One of the most difficult things for many parents is dealing with the terrible twos. Well, at least that’s the most difficult until hormones hit and the terrible twos is only a blip of a memory. But, that’s an issue for another day.
Last time, I talked about taming the toddler. However, after I submitted the article, I realized that one of the main reasons toddlerhood is so frustrating is that adults often forget what it’s like to be two years old. Seriously, what do you really remember about being two? I’m sure it’s very little, if anything at all. Most of us don’t have memories from before about age five unless it’s related to something really big.
Today, I want to provide some insight into the mind of a two year old – from her perspective. So, here is a paraphrase of Cassandra’s mind as she went through her day.
Mommy made a lot of noise when she got up this morning. She woke me up and I’m not happy about it. I’m still sleepy, but I can’t go back to sleep. I’m going to cry in frustration. Why does Mommy keep telling me it’s okay. It is definitely not okay. I’m tired. I’m cranky. And now, I can’t stop crying.
My sister was really mean to me today. I was hungry for breakfast. She kept saying it was too early for breakfast. I always eat breakfast right after I get up. I want breakfast now! I’m going to cry in frustration.
I tried to put on my own clothes this morning, but I couldn’t get it to work out. My sister had to help me get dressed. That makes me mad. I want to do it by myself. I want to wear my pretty bathing suit. My sister won’t let me. Now, I’m going to cry in frustration.
I was playing with the dog and she ran away from me. I was being nice. I was having fun. She made me fall down when I tried to climb on her back. It scared me. Now, I’m going to cry in frustration.
Mommy said I’m going to be the flower girl in my sister’s wedding. She said I get to throw flowers. So, I started throwing flowers. Apparently, those flowers aren’t the ones I get to throw. Mommy was not happy. Now, I’m going to cry in frustration.
My brother put on my favorite television show. I call it “Puppy Puppy.” I love that show. But, they keep putting on these things that aren’t “Puppy Puppy.” My brother said they are commercials. I want to watch the show. Now, I’m going to cry in frustration.
Mommy gave me some toys to entertain me. I like these toys, but today I want to play with other toys. Nothing is making me happy. I’m going to cry in frustration.
At lunchtime, I wanted a sandwich just like the one I had yesterday. Mommy said we’re eating leftovers and even though it’s my favorite (spaghetti), I really want a sandwich. Why can’t I have a sandwich? I’m going to cry in frustration.
Mommy is working from home today. That means I can play with her all day long. But she keeps shutting her office door, telling me to play with my brothers and sisters. I don’t want to play with them. I want to play with Mommy. I’m going to cry in frustration.
I could go on and on, but I think, you probably get the point. Toddlers are a tough age. They know enough to know what they want, but not enough to know why they can’t always have it. However, if we adults can think through toddler logic to get to the point of their frustrations, we can often help them overcome their anxiety. After all, toddlers are people, too. t
Rev. Kelly Crenshaw is the mom of 16 adopted kids, two biological kids, guardian of one baby girl and foster mom of dozens. Some are lesbian, some gay, some straight, and some bisexual. Kelly founded a K-12 day school where kids could have a safe, bully-free environment for learning. She is co-owner of a counselling agency that works with children and their families.
- Rev. Kelly Crenshaw is the mom of 16 adopted kids, 2 biological kids, Guardian of one adorable toddler, and has been the foster mom of dozens. Some are lesbian, some gay, some straight, and some bisexual. Kelly founded a K-12 day school where kids could have a safe, bully-free environment for learning. She has worked with kids in the foster care system for over two decades, actively advocating for all kids, but especially those in the LGBT community. And, in her spare time, she can be found preaching in some of our area’s most LGBT-friendly churches. Feel free to send your parenting questions to her at Pastor.Kelly@comcast.net.