Tell me about your terrific two year old! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 12-31-2002, 11:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi all,

As of Saturday it will be official. I will be the mother of a two year old!

Here's my request: could you all tell me what wonderfully, amazing, POSITIVE things your two your old is doing/did during this very big third year of life?

I see and read so much about the ins and outs of the terrible two year old (including of course relatives with unsolicited comments and advice). I just can't help but think that so much of it isn't about the child but about the parent's inability to see life from the child's point of view. Am I being naive? Over optimistic? Silly? ABSOLUTELY NUTZ?

One thing that I feel has helped me to cope with the "not so easy" things about raising a child is simply having educated myself of what's normal for this age (or that) and why. I find that knowing why my DS is doing a certain "negative" thing or acting in a certain "negative" way, helps me deal better and more respectfully with the situation--helps me keep things in perspective you might say. I'm not perfect by any means but usually handle things pretty calmly.

Am I going to walk back in the house in a moment, find that my walls are covered with crayon and go throught the roof? Please someone, tell me I can do it and that there is a great deal of this coming year that will be sooooooo fun and amazing!

Do tell me about your terrific two year old!



Em 43 - Wife to hubby Mom to DS born: Jan. '01
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#2 of 12 Old 12-31-2002, 11:23 PM
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My daughter is 28 months old, and I've NEVER had a day of "terrible two's". I love this age, she changed every day, it's amazing and scarry and sweet all at the same time. She's talking in complete sentences now!!! She tells me what she wants and what she doesn't want. I find that its ME who has to change. Before I just did things and she went along with it. Now I ask her if she wants to do this or that, I value her opinion and I want her to know that everything she thinks and feels is just as valid as what I think or feel. I respect her. I am in total awe of her. She talks to me!! I just love this age, love it, and I want to cry knowing that she is growing up so fast. But I love her and love watching her figure things out. It's taking some fast adjusting on my part to realize that she has feelings and opinions on things. I always say please and thank you. I never TELL her what to do, I always ASK her to do things, I think that makes a big difference in how we treat each other. Instead of "Pick that up!" I say "could you please pick that up?". And I always EXPLAIN to her why things are. So if I say "Please don't stand on the table", I then add "because you might fall off and get hurt". They understand now, and I think its important to explain things. I just love this age!!!
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#3 of 12 Old 01-01-2003, 12:41 AM
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I absolutely do not think you are nuts. My daughter is leaving the 'terrible twos' next month, and I think that it has been a wonderful year.

She has developed aesthetic tastes and has started having real conversations. She has grown and matured incredibly in this year. It is a wonder to hear words hardly understandable, then mispronounced, then spoken clearly. And to watch pictures suddenly become more than scribbles.

There is nothing like listening to your 2 year old 'read' a book, or helping her make up stories for her stuffed animals or her little brother.

I have found that the 3rd year of life isn't the 'terrible twos'. It is not a year of crayons-on-the-wall, and the ubiquitous 'no'. It is a year of stories and imagination, curiousity and discoveries, learning and understanding.

Of course, there are times when she wants to wear a certain thing (why not let her?) or when she tries to draw on the wall (trust me, even permanent marker comes off). But if we don't let these things stress us out, we realize that our kids may draw on the wall three times this year, but they'll give us hugs 10,000 times. I don't remember the first time Becca drew on the wall, but I do remember clear as day the first time she ran up to her little brother and gave him a big, long hug.

It might just be that 2 year olds aren't about tantrums and negativity; they are about EMOTIONS. The 2nd year isn't just about crying and protesting, it is about happiness and laughter as well. And as long as you don't go into it LOOKING for the negativity and ignoring all the happiness going on in your child, you'll be just fine :-).


mama to Becca (2/1/00) and Tony (12/2/01)

Mama, homeschooler, midwife. DD (13yo), DS (11yo), DD (8yo), DD (3yo), somebody new coming in November 2013.

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#4 of 12 Old 01-01-2003, 03:58 AM
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My gorgeous two year old is the joy of my life.

She's 28 months, and we have the most amazing, sweet conversations. She is so loving and caring. For example, today I went horse riding and she came with dh to watch. As I started out, she called to me and said, "Mummy, please ride your horse very, very carefully."

Then last night, after she'd refused to let dh look at her playdough model, and said it was 'just for me', suddenly she came over to him, gave him a hug, and invited him to come over to play with her. She realised she'd hurt his feelings, and in the best way she could, was making amends.

