Age 2 is Tough, not Terrible

You guys know that many of my posts are pep talks I give myself in hopes that it will refocus my parenting and put things in perspective.  The bonus is if any of you can relate. This is one of those times.

Today, I want to talk about Mackenzie. More specifically, I want to talk about her as a 2 year old.

With Mackenzie, it’s hard to remember she’s only 2. She’s bigger than most two year olds, her vocabulary is advanced for a two year old, and since she does everything with her big sister it can be very hard to resist holding her to the same standards as a 4 year old.  In many ways, I think holding her to these higher standards has benefited her.  But in other ways, it’s simply not fair.

She’s 2. Not 4.

There is a LOT of learning, growing, and maturing that happens in two years. Especially at these ages.  All I have to do is look at Abby today vs. two years ago and I know there is a LOT of growth in the future for Mackenzie.

With that said, Mackenzie is a different person than Abigail was at 2. Mackenzie is intense, very loud, and as my Mom describes her, she’s a firecracker.

When she’s frustrated, it’s the end of the world.

When she’s hurt, you better stay away from her because she’ll retaliate against you even though she ran into the couch from spinning too fast.

When she’s jealous, she screams. And when she screams, you need ear plugs to ensure you’re not going to experience some sort of long term hearing damage.

When I tell her I love her, or that she looks beautiful, or that she did a great job on something, half the time her reaction is an aggressive, “NO!” – and that’s it…there’s no point in repeating my compliment, either, because her reaction will be the same.

It’s frustrating. VERY frustrating. And once again, since I forget she’s 2 sometimes it’s hard not to reason with her and discipline her as if she’s 4.

Reasoning with a 2 year old, no matter how smart they are, doesn’t work.

Age 2 is tough. And Mackenzie at age 2 is SUPER tough. But I will never say it’s terrible. She’s not in the “terrible 2’s” – she’s in the “tough 2’s.”  It’s when being a parent is extremely tough, challenging, and exhausting. Right when you think she’s having the best morning ever, she spills one drop of milk on her dress and the world has ended. The dress must come off NOW, the milk must be thrown across the room, and the screaming will not stop until she realizes she actually needs to breathe. So much for not crying over spilled milk.

It’s at times like that when I want to scream back…and honestly, I have. And after I do, I feel like I’m not doing my job. Not well, at least. (this is the pep talk part)

After my over-reaction to Mackenzie’s over-reaction, I always think to myself, “well this isn’t helping…no wonder she reacts like this.”  I need to be the calm one.  The adult.  The one setting the example of how to handle situations when I feel like throwing her out the window.  I need to remember she’s TWO. And she’s learning. From me.  The one who just yelled at a 2 year old who was yelling at me.

2 is TOUGH. And the reason I will never categorize it as “terrible” is because while Mackenzie’s extreme 2 year old behavior can drive us nuts, it is more than balanced out by the extreme behavior we love most about her.

She’s intensely excitable.

Overwhelming loyal.

Hilariously hilarious (yes, she’s that hilarious – and no, I couldn’t think of another word to use).

Shockingly smart.

Beyond loving.

Incredibly snuggly.

And on those rare occasions when I say that I love her so much and she responds sweetly with, “I love you too, Mommy”, I am re-energized and re-charged to handle the next over-reaction in a better way.

2 is tough. But 2 is also awesome. And knowing from experience just how fast 2 turns into 4, I am going to love Mackenzie just as intensely as she currently loves to scream.  Then maybe she’ll always look just like this…


Ha, ya right! 😉

Happy Friday, y’all!


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2 Responses

  1. Kiki says:

    Gotta love her!
    Want to love her 🙂 🙂
    And DO!!!!!

  2. Anina Duren says:

    I totally agree! Especially about the part of wanting to reason with them like a four year old. I don’t think I thought two was as difficult with the girls (even with two two year olds!) as I do with Wyatt. I think that’s because now I know how awesome four can be. It’s like with them I allowed them to be two and accepted all the ups and downs that came with that, but with him I want to push him to be better because I want him to be where they are, but it ends up being harder because it is just unreasonable to expect that of him. Thanks for another reminder!

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