The Terrible Twos Will Turn Your Toddler Into Rosemary’s Baby
When moms with kids who were older than mine complained about the terrible twos, I never really listened. I would smile and nod, secretly convinced that the terrible twos was a phrase invented by parents who just didn’t know how to anticipate their child’s needs and wanted to shrug off some of their mommy guilt. I knew that my kids would never be anything other than lovable, well behaved angels. And then reality smacked me in the face like my son does when he’s mid-tantrum.
The terrible twos are real, and I know this because my children are in them. Technically, my twin boys don’t turn two until next month. And they were born prematurely, so really, they shouldn’t be acting like two-year-olds quite yet, but this is one early milestone you won’t catch me bragging about.
It seems like overnight they have super strong emotions about everything. They are more vehement in their opinions than I was in high school over who the superior pop star was: Britney or Christina (and for the record, it’s Britney, bitch). My kids get upset over every little thing. With food, not only does it have to be what they want to eat but also presented in the correct way. Unfortunately for me, I’m supposed to magically know that today’s selection is intended to be peanut butter and strawberry jam cut into triangles. Woe is me if I try to hand them a sippy cup of milk before offering an animal cracker when they clearly wanted the cracker first. And I rue the day I ever suggested they wear the blue winter jackets instead of their dinosaur hoodies, even though it was snowing out. The slightest things set them off, causing them to stomp away from me with a wail and then throw their hands down on the floor like they are about to start a dance battle scene from Step Up: All In.
Gone are the days where I’d take them to the grocery story and the deli worker would slip them each a slice of cheese and tell me how adorable they are. Oh, they still get their cheese, but now it’s thrust at me like a bribe in hopes that I’ll take these screaming monsters out of the meat department and over to the cereal aisle.
I’m not saying that this new phase is all bad. It’s amazing to watch my kids transform from drooly little babies to actual people with unique personalities. I know this is all part of them growing up, and with the head-butting each other also comes spontaneous hugs and trying to make each other laugh. I still love them, exasperating as they can be.
I’m hoping that things will get better as they learn to more words and have more practice regulating emotions. But I’m not overly optimistic, because moms I know with three-year-olds say their kid’s behavior is even worse than it was a year ago. And this time, I’m inclined to listen to those who have walked this path before me.