Then there is her choice of outfits. She dresses herself, head to foot, every day, several times a day. Consequently, she rarely goes out in anything that matches. On Christmas Eve we went to a friend's house for dinner, and all the other kids were in their holiday outfits. Dd wore her Halloween clothes, mostly back to front or inside out, along with her rain boots, just in case it was going to rain. She also insisted on taking her bag of 'stuff' with her, just in case she needed it. (her bag contains a selection of toy animals, her Thomas train, some crayons, old birthday cards, and a few stale crackers. It goes everywhere wiht us, and is packed religiously every morning).

Oh, I could go on and on. This year was wonderful, and I think next year will be even better! We spent tonight (New Year's Eve) doing a new jigsaw puzzle twenty eight times until she could do it without help. After each time, she cheered, then tipped it out to have another go. The sense of achievement that she can now do it was just wonderful. Better than any champagne party or dinner dance.
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#5 of 12 Old 01-01-2003, 10:49 AM
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Mine are no longer in the terrific twos and find the term "terrible twos" to be slanderous. What a wonderful age - so passionate about life and those around them. Energetic, pulsing with life and curiosity. Perhaps one's peak comes not at middle age but at two. Maybe they have tantrums but nothing like those of adults who will rage, pout, and steam for days, weeks, or the rest of their life. Who bounces back faster, flashes with more delight, hugs with more passion, lights up more rooms, or delves more deeply into the little jewels life presents. I was lifted and carried along with a new love for living and others by my two year olds.
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#6 of 12 Old 01-01-2003, 12:27 PM
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Hi, Em!

My baby is turning two on Friday--we have similar age babies!

I just wanted to say that my baby's older sister was at her absolute most charming and fabulous as a two year old. I am not at all sure where the "terrible two's" moniker comes from. Not to scare you, but as a four year old she's been hard to deal with ("the fiery fours"?).

I certainly wouldn't put any stock in the idea that certain developmental stages are necessarily harder across the board. I would say that children do tend to go through some periods when they're easier or harder to be around. Those times are often when their development is really in high gear--so the harried parent is recompensed by seeing their child take off in many exciting ways at the same time. At least, that's been true for us so far. My daughter amazes me even as she exhausts me.

Good luck and enjoy, Em!


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#7 of 12 Old 01-01-2003, 12:41 PM
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my daughter is 2 1/2. haven't yet figured out why the twos are terrible. not one tantrum or anything of the sort. the only thing she has trouble with is sharing her toys. but i understand that because she doesn't have much of a social life (until she starts preschool in september).

someone asked me last week if the reason she's never had a tantrum is because she gets everything she wants. my reply - she gets everything she needs . big difference.

i think it's not the age, but how the child is treated. if you take care of your child, your child will not act like one who is begging for attention/care/love etc.

good luck with it! and enjoy, it's a very cute age.
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#8 of 12 Old 01-01-2003, 04:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Your replies are just what I wanted to read, thank you!

It just seems to me that with every age, there is something that is difficult to deal with. Alas, with every age, there are far more wonderful, amazing discoveries and changes to take part in and observe. I love just sitting back and watching my son right now, wondering what he's thinking about when he's setting up his tea parties (should bear sit in the big chair, or bunny?). I can see his imagination is growing by leaps and bounds and now, all of a sudden we are talking back and forth (albeit, still in some toddler jargon. He answers questions and makes decisions and it's such a 180 from all those months just having made decisions for him and expecting that he'll go along. Now he has his own agenda, still developing but it's there and so exciting! I can appreciate and respect that! Much more easily than I had imagined!

Amanda's mom - I know what you mean about wanting to cry about her growing so fast. As much as I love to seeing him growing, I do find myself growing more and more nostalgic these days. *sigh* May I ask: do you run into issues are all by "asking her questions" rather than making statements? I find that I can only ask my son questions (and I do, very often) when I'm prepared to take no for an answer! Just one more thing to appreciate about a toddler with a voice!

chani - HERE HERE! I've always said the very same thing! If you take care of your child in the ways that they need, they won't feel the need to tantrum and cling to you because they feel secure that you will be there for them! It seems so common-sense but some miss that!

I want to talk more about this but DS is ready for his nap (he just came in from a trip to the hardware store with dad and he's saying NA NA!!!!)

GOtta run!


