Friday, 26 July 2013

Welcome to the Terrible Twos

When we struggled with how to handle our daughter’s biting/hitting/kicking/pinching/slapping, a lot of people – friends and strangers alike – tended to comment the same way, “oh, wait until she hits those terrible twos” and smile sweetly as if they know terrible secrets of what’s to come.

Well, here we are. The second birthday has passed. My suit of armour is shined and I’m ready for battle. Let’s be honest, the tantrums have been happening for a while and the comments have been happening even longer. While we tend to think, “people just like to give advice,” I’m starting to think people simply like to add another to their circle of misery. What’s that they say about it enjoying company?

I’m not quite sure where the incessant need to crap on someone’s parade comes from, rather than offer solutions or introduce other parents to tactics that might encourage her to be more gentle. Is it like this all over the globe? Or is this a horrible first world problem that just needs to stop?

Mama drama, competitive playgroups and partner and MIL bitching sessions aside, I want to know why people insist on pointing out how much worse it’s going to get! 

Telling me today that my daughter’s massive, epic shit storm is nothing in comparison of what’s to come isn’t going to make me feel better about having to deal with today.

Is it because they feel the responsibility to warn parents that the proverbial shit is about to hit the fan? Do they feel that because they had to endure it, now it’s their turn to sit on higher ground watching someone else go through it?

So here’s a thought... all the parents who now have young toddlers, let’s take a vow to refrain from telling new moms it’s going to get worse. Let’s instead offer encouragement. I’m not talking about blowing smoke and making things seem all rosy - always be REAL! But, hey teething sucks, growing pains are tough, brain development is happening at a rapid pace and we already know these are going to be hard years ahead. How about we tell our friend, or that stranger in the park who is on the verge of tears because her kid just bit her, ran away and is climbing on top of the four year old by the slide and simply won’t listen to her, that she is an INCREDIBLE MOM and offer to help!

I want people in my life who make a choice to help each other through the tantrums with funny tales, who will be there through the breakdowns with a hug – because tears flow after you’ve been kicked in the nose for the fourth time that day – or bring coffee (or even better, wine) to parents who have had especially long, difficult days. My favorite: show up at their doorstep unannounced when you know they’ve had a sleepless night and offer to take the kid for a walk so they can nap, or read, or sit in a tub with a glass of wine. Yes, you are seeing a trend – every mama needs wine!

Let’s come together to make the twos (and from what I’m hearing now... threes) a little more bearable. 

What have you done to help out a new parent with a crazy toddler?

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