The Terrible Two's - Finding Their Voiceby Kerry Edney
I was scrolling through social media the other day and saw a picture with a caption about a woman who made up excuses not to take her 2-year-old out or spend much one on one time with her, because she couldn’t face the tantrums or the attitude in public. When I first started reading this I felt so sad, but then I realised this is part me, and I’m sure a lot of mummy’s to toddlers for the first time will also be resonating with this in some way.
I get so nervous if I have to pop out and do an errand with my little girl in tow, because I just know that at some point she will have one of her little tantrums for some reason or another. My husband can get a bit annoyed with me, yes me not the toddler having a meltdown! I feel like all eyes are on us and get flustered, I start to pack things up to take her away from the situation so that I can feel less embarrassed, whereas my husband will look at me and tell me to calm down, she’s still a baby, babies make noise, let people look if they want to. It mainly happens in restaurants/café’s when we just sit down to eat, it can happen at home as well don’t get me wrong, but it’s as if she takes her cue as soon as she sees us pick a fork up. We sometimes manage to get away with it by plying her with plenty of food/treats or fruit drinks, which works mostly. It can be a whole different ball game though if I am on my own with a fast-growing bump, a pushchair, and a toddler on reins who wants to run off at any given moment!
The past few weeks I have really started to be a bit more relaxed about things that don’t go to plan, even when we are at home. If something gets spilt, food gets dropped, toys get thrown everywhere, I can’t quite get the dishes done or a wash on. These things can wait and can be scooped up when she’s finished eating or playing. I don’t want her to see me stressing about the things that aren’t important, I want her to make a mess, I want her to find her voice and if that means she has to scream and stamp her feet to show her emotion/frustration then so be it. As I write this, I’m still telling myself that these things are just a way of her trying to communicate with us and not just because she’s going through the ‘terrible two’s’ and can’t get her own way.
Last week I was a little nervous because I had two days where it was just going to be the two of us, and I really didn’t know what we were going to do. My little girl, like many, is constantly on the go and thinking about what she can do next and I just don’t have the energy at the minute. Saying that, we had the loveliest time just me and her, we didn’t even leave the house. There was no screaming, not many tears and not one tantrum, and I honestly think that is down to the fact that I tried to be more relaxed about things, and if I saw a meltdown coming on I got down to her level and spoke to her in a calmer manner.
It’s funny how we all perceive the ‘terrible two’s’ stage, we don’t see it coming it just happens. One day our little ones are crawling around, finding their feet, making little cooing noises and the next, we wake up and it’s a whole different story, they start testing the water on so many levels, seeing what they can get away with and what they can’t, finding their voice and throwing themselves around. But when these times arise I think it’s so important that we think about the amazing times we have with them, the way they make us laugh and take us by surprise when they throw their arms around us and give us a kiss, the funny things they do and the memories we make, the people we all become from watching these little ones grow and develop. We are still learning too and every day I feel so blessed for having her in our life and making me the person I am now.