Em 43 - Wife to hubby Mom to DS born: Jan. '01
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#9 of 12 Old 01-01-2003, 07:32 PM
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I haven´t read all of the replies, but I´ll first say what I like more of my DD being 2 years and 3 months (as SHE tells anyone she meets and finds agreeable):
=> talk!!!! She speaks in complete sentences! And can be so CLEAR about what she wants, I sometimes envy her...
=> imagination!!!! This shows toghether with talk, she actually makes up stories... Another example: picking several cookies, and saying: This is a swing. This is Robin Hood (a favourite character from viedo) Robin Hood likes the swing (putting that cookie over the other)
=> learning!!! She is always doing something new, and her face lights up so bright when she succeeds! And she keeps trying even when she doesn´t... though she has picked up my habit of sayoing ¨I can´t !!!!¨ but she always keeps trying and almost always can. We gave her gouache paint for Xmass, and she is always wanting to paint, askes for all the things needed, and smiles:¨Look at the red!!!¨

Anyway, she can brighten up every day! I am not the happiest, stablest of persons, and she asks sooo sweetly ¨What happens, mama?¨ when I´m feeling bad

So, it does take patience, and awareness to the fact that they are another person (I always knew that and believe in respecting it, but it doesn´t always come easily - one can expect them doing what WE want in such subtle ways...), but as you can surely read between the lines, I´m in love with her!!!!!!!
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#10 of 12 Old 01-02-2003, 05:40 AM
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Oh, two year olds are sweet! Just watch out when they turn 3 1/2! Our dd2 is 2 1/2 and a love. We are actually expecting baby #3 right now just because dd2 is at such a sweet stage that you could just have ten of her! First two kids are 4 years apart and that has been a great spacing but it was hard to sign up for again when dd1 was 3 1/2 and really mouthy!

I like how much she can communicate with us now.
I like seeing her play pretend.
I like her being able to "play" more and in more ways with her older sister (who is 6).
I like that she is weaned and off baby food (both have been for over a year but still) so can eat anything anywhere - it's easy.
I like that she is old enough to play at the neighbor's house (boy the same age and very involved and careful mom) if I have a doctor/dentist/midwife appt.
Along the same vein, I like that we can use high school sitters if dh and I want to go out on a "date".
I like how snuggly and affectionate she is.
I like (and I know they like) that she can talk to gramma, auntie, etc. on the phone.
I like watching her learn how to stand up for herself.
I think it is adorable when she uses her good manners (she is great at remembering please, thank you, you're welcome and bless you).
I like how excited she gets when she sees someone or something that she especially loves.

Two is a fun age.
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#11 of 12 Old 01-02-2003, 12:54 PM
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My DS is 2.5 and I too have not had the "terrible two's" to deal with.

My SIL always says "is he having bad tantrums yet" and I say no, he doesn't have tantrums (she looks at me like she doesn't believe me). She then says well if he didn't have him in his 2's, just wait until he's in his terrible 3's! I just can't relate to her thinking.

He talked at such an early age, he has never had to "act out" on me b/c he can tell me what's wrong.

He is the joy of my life. Smart, wonderful, caring and just AWESOME.

(But I could go on forever )

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#12 of 12 Old 01-02-2003, 05:25 PM
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Ds is almost 2.5 and is a joy! We avoid most meltdown activity by making sure he is well rested and well nourished. Over the holidays he rose to the occasion when schedules were really wacked because of travel and time changes. We did not have him open presents all at once on Christmas. He had so many that we just said whenever he's ready for the next one he can open it. It took all day and it was great.

He is very talkative and speaks in very complete sentences like," What is mary Anne saying to Mike Mulligan?" So he's fun to talk with and is able to tell me what he needs most of the time. "I had fun at the party and now I will have to cry." So he does for a moment. Then he's done. It's pretty cute.

He does NOT USE CRAYONS! He's NOT THERE YET!!!! I ask him or we try and he can't keep it on the papr. Sometimes I put him in his high chair so he doesn't get it on anything else. When he's ready, I'll be ready.

The only thing that is really challenging for me is that he is 39 inches tall so gets into things as he experiments with the planet. He pushed a silk (old) chair into our very old and lethal wall heater and almost set off the smoke detector. I was right there, around the corner at the stove, (whew) and once I found him leaning into it, almost torching his long golden locks! My heart was in my throat! Our house is only 750 square feet so he is rarely out of sight but it only takes a few seconds...

My SIL raised her girls in the mainstream way and they have tantrums at 3 and 6! I don't know if it will be that way for us but so far, it's a blast.

One note: Get out by yourself every few days, even if it's just to the store, or send dh and ds out. We call it the mommy break and it keeps me from having tantrums!


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