3 Truths About the Twos: Why They Aren’t So Terrible

by Charise Rohm Nulsen

The Truth About the Twos: Why They Aren't So Terrible
We’ve all heard about the dreaded Terrible Twos. That has been a familiar phrase to me throughout my entire life as I remember it, and I’ve wondered exactly how my children and I would fare throughout this time. My son is now two and a half, and I will not even begin to pretend that we have been immune to the big emotions and amazing displays that come along with having a two year old in the family. Still, I’ve noticed that my most consistent thought as we make our way through this year is that the two’s are not only not as bad as people have made them out to be; they are actually a really wonderful time of life.

No, my son is not an angel, but I have a sneaking suspicion that when I’m old and gray, I will still be cherishing some pretty awesome memories of Big Brother at this time, and I have no doubt that I will still be laughing at many of our experiences from this year.

If you have yet to experience the two’s, or if you’re wading your way through its midst as we are, here’s what I would like to share about it:

1. Big emotions cover all emotions; that includes the negative AND the positive ones.

There will be yelling. There will be screaming. And then there will be the oh so effusive love! We’ve all witnessed a two year old tantrum at some point or another. Now picture all of the same energy and emotion and intensity being funneled into your child’s expression of love for you – or the cat – or her sibling – or a pleasant day. I don’t believe there could ever be a warmth or depth of affection that could rival that of a two year old. Children at this age experience everything intensively, and in turn, you will intensively feel their love on a whole new level.

2. For the first and maybe only time in your child’s life, you will have a beautifully clear window right into her heart and soul.

Two is the time in a child’s life when they begin to communicate very effectively. You’ve spent a couple of years attending to your little one’s every need. Maybe you’ve lost sleep, gained weight, needed too many glasses of wine, or forgotten what it feels like to stay up past 10 pm – all in the name of helping this child grow and develop. At two, you finally have the opportunity to hear the innermost thoughts of this somewhat mysterious being that you have poured your love and life into. Two year olds have no filter. I’ll say it again and use caps because I really feel the need to make this point. Two year olds have NO filter. This means that after two years and some odd months of doing the hardest thing you’ll ever love, you are rewarded by hearing practically every single thing that your child is thinking. You will hear the funniest things that you may ever hear in your entire life from the mouth of your two year old. You will hear the most starkly transparent utterances of love and hate and want and need. Your child will have a transparency that we will probably all one day look back upon and wish for as our children develop needs for privacy and space for their innermost thoughts. Appreciate this time. There may be moments where you don’t want to hear it all, but remember how fleeting this time is. The fully open window into your child’s heart and soul will not last for long.

3. You will learn to let go in a whole new way.

When you spend time with two year olds, you learn the equivalent of what you had hoped to gain through thousands of yoga classes or meditation sessions or drunken nights. You learn to let go. Two year olds teach you that you simply cannot and should not bother to exert control on the world around you. You have to relax, resist following your strongest impulses, and learn to roll with the punches in a way you may never have before. Developmentally, two year olds are learning that they can control elements of their world, and they need to test these boundaries in order to become functional human beings. You will never ever win an argument with a two year old, so there is no point in trying. Instead you learn to laugh, listen, and see the glass half full even in the hairiest of circumstances. Your little guru will have you hugging your poop covered child tightly, smiling in the midst of a torn apart house, and yielding to demands of a passionate heart in no time.

Stay strong, mamas and dadas and caregivers! The twos will be over in the blink of an eye, so cherish your little ones and all of their intensity. This year offers you an adventure that you don’t even have to leave home to experience.

This post is linked up at The Tuesday Baby Link Up and the Seasonal Celebration Linky.

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