Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Two's Are Not So Terrible

As I start typing this post, my little man is sitting on the couch, yelling the names of all the Thomas engines as he watches his show - "Thomas! James! Gordon!" (actually he says "dordon") That little boy voice and his not-quite-right pronunciations make me smile. I'm in here typing while he watches because, sometimes, I just can't watch Thomas. The stories are boring, the trains with their rolling eyes and odd faces are creepy, and the songs are terrible. The episodes narrated by Alec Baldwin are bearable because I find everything he does to be a little bit funny (and his James voice makes James sound like a prissy queen and that just kills me because it is SO right). Most days I'll gladly sit through a terrible kid's show to snuggle with Finn on the couch, knowing that someday snuggles will be few are far between, but every now and again, I use that 20-30 minutes to do something for myself (like pay bills online or empty the dishwasher or do the taxes - indulgent stuff like that).

So about those "Terrible Two's." So far, not so terrible in our house. Don't get me wrong, we have our moments. There are fits. There is crying for no apparent reason. And when all the "terrible two" typical behaviors started, I felt quite frustrated and irritated. I felt like I was saying "no" ALL day. I felt like he would NEVER play by himself or let me cook dinner or even go to the bathroom by myself. I felt tired and crabby and not sure what to do. And I think I was taking some of his behavior personally. But then I read a couple of blog posts, a couple of those Babycenter "My Toddler at Two" emails came at just the right moment, and I saw that lady who wrote a book about parenting like the French on TV. And I was reminded that this is totally normal and taking a two year old's behavior personally is ridiculous. And what I took away from the French parenting book lady, was PATIENCE. So I tell myself every day (okay, 10 times a day, or 25, whatever) to be patient and calm. And the two's are a lot less terrible.

The wonderful things about two?
* He doesn't fall as much - I don't have to worry every second that he's going to fall down or try to climb something he's not ready for. Stairs are still tricky. We don;t have stairs at house so he doesn't get much practice. Going up, he's good. Down? He would just barrel forward and fall right down if I let him. But other than stairs, we're all good.

* He can talk!!! Granted, I can't understand all of what he says and most people can't understand MOST of it, but he's talking and communicating and its adorable and helpful. I remember when my friends' kids were little and they would talk to me and I'd think "what the hell did that kid just say?" and the mom would be like "he said he went to the park and had fun on the slide" and I'd be like "there is no way in hell that's what he said." But now I totally get it. I am Finn's interpreter. Finn will tell my mom "Gramma Danet, da dabage duck tame and dot my geen dabage" and she'll look at me like "WTF?" And I explain "Grandma Janet, the garbage truck came and got my green garbage." But he can tell me when he's full and when he wants his sippy cup and when he has poo and what toy he wants to play with and which book he wants to read. Woo hoo!! The frustration level for both of us has gone down considerably. And that little voice is just too much.

* He can play by himself. Not all the time and not for long of course, but he is getting more independent. I can flip through a magazine while he plays cars. I can get dinner ready while he plays in his kitchen. I can chat with a friend while he plays with their kids on a play date.

* He gets silly. He loves to laugh and run around, chase me or Greg and be chased. He loves it when we make funny faces at him. He'll point to a picture of Thomas the Train and say "That's Percy" and laugh and laugh and then go through the whole book calling every train Percy and laughing the whole time. He'll put on my shoes and walk around in them to make me laugh. God, there is no better sound then his laughter. I have always loved hearing babies and toddlers laugh, but when its your child doing it? Oh man.

But best of all?
* He is a little lover. He likes to snuggle and watch a show or snuggle and read books. He says "I wuv you Mama." And sometimes when I say "I love you too Finn" he says "I wuv you too" and I say "I love you too" and he says "I wuv you too" and it makes me smile and want to cry at the same time. He hugs people and gives kisses. He tells his grandparents that he loves them. Its the absolute best.

Having an infant is wonderful and awful at the same time. I was sleep deprived and new at staying home and in pain 24 hours a day. But now I get to sleep, I'm better at being a "stay at home mom," the pain is better, and I'm the healthiest I've ever been. And I have a healthy, mostly happy, son who is becoming this amazing little person. I don't know if what we went through makes me appreciate what I have more. But I am painfully aware how lucky we are to have him. Which isn't to say that I run around blowing rainbows out my ass and acting like everything is perfect all of the time. We have our moments (like this morning when I started this post - I stopped to feed Finn breakfast. He had a meltdown for seemingly no reason. Eventually I figured out it was because he wanted his pancake folded in half so he could hold it like a burrito). And there are days when I am like, get me out of this house and please let some intelligent adult talk to me. But I think losing a baby and having trouble getting pregnant help me put the tough days in perspective. The twos aren't terrible. Before we had him was terrible.

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