite convincingly at times I might add. Our daughter knows just how to pull mommy’s chain by repeating things over and over again like, “Mommy have juice. Mommy, have a da juice, have a da juice, mommy, mommy, juice, mommy, juice, have a da juice, juice, juice, juice, mommy. After my wife peels herself off of the wall, my daughter gets the juice.

Ah yes, emerging independence which signals the end to babyhood and enrollment into the toddler years.

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