Terrible or Terrific Twos?

**Disclaimer. I am very behind on my blogging challenge, I will catch up in the mean time enjoy this story 🙂

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Are the terrible twos really that terrible? No. Are they really that terrific? No. In my humble and honest opinion the two year old stage is probably my favorite by far. WHAT?! I can hear all the screams and see all the mouth drops. No I am not crazy! I really do love the two year old stage. I also hate it! It’s a love/hate relationship. Not with my daughter, just her age. You see, the age of two has been frustrating, tiring, humbling, and rewarding.

At two years old I know from school that Olivia’s stage of development is autonomy vs. shame doubt. For everybody out there that is not a teacher or a nurse that means simply she is learning how to be independent. I must nurture this independence so she doesn’t develop shame and doubt which could hinder her development. Just for the record, knowing this information does not make her strong-willed independence any easier. AT ALL. It just helps me process why I put up with it.

So why you ask do I love this stage. Simple. I get to watch Olivia grow. Why do I hate this stage. She grows at a very slow pace. Let’s take a look into my morning shall we?

Every morning Olivia wants to pick out her clothes, great wonderful. She doesn’t want to put them on. There is usually a 20 minute battle of chasing her throughout the house begging her to put on clothes. Usually it ends up with me sitting on the  couch telling her I have a secret (she loves secrets) at which point I grab her and stick her squirmy legs through her pants and wrestle her shirt on. Oh lets not even get started on the shoes and socks ordeal. Let me just say thank God its spring and we can wear sandals. I still get the little voice “No, I do it, momma”. She is learning. She is trying. So what do I do. I let her try. I let her learn. So we brush our hair and teeth again I get the same quiet (although it’s not always quiet) voice of “I do it momma”. Girl you are two years old, you cannot do these things by yourself. I think in my head. However, I let her try. Then comes the agony of fighting with her to let momma help. Independence, yep. She has got that part down pat. So we are dressed. Finally. It only took me an hour. Now to get out the front door. Of course, she won’t let me help her down the steps. Or into the car lately. She says “I got it momma” I say “Let me help you baby” to which I hear in a shrill yell “No momma! I got it!”.  Then she slowly, I am talking turtle crawl slow walks down the steps, stops and literally smells the roses. After several minutes of me saying “Get in the car, she finally climbs in the car and lets me “help” buckle her in. Whew. We made it, into the car after 1.5 hours.

Those are the frustrating times, the times that honestly just wear me out. Especially when I am in a hurry and just want to get out the door and on our way. Why in the world would I wait 5 minutes just so Olivia can crawl into her carseat herself? Well, those are the times I am fostering her independence. Telling her its okay, to do things yourself, and your way. Momma will always be behind you to help. That’s my job. You see those are the extremely frustrating times yet they are they most rewarding time. She climbs into her seat, puts her arms in her straps and gives me the biggest toothy grin possible. She is proud. She did it. She looks at me with that smile and says “I did it momma”. She learned. I learned.

I learned patience. Yes, I needed to be out the door 20 minutes ago. You see. I can’t be to busy to allow her to learn. I can’t deprive her of the moment. When I do I not only deprive her of learning, but I deprive me of learning. I deprive myself the opportunity to show Olivia that she can do it.

So yes, I have a very strong-willed child. I see that as a good thing. The temper tantrums and screaming they are part of the job. They say she knows what she wants and that will come in handy some day. (Even though in my world she is never gonna get older, she will stay a baby forever. At least she will always be my baby). I also have a very sweet child who loves to give hugs and kisses. A child who knows its okay to make mistakes, and its okay to do things on your own, that momma will always be behind her no matter what.

What am I trying to say. I don’t think the age of two is terrible, I don’t think its terrific either. I am tired, and worn out by the end of the day. But the good morning kisses and the good night kisses make it all worth it. I’m learning patience. I’m learning grace. I’m learning mercy. I’m learning love. I’m loving watching Olivia grow and develop her personality. It’s a marvelous, miraculous thing. 

 

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