OR: A LOVE SONG FOR MY TODDLER
When people find out I have a two-year-old, they often shudder and say, “Oh, the terrible twos.” Then they deluge me with horror stories about children they either raised or knew, and the demonic lengths they went to in order to ensure the gradual erosion of their parents’ sanity.
For example, the two year old who threw a screaming tantrum in the middle of the grocery store every single time they went shopping, unless they bought her a treat. (That one is almost cliche, and even became a pro-condom ad.)
Or the two year old who, when sent for a time out, took a can of Pledge with him and emptied it into the wall, permanently staining the paint and drywall beneath. The oil kept leaching out, no matter how often they repainted.
Or the two year old who announced that she had put her jam crackers into one of mommy’s books, but forgot which one. (Variations of that scenario still gives Nathan heart palpitations.)
Or the two year old who started refusing to pee when she didn’t get her way, and by the age of five was in kidney failure and on the list for a transplant.
When Tristan turned two, I was terrified. I kept waiting for my sweet little boy to be swapped for a screaming, manipulative, conniving monster – one that I would be hard-pressed to love until his third birthday and he turned back into a person.
But so far that hasn’t happened. Tristan continues to be a delight. He is kind to his sister, generous with his toys, patient when I’m too busy to play, and hilarious every single day. I can count the number of real tantrums he’s had on one hand. He has his moments and meltdowns, certainly, but he can usually be jollied out of them pretty easily. Even this last week, when he’s been dealing with soother withdrawal and a head cold, he’s been a champ.
He’s especially cute with his sister. If Cora is left alone in the playroom and starts to cry, Tristan runs back in where she can see him and says, “Don’t worry, Baby Cora. You’re not abandoned.” If he’s having a snack and she starts to fuss, he asks me to bring her some puffies. And whenever we go in the car, he grabs a toy for himself and two for his sister. I have yet to see him get angry at her or be violent in any way.
And as proof of hilarity, here’s a recent exchange during diaper change…
Tristan: “I have don’t have to peepee right now.”
Me: “Good, I don’t want to get peepeed on.”
Tristan: “Peepee comes out of my penis. My mighty penis.”
Me, stifling laughter: “Did you say your mighty penis?!”
Me: “Who told you that?”
Tristan: “I did!”
With only two more months until Tristan’s birthday, I feel pretty confidant that we’ve bypassed the terrible twos. And I’m going to pretend I never read the recent article in Today’s Parent that talked about how the Terrible Twos are a myth, and in reality it’s the Terrible Threes.
But you might be reading a completely different blog post a year from now.