T Rex Family

T Rex Family

Friday, August 13, 2010

Ruminations - The Two's

Starting a new series to this blog titled: Ruminations

Ruminate: to turn a matter over and over in the mind.

I ruminate a lot. Probably too much. I've decided to start sharing some of these thoughts partially to share a bit of my life with you and partially as a record of what I was thinking about during these particular days of my life.

This week - The Twos...

When I found out I would be in graduate school and also have a new baby in addition to a very active toddler, I sought out another student with a toddler who had just had another baby and asked her how she was managing. Her reply was simple - it's not the baby that's hard work, it's the toddler. It's true.

Being the parent of a toddler is exhausting. Maybe it's just my toddler but seriously, T Rex Dad and I are exhausted all the time from chasing him. Maybe it's because we're a little older. But it's a demanding job. When people invite us to a barbecue or to a gathering we start cringing because we know we'll be chasing him from one dangerous hazard to another. He is full of energy. I know it's just part of his developmental stage that he needs to explore to learn and the impulse control center of his brain has not yet developed - a scary mix in my opinion.

At the same time, we love this stage. He is so sweet and is starting to do and say the most charming things. He LOVEs Toy Story and anything associated with it. He has little Toy Story figurines and he will reenact various scenes from the movies with his "guys". The other day he was playing with them on the car bumper while I was loading the stroller. He kept saying, "Just go...I'll catch up" with a little inflection to his voice. I did not know what he was doing until I saw the last part of Toy Story 1 where Buzz and Woody are trying to catch the moving van. Sometimes I'll also hear him say other lines from the movies, "Buzz, you're flying...This isn't flying, it's falling, with style" or "To infinity and beyond" or "You are a toy" or sing "You've Got a Friend in Me". All of these things so charming.

He gives the best hugs and snuggles. The first thing in the morning he will crawl into bed and whisper ever so softly, "Daddy snuggles" or "Mommy snuggles". Kisses make any hurt better. And he can make his sister laugh like no other. Oh, and he has the deepest voice I've ever known in a young child - seriously, sometimes it seems deeper than his dad's!

He call's back packs "pack packs" and yellow is "lellow". He mixes his English and Spanish and the highlight of his day is sitting in the Jetta with his dad when he gets home. He can bless the food in 5 seconds flat while being genuinely earnest - melts my heart every time.

Then, one charming moment will be followed by a tantrum because he realizes one of his "guys" is missing and he cannot find them after looking a whole 3 seconds. Or we'll suffer a melt down at lunch because his applesauce is not in a pouch but a bowl or the pizza has visible seasoning on it. We'll sail through 30-45 minute Spanish and reading lessons but fall apart during art time because he cannot use the watercolors to his satisfaction.

Yesterday a dear friend came over and T Rex greeted him and started going on and on about "Emperor Zurg fell down the elevator...but he's okay." This friend remarked to him, "Sorry, Buddy, but I don't speak two-year-old."

You know what, we do. We speak two-year-old. And we know how to handle toddlers. And we respect parents so much more who have toddlers because we know how tough it really is. I'm so proud that we are parents of a toddler and soon toddlers since Bebe Sister is close to crawling.

Having two is not the difficulty right now. It's having a two-year-old. It's terrific and terrible at the same time. One minute it is bliss and the next is agony. Exhausting and exhilarating all at the same time. Feels a bit like parenting ping pong. One minute I feel like the best parent on the planet and another moment the worst.

I've said it before and it bears saying again, we're T Rex wranglers as much as we try to be T Rex whisperers!

What's been your experience with the two's or toddlers?


Caitlin said...

awesome post! And so true! they are so sweet and so horrible at the same time! :)
Remind me to tell you about our anniversary adventure tonight- it was at the olive garden and involved crying, and me nursing in a bathroom stall! I know I will look back on these days fondly!

Rey said...

I like this Ruminations idea! Very beautiful writing! I agree momma, bittersweet for sure. They are so innocent yet learning so fast at this age. They are testing things out which makes us want to tear our hair out, but it's endearing and exciting at the same time.
My favorite things about this age would be listening to them say the cute things. And the emotions. I know the tantrums are tough but it makes you realize they are little people, just like us. Complex and emotional,frusterated and yet thoughtful. The emotional tantrums are worth the moments they say they love you and you can really feel it coming from them!
I hate to tell ya, but once you get him figured out, little girl will hit two and be completely different! I have three girls each one entirely different from the other. Just when I learned how to nurture and deal with one the next one threw me off again!
BTW, from this view, you are doing a spectacular job!

Erin said...

Phew I know that feeling! With a 3yr old and a 2 yr old....I'm tired at the end of the day.

And to answer your question from your comment on my post...the doc actually recommended him for autism eval, because he is almost 2 and only says a handful of words, and that is one of the signs. Since he can't put two words together, like "more please", or "read book" things like that. He also isn't even attempting to mimic us, so if I say the cow says moo, can you say moo? he will look at me like "yep, but you look so stupid saying it that I think I'll keep quiet" haha

Missus Wookie said...

Whenever one of my borrowed small people stays with me I remember how much hard work but yes how sweet they are.

Do write down those cute phrases and events I'm astonished at what I've forgotten. Wookie & I look back at those times fondly... but not fondly enough to want to do it again :)

Anonymous said...

First, let me give you a virtual hug! I love this post!

It wasn't all that long ago my two boys were the age your babes are now. I remember needing the sanity of being around other parents who had kids the same age just to make sure I wasn't going to lose my mind! Parenting is HARD, but it gets easier as they get older. My boys are 10 and 8 now and I look back on those toddler years and give myself a huge pat on the back for surviving. There are SO many good times, but it does often seem like you are running 24/7. No relax time, no YOU time.

One of the best things I did was joined a co-op preschool. Not only did it give me a chance to connect with like-minded parents (largely AP and all the good stuff that goes with that), it gave me an outlet to connect with other kids, other grownups, and lots of childcare swaps! It was inexpensive and educational and the moms and dads I met from co-op are some of my best friends still (we play Bunco together and do BBQs and girls' weekends, etc.). We were at the co-op for 6 years total between my two boys. I served on the board and knew everything there was about running a preschool by the time we finally "graduated".

I know I don't post often on your blog, but really enjoy reading it (was just telling your hubby that pm FB yesterday!) and seeing your photos of your beautiful children! Keep up the good work, mama!

Karen W.

Jenners said...

Toddlerhood is very rewarding and amusing and fun but tiring and exhausting and frustrating. Like with any stage, I've found there are the ups and the downs. But I've only ever had one in one stage at a time .. I know I'm not cut out for two!!! Good luck ... you can do it!

septembermom said...

I joke that my kids are still going through the "terrible two's" some days. Kids pull on your heart strings all the time, and they can drive you just as crazy too. But we all enjoy the ride!

Katie said...

I was nodding my head pretty much through this entire post. My son is not quite 2 1/2, and he's on T Rex's wavelength on a lot of things. He wants to watch Woody (Toy Story), Nemo, and a kiss does make the owies all better. His latest thing is reading "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?" I have read it to him enough times that he can repeat the book from memory by looking at the pictures. It really makes me smile. And then he throws a fit over his juice being in the wrong cup.... :-)

Kim said...

Wonderful post and it makes me want to do one too. I just may. It's all so true - exhausting and exhilirating at the same time. Deaglan quotes things too - often from books we've read. He'll often say things from Dr Seuss books and then laugh at himself. It's so fascinating to see how smart they are.

I always feel more human after I've read about your experiences. It's nice to know other people are going through the exact same day-to-day things.