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?