Friday, November 22, 2013

The Best Things About Two-Year-Olds

Gonna be honest here.  This past week, my patience has been tested more often than usual by my little boy.   While we have our regular ups and downs with behavior, several days this week were harder than usual to remain patient and calm.

During the most difficult moments of parenting (thus far), I have to stop and remind myself that one day I will miss these times...that one day he will be old and grown and out of the house.  And I will be sad.

So in the midst of the hair-pulling and in between the time-outs, I decided to stop and focus on all of the wonderful things that come with being two.  I owe that much to my future self.

*Please note: this is in no way a comprehensive list :)  Also, all of the items listed are observations based on my own two year old.  I apologize if the generalizations are bothersome.

1.  The way they talk.  I've already mentioned here about the way Jonathan pronounces "animal crackers").  I love this age because (for Jonathan, at least) he's got the intonations and rhythm of conversation down, but just lacks some key vocabulary.  So he'll relive a story with me (e.g. Samantha getting scared by a goat at the petting zoo) but his story will sound more like: "Samantha...goat...cry..."with filler intonations in between that sound like "dadadadadada." :)
I could listen to a two year old yammer on forever.  And when two year olds talk to each other?  Oh man, I die of the cuteness.

2.  They forgive and forget so easily.  They say that toddler tantrums are like summer rainstorms - they come on suddenly and pass just as quickly.  The best part about it is that they don't hold grudges.  I can learn a lot from my two year  old.

3.  They are easily distracted.  (Think: Dug from the movie Up)  Except instead of "squirrel!!!" the magic word can just as easily be "balloon!!!" or "garbage truck!!!" or "airplane!!!"  But the most powerful and potent of all is something you likely have to spell out when they are around. Like C-A-N-D-Y or I-C-E  C-R-E-A-M.

4.  They love babies.  Even though they aren't too far from being one.  Jonathan just adores babies and takes extra care to be gentle (for the most part) around them.  I can tell he thinks they are cute by the way he smiles and gently strokes their cheeks.  That, and the fact that he says, "cute" when he sees them...
Love is allowing your baby sister to pull your hair and grab your face...and actually enjoying it.
I'm especially grateful because one thing we prayed about (every day of my 2nd pregnancy) was that Jonathan would not be jealous of his sister; that instead, he and Abby would be good friends.  The bond they have is like nothing I've ever seen. He will drop everything he has to go to her side if he hears her crying, and comforts her by saying, "Shhhh, 's OK Abby- don't cry..."  It's enough to melt this mama's heart.

This happens during nearly every weekly photo shoot.  Superman swoops in to kiss his baby sister...

5.  They are fascinated by the little things.  Grown-ups, with our places to go and people to see, tend to stop noticing the small wonders of everyday life.  But when you're two, everything is amazing and new.  Jonathan could sit on our front walk and be entertained for hours - with dirt to be stirred, rocks to be found, flowers to be picked, bugs to be examined, and butterflies to be chased, how could he not?

6.  They are keenly observant.  Jonathan will often talk about and point to a tiny detail in a book's illustrations that I would have otherwise overlooked.  He's been known to point to the bright blue sky and shout "moon!" only to hear me tell him, "No, the moon is what you see at night...oh wait, you're right, buddy - the moon IS out!"  He is also the best at finding things we've misplaced, which is awesome for someone like me who's constantly losing things.  We make a good pair. :)

7.  They are (often) willing to help.  I won't deny the fact that I've taken advantage of this now that I have two kiddos.  When he is willing, Jonathan has fetched many a diaper for frequent changes.

8.  They LOVE repetition.  I know this is not unlike babies ("peekaboo," anyone?) but the funny thing about two year olds is that not only will they revel in the repetitive game during the moment, but they will remember it and request it over and over again the next time they see you (or the object you were playing with)
Ever since this day, he insists on doing this to his buddy - Every. Time. He. Sees. Him.

9.  They know when they are being misunderstood and will try very hard to effectively communicate what they mean until you get it right.

10.  They want to be just like you.  Jonathan loves wearing dress clothes and dress shoes (and his backpack) - all because his father does.

It is simultaneously eye-opening and amusing when you witness your two year old doing or saying exactly what you do.  Like when someone knocks on the front door and Jonathan scurries toward it, yelling, "I'm coming!!!"  Or when he sits in my room and calls for his daddy, "Aug!  C'mere!"

But when he smothers Abby with kisses, whispers "I love you," and calls her "baby girl" or "girlie"(the way I do), or imitates this strange lip thing I apparently do when I take a sip from my coffee thermos, I have to smile.

And *poof* - all of the frustration, stress, and irritability from the moment disappears.

These are the things I want to hold onto and remember from this year - the supposed "Terrible Twos."  And (I already know) these are the things I will miss, years down the line when he is old and grown...


  1. This was a heartwarming read (:

    I wonder how long the list will be for his teenage years...

    1. Thanks Handa! :) (I bet you could relate to a lot of these things, esp. from working at the daycare!)

      And about the teenage thing - I know!!!...but I guess I'll cross that bridge when I come to it! :)

  2. OMG! That picture of him n Abby!! -HB

    1. HB, we need to see you soon! J & Abby miss playing with their emo! :)

  3. I love the pictures you edited Sarah. They look really good!

    It's adorable how Jonathan loves Abby!

    1. Thanks Gracie! Coming from you, it means a lot!!! :)
      And I have to admit - I never tire of seeing J love on Abby...