The Pediatricians parting words at our 18 month appointment were “ get ready for the terrific twos”. It took me a minute to understand his sarcasm because I just could not fathom my girls in the midst of tantrums or showing significant sass before they were even two years old.
I’m sure said doctor would be chuckling at my now as my almost 22 month olds are showing off their dramatic sides. The drama is here and I, naive mama that I am, stare wide eyed and mouth agape as my little, gentle peanut of a daughter- flails on the ground over wanting snaps on her dress like her sister, not the buttons that her outfit sported. Or when I tell her she can have water instead of milk. Or I put her in her highchair to eat meatballs and sauce without her beloved WHITE, non-washable bunny. Miss O has mastered the limp limb approach when I try to put her down after coming in from the car- forcing me to gently pour her seemingly liquid form onto the ground while still holding onto her sister and the diaper bag. This little lady is also making up for the months of her sister taking her toys, pulling her hair and taking advantage of her gentle nature. She fights for her toys, takes things from her sister and plays a mean game of tug of war over the straw stolen from Hubby’s Starbucks coffee. I hear the word NO frequently and with emphasis. My stubborn little sweetheart knows what she wants and what she doesn’t. There will be no convincing her if she decides the answer is no.
On the flip side, my previously assertive, somewhat rough first born twinnie is not flailing on the ground. Why? Because she is attached to me 24-7. Separation anxiety is here to the max. We get going in the morning and she drinks her milk at my feet in the kitchen as I make breakfast. Lord, help me if she finishes her milk before breakfast is ready. There are tears and wailing and trying to climb up my legs. Belles has figured out that if she asks for hugs or snuggles rather than yelling “up”- my heart melts and I stop what I am doing. How can you deny a teary eyed plea for snuggles? Our day continues and I have a toddler attached to my leg while I clean up breakfast, get dressed, brush my teeth and by that time I take her to snuggle on my lap on the couch while we usually read a book or five. I am convinced that she would sit contentedly in my lap all day and night. Her sister has other ideas of a good time though, and needs a coloring partner or a mommy to continuously get her down from the stool or counter or highchair that she has climbed up. Belles will fight me every time I put her down until I distract her with an activity and that only lasts until she notices that she is not physically attached to me. I do love the snuggles, but I also need to attempt to keep the house livable and have clean clothes in drawers. Oh and if I have to use the bathroom? Yep, I have an audience…or I have screaming children on the other side of the door who only have to push hard enough and then they fall in said door. Isabelle is hopefully on the right track at bedtime after hubby and I went away for two nights. While she slept fine while we were gone, upon our return she would bawl at bedtime as soon as we set her into her crib. 45 minutes of periodic soothing sessions finally got her to sleep. … Until midnight- when she was up calling for me again. To avoid two crying babies, I took her to bed with us where she stayed awake until 2 or 3 happily climbing between hubby and I and snuggling in every possible position until she finally fell asleep. I am assuming this has to do with our being away, but we all need better sleep after the last few nights.
So yes, the “terrific twos” have begun, I try to keep in mind that all of these tantrums and clingy days are due to developmental leaps. They still can’t express their thoughts effectively and this causes frustration. Believe me, I keep explaining this to myself when I want to scream along with Olivia or hide for a minute from Isabelle for just a second of personal space.
While this age certainly has it’s challenging traits, it also has some wonderful changes. Today for example, the girls played with playdough at the kitchen counter for probably 30 minutes with Daddy. They have discovered coloring and Olivia asks for “colors” multiple times a day. That activity will keep them occupied for a good block of time which is a welcome break from needing to entertain them all day long. If only I could accomplish some chores while they do this but Isabelle will not let me leave the playroom and I am not 100% sure they are out of the eating crayons stage. Of course we have had to clean up some crayon mishaps on the island and bathroom door when a crayon escapes the playroom. Magic Erasers are seriously going to be my saving grace for this stage! So with the tantrums comes a bit more independent play and longer attention spans along with watching the girls begin to play together rather than next to each other. We are also enjoying hearing two little voices trying out new words, repeating everything we say and expressing their desires….snuggle, hug, outside, snack, milk, naked, cape, blanket, pillow are ones we herd most often and yes, Isabelle is not a big fan of clothes when it is hot so she is known to ask to be naked. That kid is a little furnace and is constantly sweating. With only two months to go until they complete their second year I am starting to wish time would slow down (when they are not flailing on the floor). I love so much about this age and watching my girls grow every single day is why I know that staying home with them was the absolute right decision for our family. So let the terrific twos continue…stayed tuned as I am sure there will be some interesting stories to come.