IT’S the age that fills parents the world over with sheer and utter dread.
The ‘Terrible Twos’, so terrible that they’ve actually been called terrible! I mean you can’t get more terrifying an age than that can you?!
Besides the teenage years – which thankfully for me as a mum are miles away in the foreseeable future – it is this age, this ‘terrible’ age, that we all come to fear.
We are warned when they are newborns, we are warned when they start to crawl, we are warned when we whinge about the lack of sleep or their lack of movement…just you wait until they hit two, people cry! Just you wait!
And so I did and I dreaded it and people’s warnings were pretty spot on. About a fortnight before Elsie’s 2nd birthday, my gorgeous daughter was replaced with a gorgeous little girl who looked and sounded exactly like her, but suddenly had a fondness for tantrums and for going bonkers in public.
It was my first taste of things to come and the ‘Terrible Twos’ haven’t disappointed on this score yet. However, it isn’t that bad. Honest.
Yes it’s more challenging and often more exhausting (seriously looking after a newborn is a piece of cake in comparison) but in the interest of sticking up for grumpy, feisty, argumentative and demanding two year olds everywhere, here are five reasons the ‘Terrible Twos’ really aren’t so bad.
Especially when you catch them on a good day.
1) They can be really good fun
Admittedly not all the time that is true but speaking from experience, there is no one that makes me laugh more than Elsie currently.
When she’s in good spirits, she is an absolute joy to be with and has a wicked sense of humour. From saying inappropriate things to attempting to dress herself or pulling silly faces, my daughter (and no I’m not biased) is HILARIOUS. Hell, even her temper tantrums can be pretty amusing to witness.
2) At least you know what they want (kinda)
When you leave hospital with a newborn baby, your job is to try and figure out their every need, for every minute, of every single day. If you’re lucky most times you’ll get it right, if you’re not, then those early days can be pretty traumatic. (Oh hello colic, so you’re the culprit that’s made my baby cry for 7 hours solid, are you?!).
At the beginning, it’s all guess work, luck and common sense. But when they hit two? Da daa! No more guesswork required!
Suddenly your child knows exactly what they want -and more importantly -what they don’t. And although, on most occasions, all you hear is “no, no, NO!” at least your brain racking is down to a minimum.
3) Their personalities begin to shine
I’m going to regret saying this I know I am but – *whispers quietly* – I really like Elsie at this age. I really do.
Why? Well because she’s very much her own person know. She knows what she likes and dislikes, she expresses herself, she has ‘favourites’ (food, toys, books etc) she’s incredibly active, always on the go and can natter to her little heart’s content.
Her personality shines through her every move, word and expression and it’s mostly, a truly wondrous thing to behold.
4) They sleep better (kinda)
Before you all get up in arms and tell me that I’m wrong, I’ll quickly say that no my daughter does not yet sleep through the night, every night of the week. (But oh how I wish she did!)
Since Elsie was 8 months old, I have lost count of the sleepless, exhausting nights that I’ve endured however, things do seem to be getting better. Sometimes she will sleep through the night for a couple of nights on the trot. And now, more often than not, if she does wake, she’s soon back into the land of nod quickly.
Yes we still have a tricky night every week or so, but on the whole, well, things do seem to be getting better and that my friends, is definitely cause for celebration.
5) They ‘love’ brilliantly
Ah, for every tantrum, for every naughty outburst, thankfully there is a cuddle. Or a squeeze. Or a “I love you Mummy, I do, I really do!”.
At two years of age, kids know exactly who they want to spend time with and who they want to show affection to. They hug you because they want to. They tell you they love you because you’re the centre of their world. They ask you to sit with them because they want your company.
Yes sometimes, I get told to “go away” or (Elsie’s particular favourite) ‘”leave me alone!”. Yes sometimes, Elsie can be difficult and refuse to cooperate but all those challenging moments are swept away and easily forgotten about with a loving gesture or show of affection.
A cuddle, a kiss, a simple ‘I love you’. That’s all it takes to remember that the ‘Terrible Twos’ really aren’t so terrible after all.
In a bid to keep up the positivity, tell me, what’s the best thing about your child being 2? Or if you really disagree and think of the twos as the worst age ever, let me know why! As always, I love to hear what you’ve all got to say.