Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Truth About Two: The Upside

We've all heard the two-year-old horror stories, if we haven't had the great good fortune of experiencing them as a parent.

It's that arched back and crazed stare, as if your formerly sweet babe were possessed by Satan himself, while your wee CEO teaches a master class on tantrums in the most public place possible.

It's that "NOOOOOOO!!!!", that seemingly endless refrain, that he learned far too quickly after the too-sweet-for-words "Mama".

It's that nap strike - we're currently on Day 3 here, holla! - wreaking havoc with that one remaining island of quiet peace in your day, not to mention guaranteeing the foul mood of Two.

What we don't hear much about, however, are the truly amazing bits of parenting Two - and, yes, if you suspect I'm going to get all Sunshine and Puppies and Babies today, in part to erase the memory of yesterday's Law Schoolpalooza, your instincts serve you well.

The face Master P now makes, cheerfully shouting "CHEESE!" (which I never taught him??), when I get the camera out.
Sometimes parenting is all about the beauty in contrasts. Samma's great post about the unanticipated upside of parenting a fussy baby - Master P, I'm looking squarely at your first six months of life here - got me thinking how those low moments can be the very things that make us appreciate the highs more.

And so it goes with age two, where the good seems very, very good indeed and the lows, well . . . you've seen us hurry out of the restaurant with the screeching toddler flailing his arms because we cruelly wouldn't let him play with the steak knife.

Not to gloss over the often trying realities of Two, but here are a few favorites of Master P at just over age 2 (25 months), both of his and mine. My blog buddy Up North Preppy technically requested this one, but let's not kid ourselves about my taking any opportunity to brag about my gifted & talented child:

Favorite New Words: Master P's include "trash truck", "dump truck", "mail truck" . . . anyone sensing a theme here?

Mine is unequivocally, 100%, after months of my prodding, "please" (or "PEEZ!" in Master P parlance. Now if I can just get him opening doors for ladies, my work will largely be done, right?

Speaking of words, something to give any parents of nearly Twos hope - I've found the number of daily tantrums decreasing as the wee CEO is better able to communicate. On that topic:

Favorite Funny Tantrum Behavior: (mine & Master P's) "The Limp Noodle", in which he suddenly goes limp and droops to the ground, as if in slow motion, yet a motion somehow fast enough to wiggle out of my grasp.

Favorite Embrace of Golden Rule: (his) When I let him watch "Sesame Street" ; (mine) how he plays nicely with other kids, to the extent a two year old can do that. He's a mellow fellow when it comes to sharing (for the most part) (so far) (insert other qualifiers here) (parentheses).

And in case anyone is looking for two-year-old boy gift ideas . . .

Favorite Toy: this changes by the week amongst a variety of (a) means of transportation and (b) sports equipment, but here's the current winner:

Barking orders from his chariot - with a parasol and a cold beverage, no less.

Behold the Radio Flyer All-Terrain Wagon. We got ours off of Craigslist, but I'd heartily recommend this one anyways; Master P gets a big ol' kick of instructing his driver to and fro. Which is exactly what "driver" here feels like doing in 95 degree heat.

His other perennial favorite is this train table, which can't be beat for the price and the fixed tracks (which equal less mess for you to clean and more ease of play for young fingers not yet adept with wooden tracks - Master P only started playing with those).

Favorite Book: "Drive" by Nathan Clement. Zen-like in its very simple story and modern graphics, this one is a surefire hit with the boy-obsessed-with-trucks crowd. We have it on loan from the library, but Master P likes it so much I'm going to buy our own copy.

I'm still partial to "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom", however; thankfully that remains in heavy wee CEO rotation as well. You should hear him softly chirping his ABC's at the end (which goes more like "A-D, A-D, A-D . . .", but no matter).

While I wouldn't wish the Terribleness of Twos on anyone, the good bits sure are pretty good, aren't they?

Any other caretakers of Twos have some favorites to share?


{Jessica} said...

That cuteness factor of that 'cheese' face with those wee, adorable teeth just slays me. So cute. I think he looks more and more like you every day, Mrs. Pretty!:) Happy Wednesday!

Kate said...

The noodle. HA! I really hate that move!

Going to check out that Drive book. I can't believe how much I know about trucks now.

Master P's cheese face is so cute!

Alanna said...

We are full in the throes of crazy tantrums here and K is only 17 months!!! Looking forward to the light at the end of the tunnel. And the must have mama, ALLLL the time, too.

Elz said...

I actually thought two was awesome for both my kids. I hate to tell you but 4 and 6 were really tough years. They are potty-trained by then, so that's an upside!

Rachelle said...

Such a darling grin - it is exactly the high to make those lows go away.

Thanks for the preview - so looking forward to those 2's. We're starting to get the tantrums - rolling on the floor and "swimming". That and falling to the ground in misery when dinner prep precludes picking up.

Sarah said...

I really, really appreciate hearing that tantrums may (fingerscrossedfingerscrossedfingerscrossed) soon be decreasing for my 20-month old. It is some serious, out of control, Exorcist-like shit right now.

Little Blue Truck is a favorite right now! It's so cute that I don't mind reading it a billion times a day.

Amy @ Forever 29 said...

Yay for new words. Two will be challenging and I much prefer 3 so far.

My latest almost-two moment is when I was lamenting to Cole that at 19 months he is now closer to two than one. I asked him "Where did my baby go?" to which he jumped off of my lap and looked under the couch saying "where go? where go?" Apparently youth resides under there among lost cars and Weebles.

AEOT said...

Tantrums are tough but the sweet smiles and darling happy times make up for them, don't they?? It's just hard to remember that in the midst of them!

Sesame Street is the only show I'll let SYT watch (and truly the only one he has interest in). He could watch Elmo's world all day if I'd let him. He's a HUGE fan of puzzles- loves the wood ones, loves the ones on the ipad.

We also love trucks in any form at our house. I'll have to check out that book as we haven't read it yet.

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