Annelise is turning two in July but she’s already in full swing with the terrible two’s. What makes the terrible two’s so terrible is this funny combination of a never-ending curiosity about the world around them, their increasing desire for independence, and their lack of communication skills. Oh and not being able to reason with them.
How do you explain to a screaming toddler that their precious stuffed bunny is being washed in the laundry machine so I cannot give you Bunny right now? I’m sure in her mind she’s thinking – “OMG! My beloved bunny is drowning and Mommy hates me because she’s refusing to rescue Bunny from that funny, soapy water!”
Figuring out Annelise’s new language has been fun and challenging. “C” is cereal. “Fi” is gold fish. “Po” is Pororo. “Wa wa” is water. Annelise has been calling her stuffed bunny “Munny”. Huh?! How do you get “Munny” from “Bunny”? I have no idea but I’m glad I finally deciphered that word because she cannot sleep without “Munny.”
Her new favorite word is No. She says it with such adorable gusto that sometimes I can’t help but smile. Sometimes when I’m disciplining her and giving her my meanest stank-face possible, I have to bite my tongue to keep myself from busting out laughing because she’s staring back at me with such charming intention. Somehow, she manages to look cute even when she’s being completely unreasonable.
“Hold my hand please.”
My daughter proceeds to throw herself onto the ground of the library parking lot and cries as if the world is ending.
“Did you poo poo?”
I check her diaper and sure enough there’s poo. I cannot believe this child is lying to me already!
“Let’s do a diaper change.”
Sometimes I play Pororo for her on my Iphone and she’ll comply with the diaper change. Sometimes I dig through my purse for some random knickknack that will distract her long enough during the diaper change. Other times, I just grit my teeth and force Annelise to the ground.
“Time to brush your teeth.”
This is a nightly battle in which I have to hold Annelise’s arms down and shove the toothbrush in her mouth. It’s not an easy thing to do when your toddler is screaming her head off. As if she’s in pain. As if I’m torturing her by making sure she doesn’t get cavities.
“Do you want to go night-night?”
“No! No! No!”
She says this empathically while her body language unequivocally betrays her as she’s rubbing her eyes, sucking her thumb, and clinging onto her stuffed bunny.
The endless “no’s” can make for a very draining day. I can’t help but wish things could be easier – that she would be potty-trained or be able to feed herself completely. But then there are those little, precious moments which melt my heart. Like when Annelise gingerly wipes the baby’s mouth with a burp cloth. It’s so hilarious and at the same time just so sweet.
I never imagined how loving Annelise would be as a big sister. She has surprised me many times with how excited she gets when she sees Katelynn and calls her “Bay” and how much she wants to be near her and pat her hands and touch her head and give her little kisses. Lately she’s been quite fascinated with other babies when we go out. She’ll approach them with glee and say, “Hi” and proceed to pat them just like she pats Katelynn. It’s simply amazing. I am reminded to cherish these little moments because I know she will soon start talking in full sentences and soon she will no longer want mommy to hold her at the dinner table. I guess what I’m realizing is that the terrible two’s don’t seem too terrible in the grand scheme of things. In fact, I might look back on these days and remember them as simply terrific.