Auntie K's Guide to: The (not so) Terrible Twos
Updated: Jun 8
The toddler years. Just when you feel like you're 'bossing it', your toddler turns two.
The tantrum's, the frustration, the ''NO!", the indecisiveness. The new norm. Life with a toddler just stepped up a notch.
The term 'Terrible Twos' will have been mentioned a few (hundred) times to you, so you are probably prepared for a really tricky year.
Turning two is a big deal in the world of a toddler. The expectations that are placed on their small shoulders are huge, and understandably they may find life a little (very) overwhelming a lot of the time. You see, being two is a full on job.
Over this next year they will be learning to be or will be potty trained, they will go from sleeping in a cot into a bed, they may be starting nursery for the first time, they will start forming friendships and will need to learn to understand others feelings while trying to make sense of their own. They will be learning how to use their bodies to jump, balance and climb and they will want to do things by themselves. They will be learning to count, have colours and shapes to learn, all while trying to master stringing a sentence together and thinking about giving up their daytime nap.
Navigating their way through all these new skills will inevitably cause much frustration, tears, tantrums and disagreements, and your toddler will be looking to you for reassurance and guidance. There is no doubt that you will also find yourself getting frustrated, probably shed your own tears and perhaps have the odd tantrum too but, with the bad there is also the good.
Nobody will love you more than your two year old. It may not always feel like it when they have launched a toy at your head or full on embarrassed you by taking a pee down the canned goods isle of the supermarket but, the need to follow you to the toilet and become your shadow is their way of showing you just how much you mean to them. And, even when you're feeling at your worst, not showered for days or brushed your hair, they will still wrap their arms around you and give you biggest hug, they are undoubtedly your biggest fan.
Your two year old's language will be developing thick and fast. They may start saying "I can't!'' rather than just ''No!'' but you will start having some of the most amazing and funniest conversations with them and listening to them sharing their view on the world is just wonderful. It's a great reminder that looking through the eyes of a toddler can sometimes be useful when trying to adult.
I can't begin to tell you how important an imagination is (you can read about it on my blog instead) and at two it really begins to take shape, which will help give yours a boost too. Spending time playing imaginatively with your child can help you escape from the real world for a while and simply have some fun.
Parents are good at telling little white lies to their children. We tell them that the music playing on the ice cream van means they have run out of ice cream or tell them that the park is closed when it's not but, during this second year with your toddler, you will find that they begin telling a few fibs too, often blaming others, like the cat, for something they have done which they shouldn't have. Although I would never suggest that you encourage your child to lie, it is actually an important cognitive milestone to reach, which has been suggested will help them to succeed later on in life.
There is no denying that your toddler will become strong willed, assertive and independent and while it will be exhausting it can also work to your advantage. These traits all make for great helpers and if you need to keep them occupied for a while, setting them to sweeping the floor or pairing the socks is always a winner.
This second year of your child's life is really hard work for your child, and you, but it is such an important part of their development as they learn how not to be a baby and transition into a child.
It is heartbreaking, it is emotional it goes too blummin' fast but once they reach three, you will come to realise that two is not so terrible.