What's So Terrible About the Twos?

Okay, so there are a lot of things that people didn't warn me about when I first started this parenting journey. The liquid projectile from my baby boy's lower region was one of them. But, I'm a quick study so I only got "sprayed" two times. That baby boy is now seven. My real baby boy is two and a half. It seems that I should be some sort of expert, what with two girls in between those boys, but after four whopping kids, I am still learning.

Something else I wasn't warned about was that my memory would start flickering on and off like a busted TV. All I need is the snow and that loud buzzing sound to officially be transformed into a malfunctioning boob tube. I am being a little hard on myself here, I know. But it seems that the babies grab onto some of my mental capacity as they are making their exit from my reluctant body. As a result, I lose some of my senses and tend to have to relearn parenting each time.

I am not the type who keeps a journal of everything that occurs with baby. I think it's a great idea, but it just hasn't happened for me and I've had four chances thus far. I can't seem to remember what month babies typically start teething or cruising or anything until...AGE TWO. That's when I literally get a kick that jogs the "all-about-kids" portion of my memory.

There is definitely something to the phase called the Terrible Twos. Trying to stay positive about the whole ordeal...I mean...deal, I have affectionately renamed this stage in my baby's life "The Challenging Times." Hmmmm. Does that sound positive enough? Anyway, this is the time when babies really start exercising their free will. All of a sudden, the green peas are too mushy, the milk is too cold, and Barney is too purple. "Give me a break," I say. But then I remember that I have ALREADY had a two-year break compared to the free-spiritedness I am now experiencing. My kid has an opinion and he is going to voice it.

He spits, "NO!" at me and in the next breath clings to my leg until I playfully wrestle with him. The sight of me starts him toddling in the other direction and sometimes it has the opposite affect--it all depends on if he's escaped his childproofed room and is exploring new territory of the house without permission. He throws himself on the floor and wails at the top of his vocal range (until he is good and tired--because I don't encourage him with bribes). "Give it a rest," I think. I am certain he will soon because all that crying makes you tired. But, I breathe, and breathe, and breathe again because I remember that this is the time for him to test the waters and push some limits.

Still, this is when I want him to be a baby again or a self-sufficient teenager (is there such a thing? Hah!) or a grownup...but then I realize that he is who he is right now. I can't ever cut the heartstrings, even though one day he'll grow up and I'll watch as he fixes his own darn peas. Patience is a virtue, they say. By the way, who is they? Anyway, they are right. This is probably the most uninhibited time of my child's life. There is a way I can parent from several feet away. As I learn my child, I will learn that way. The child was born free and now he is tasting freedom. What's so terrible about that?

Wilma Ann Anderson is the Editor-in-Chief and Co-founder of Mahogany Baby. She's also an accomplished singer, and works as a model and film executive. This mother of four has freelanced for ESSENCE and Working Mother magazines, enjoys crafting, and is based in New Jersey.

photo credit: Timothy Aaron-Styles


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