“I think Flora may be coming down with a bug. She’s been really cranky today.”
“Oh, sweetie… you must not have had a good nap today!”
“Do you think Flora may be getting in her molars or something?”
For the past few weeks I’ve been trying to figure out why precious little Flora has been so irritable. She arches her back and screams when you buckle her into the carseat. She growls when she can’t have a “moot mayack” (fruit snack). She WILL NOT NAP unless we turn her toddler bed into a tent. She goes boneless when its time to get dressed. My once polite toddler now screams her demands instead of saying please. (She and RJ had a 20 minute standoff this week because she wouldn’t ask nicely. His determination beats mine by about 19.5 minutes.)
This morning, though, I had a revelation. A lightbulb flashed so brightly above my head that it could have been mistaken for a lightning bolt.
SHE IS TWO!
How on earth did I forget what its like to be two?? With Georgia, I don’t think I took a deep breath the entire year she was two. I got all of my oxygen in tiny gasps of air. With Millie, my sleep, self-confidence, and parenting skills reached record-breaking lows. But mom-nesia is real. I had forgotten about how hard it is to have ALL OF THOSE BIG FEELINGS in such a tiny body.
Amazingly, my revelation this morning has transformed her behavior from aggravating to adorable. She’s not sick, tired, or teething. She’s just TWO! Without realizing that, I might have missed how cute it is when she tries to stomp her feet in anger. She has yet to master the skill, so it’s a bit clumsy. She picks up her knee and then tries to slam down her foot, but rather than the heel, she uses her tip toe. This causes her to wobble a bit and she has to re-steady herself before she tries again.
With each of her heartbreaks today (I think we are up to about 20), I’ve swept her into my arms and tried to sooth her, saying “Oh, it’s so hard to be two!” Sometimes she arches her back, clenches her little bum and tries to kick me. When I’m expecting rage, she has melted into my arms, hands around my neck, face on my shoulder.
There is a real perk to being the 3rd and last child. My patience and appreciation is much higher than it was with her sisters because I know this is the last time I’ll ever have the magic or the rage of a two year old.
Don’t get me wrong, I fully expect to lose my cool with her many times. But this year will rocket past me. Her baby squish will be gone. Her whispy hair will thicken up, and she will no longer look like Cindy Loo Hoo. Her enunciation will progress to where I don’t have to translate for strangers. Soon, her pudgy feet won’t dangle so high from the toilet. Soon, she won’t ask me to take her outside to listen to the “kickits chipping” (crickets chirping) during her bedtime milk. She won’t be so excited about hand washing and flushing toilets. She may not lay in bed yelling for me, fully capable of getting out by herself, but wanting me to lift her into my arms for a book. The off-beat cadence of her trot may steady into a rhythm. She won’t demand to wear her “Mickey Mouse simming-suit” under her clothing EVERY SINGLE DAY. When you tell her she’s cute she won’t smile back “No YOU coot!” She won’t end every argument with “No evvow again!” Tutus won’t likely be an essential part of every outfit, including pajamas. Mommy kisses won’t be able to magically heal every pain. Cuddles might be harder to come by! 😭
The things that will replace TWO will be magical and rage-inducing as well. But they won’t be so little. And TWO will be gone forever.
So for now, at least while the revelation is fresh, bring on the tantrums. Oh, precious TWO! The memories we will make!