Having a two AND a three year old is hard. There is potty training, tantrums, exploring, tantrums, endless questions, tantrums and more.
Having a tween is equally hard; makeup, tantrums, fashion, tantrums, cell phones, tantrums, boys, tantrums…
What do these two stages have in common? Tantrums (or attitude as my 12 year old likes to point out). And since both are girls, I feel like I am getting a double dose of me at both of those ages. And I can say it is not fun. The bright side is now I have a reason to send my mom flowers outside of Mother’s Day and her Birthday.
Terribly Terrific Two’s? The Three-nager? Well don’t worry, they are all the same. If you are (or were) as naive as I was to think that these stages don’t exist well…yeah good luck with that.
We all know that toddlers don’t understand logic. For example when an adult is sleepy…they go to sleep. When a toddler is sleepy..they cry, scream, wail, flail–basically the opposite of sleep. Better yet, there is mealtime. Im sorry me giving JIF instead of Nutella isn’t going to kill you, I promise. If you hadn’t eaten all of the Nutella there would be some there. But no..you just had to scream your way to that extra sandwich from Daddy huh? And the meltdown over wanting to use the cheapie $2 Dora sippy cup instead of the $18 Elsa Tervis Tumbler from BBB doesn’t make me upset at all–I will just use it. Next to being a teenage girl being a toddler is the most complicated stage ever, for both boys and girls. The key to demystifying the toddler is being able to answer any and all questions at the drop of a hat, having the speed of Usain Bolt, the athleticism of Russian gymnast, and the muscle mass of Brock Lesnar. And if you think you don’t need any of those things just try pulling your toddler out from under the couch, taking repeated trips up and down the stairs because they won’t stay in bed, or attempting to play “Simon Says” and they want you to put your leg around your neck and touch your nose at the same time.
If your toddler is as eloquent as mine and can speak well enough for you to understand them, then you know just how horrible being a kid is for them. Lala lets me know how she wants to be an “adult” because she hates naps and clothes. Seriously kid? You can walk around the house in a diaper or even the front yard in a diaper and no one will bat and eye. If I were to walk around the yard I would get the cops called on me! And you hate naps, just wait until Kindergarten when naps are no more.
The tantrums at this stage just aren’t normal tantrums, everything is an emergency. I mean everything. She can’t find her socks…OMG the world is just going to implode…like for real..as of yesterday!. There are days where I ask myself “did I really sign up for this”, but then I remember that’s what happens when you don’t take your birth control as scheduled-so yeah its your fault. The life altering sense of urgency only occurs when they need something and not when oh say I need her to make her bed. There are moments during this stage where you are forced to act your age as a parent, when you really want to act your shoe size and trip them up as they walk by you.
The amount of emotions wrapped up in this tiny little body is just endless; it’s also quite a sight to see. Her mood changes within a blink of an eye. I don’t even bother trying to prepare the other kids for one of her mood swings anymore..it’s pointless. (This is where I kick myself about learning Elimination Communication, because I sure studying her facial cues would come in handy so I can preempt the shit storm that is about to occur).Unlike the toddler the tweenager’s taste of food varies from day to day. Yesterday she loved homemade corn dogs, today she is vegan. Tomorrow she may be doing paleo…who the hell knows anymore. I just live here.
But all is not lost. Deep down inside every energetic toddler girl and moody tweenager there is a princess (or ninja turtle or whatever the heck she wants to be). Even though my goal is to just survive this stage I will make sure I do it gracefull, so mom will be waiting with tiara’s and chocolate.
Love of impromptu dance parties, 80’s cartoons, and horizontal life pauses (aka naps); Natasha Brown is a stay at home mom of 4 kids, and wife to one lucky guy! In her spare time, she is co-editor of Grits & Grace, as well as editor for The Mother Hustler Blog and Creative Director for the Mother Hustler podcast.