Long Live the Terrible Twos!
If you ask a toddler who they are, they will say, “I am ME!”
Simple and true. There can only be one you, and never are we more aware of this than during the big, self-pimptastic realization of age two. When the world is your oyster and that bitch better produce a pearl.
This is the prime of our take. When you are two, there is very little control over your world. You control only your reaction to the decisions being made for you and around you.
In order to swallow that pill, you become one.
If you ask an adult who they are, they wax philosophical. Answering with who they want to be more often than who they currently are. At times, we may not even know. We project our desires with less toddler-like stomping and biting, but only a quarter of the badass that toddlerhood organically, and abundantly, produces.
There are times I desire that toddler, Foghorn Leghorn puffed-chest pride. Every time I see my daughter strut around new terrain, secure in her right to be there and claiming the space as her own, I am awe-struck. So much sense of self trapped in one, tiny body. I imagine that the internal soundtrack in her head is ‘Danger Zone.’ Danger Zone, 24/7, and so much fantastic that she doesn’t need Goose to co-pilot.
There are times when the brazenness of her age embarrasses me. Everything is theirs. That wallet in your hand? THEIRS. The grapes in the produce section. THEIRS. The chalk in your toddler’s hands? Sorry, THEIRS. The cat’s flea collar, your bowl of cereal, the sack of plastic bags in the basement? Right. THEIRS.
Alternatively, in all the well-documented take of the toddler age, I see saintly giving. The affection they give to everyone they meet. The trust they extend and their unlimited well of forgiveness. I see those traits more acutely developed in these pint-sized Mother Theresas than in the majority of adult society. So much love to give and everyone is deserving. You only need be in their extended orbit to be a recipient of their time, words, love and attention.
Sure, they could use some polish. The pooping directly in their pants and failure to understand how to use a tissue require finesse; but when it comes to give and take, good and bad, the light and dark, I have to say toddlers may have us beat.
Toddler 101: Enter a room and be brazenly YOU. Make friends with everyone. If anyone steps on your toes, tell them and then hug it out. Friends may not always agree, but if we have Goldfish and a few minutes, we’ll remember that having relationships is far better than being right, and we’ll move on. Everyone can play and if we all pool our snacks, there is plenty to go around. If I get hurt, it’s okay to cry. If I need love, I’ll ask for a hug. The world is great. People are kind. If you love the music, dance…no matter where you are. If you hurt someone, say sorry. Share.
Long live the Terrible Twos.
Bethany Thies is a mother of four, writer and rehabilitated gypsy who now calls Vermont home. She can change a diaper in 22 seconds and is the proud author of the chronic sarcasm and tom-foolery blog, Bad Parenting Moments.