Monday, August 26, 2013

Why Two is a Great Age

Two year olds get such a bad rap.  They are called "terrible" and deemed difficult just as they are beginning their journey of independence.  I, for one, am here to talk about all the amazing things about having a newly minted two year old in my life.

1.  He wants to learn new things. 
Hand him a shirt, he wants to figure out how to put it on.  Hand him some Tupperware and he will want to figure out how to put the lid on and off.  Read him a book and he will want to know what everything is on the page.  His mind is insatiable.
2.  Everything is new and amazing.
I brought out the electric can opener the other day and he was fascinated with it.  We watched the cutting wheel spin and squealed, "SPIN!  AGAIN!" while he clapped his hands.  "Open?" he asked as the lid popped off.  "Cut?" he asked, trying to figure out how this magic had occurred.  And that was just a can opener.  Two year olds don't need amusement parks, they need a hose and a few buckets to fill.  They need wide open spaces to explore without time limits.  They need you to open up a cabinet and let them figure out what is inside.  They remind us that the world is an amazing place full of wonderment even when we're just opening up a can of soup for lunch.
3.  He can talk!
I used to be so thankful that my baby didn't talk yet.  This was mostly because I have a very talkative four year old.  BUT, I am really loving my little one's voice.  Suddenly, I don't have to guess if he's hungry or tired or wants something he can't reach.  He can tell me.  I don't have to guess what his brother did to him while I was in the other room.  He can tell me.  And his stories are so full of vivid expression and sound effects that I could listen to him talk for hours.  This is a gift we all get when our children turn two.
4.  He is determined.
Never give up should be the slogan of all two year olds.  They will go after a task with single-minded focus and they are very slow to discouragement.  I watched my son try to put a medicine syringe back together for ten minutes today.  He would try to line it up, miss the spot then try again.  Finally he figured out that he was shoving it in backwards and, once he got it in, he jumped up to show me.  "In! Fix!" he said proudly as he handed over his work.  We can all learn something from the determination of a two year old.
5.  He is showing a little spunk.
With that determination comes a need to win.  If he wants to swing a bat in the middle of the living room narrowly missing the TV, the dog and his brother's face, he will do it whether I ask him to or not. Once I say no, the tantrum will begin.  And yet, this doesn't bother me like it did with my first.  I don't tolerate it, not even for a moment.  But I get a kick out of it.  He's showing me he has an opinion.  He's showing me that he is growing into someone who wants things that are different than the things I want.  That shows some spunk.  He will learn soon that no means no.  But good for him for making sure I'm serious.
6.  He still snuggles.
There are moments when he is so tired that he melts into my shoulder just like he did as a baby.  He will let me rock him in his chair and he will play with my hair or gently rub my back.  He is, after all, still a baby in so many ways.  He is walking a line between two worlds, trying his best to balance all he has to become.
7.  He will soon be diaper free.
Raise your hand if you love changing diapers.  That's what I thought.  The undies are lined up - Let's get this show on the road!
8.  I am learning who he is.
He is beginning to express himself in the way he dresses, eats, tells stories, does art and plays.  He is no longer mimicking but thinking.  As a two year old, he is able to begin telling me more about himself and opening a new chapter for all of us to discover.
9.  His imagination is coming to life.
Little People are suddenly flying in the sky and crashing down.  They need a doctor and he looks at their eyes and their throat.  Cars are splashing through muddy roads and trains are chugging down the track.  This, I believe, is much more fun than watching a baby roll around on the floor (no offense to really cute babies that roll around on the floor).  Two year old's minds are coming to life with possibilities.  Shouldn't we all be reminded of that?
10. He is mine.
Even if your two year old can embarrass you with public tantrums, make you want to pull your hair out, and test your limits beyond what you thought was possible, you still love them. They are yours.  And that's how I feel about mine.  The majority of the time he is sweet, caring and really really funny.  That's enough to get me through the rough days.  I love him no matter what because he is mine.

There are certainly things I will miss.  His wrinkly little baby butt, the smell of his baby lotion, the time we have spent snuggled up in our chair...But there are a great many things to look forward to with this incredible child.  And so I plan on doing my best to enjoy each and every stage for all that it is.

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