“NO, I WANNA DO IT!”
Two is one of my very favorite ages. Having a two-year-old little girl for the first time is a fantastic and amazing thing. Every day she learns new things and tries new things and teaches me new things. I couldn’t adore her more if I tried.
But sometimes, just sometimes, I kind of sort of want to pick her up by her middle and hold her crying and screaming, “*I* DO IT, I *DO* IT!” and hold her just like that until she’s four.
Like when she wants to put her sandals on “ALL BY MYSELF,” but the frustration overwhelms her and she throws herself on the stairs utterly defeated and unable to stop crying much less listen to reason, despite the fact that we are already 10 minutes behind.
Or when she REALLY wants a plum and simply CANNOT understand that there are none in the house and
why that would matter anyway as she WANTS one and that should really be enough to make one immediately available…even if it is 11 o’clock at night.
Or when she refuses to eat anything at all because she knows that there is candy RIGHT THERE and why would you eat peas when there’s CANDY!? And of course this requires screaming at the irrational human who refuses to give you the candy that is right there in front of them, even if it takes 45 minutes of screaming to get your point across.
Or when she NEEDS to climb over the front seat to the backseat to get into her carseat, which she then NEEDS to buckle all by herself, even if it is raining and her shoes are muddy and her carseat buckle not lining up immediately will make her scream and arch her back and flail her arms.
Or when she DESPERATELY wants to play baseball with her brother’s team, because she’s a BIG GIRL,
and makes running onto the field the best game in the world for three minutes before it ends the only way a two-year-old’s games can end…in tantrum-filled tears.
Or when she INSISTS that a tube of glue is in fact a tube of lipstick and it MUST be put on her lips IMMEDIATELY and does not understand that there are no good endings that could come of letting her make her own mistakes in this case.
The list could go on. And on. And on. And… yeah. As it could with every two-year-old. And some days, it seems like that list will never end.
But it’s those days I need to remember most that asserting her power and her opinions and testing her skills
and her knowledge are the most important part of being two. And remember that before she frustrates herself to the point of a meltdown, she’s actually really flipping adorable trying so hard to buckle her sandals upside down on the wrong feet. And that the frustration is harder on her than it is on me.
It’s those days that I need to remember to celebrate her newfound independence and give her the chance to climb over the front seat to the backseat with muddy shoes while I stand out in the rain. Because my clothes can dry, my car can be cleaned, but she will never have precisely this opportunity to prove to herself that she can do exactly that. And those lessons she teaches herself will shape her into the wonderful woman she will one day become.
This post was written by Penney Blakely. Contact Penney at firstname.lastname@example.org
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