They are also funny, charming, smart, mischievous, sweet and affectionate*, but I would sum up our experience of being 2 so far as bloody hard work.
This might be the bleeding obvious. We've all heard of the "terrible twos" and know that choices=confusion=stamping our feet. But I've just got to write it down to remind myself. Not that I need reminding (I do own a 2 year old, with a personality so big I may as well own two), but I need reminding it IS the bleeding obvious for a good chunk of the day/week/month/year. Because sometimes it sends me barmy to the point I want to tear my hair out and reach for the Emergency Rum** as soon as 'Numtums' (9am showing) finishes, and it is very easy to forget that there are a lot of similar parents up and down the country all doing exactly the same.
It certainly isn't that I don't love my child. I do, of course I do. I love her every millisecond of the day. In some ways, I am peculiarly grateful she even throws tantrums-I nearly lost her on more than one occasion and her prognosis could be so much more severe that I feel I should celebrate every last scrap of life, foot stomping and all. However, in the rational day-to-day life, I roll my eyes along with the best of them and grit my teeth and count the seconds until bedtime and calm descends onece more. Because there is a simple truth we all know, that we have probably applied to many people throughout our life:
I love you all the time but that doesn't mean I have to like you all the time.
But for some reason, this feels hideous when we apply it to those dearest, our children. Not like our children? Even writing it, the perfectionist in me feels aghast and I feel like squirming, not wanting to admit it. Maybe it's not that simple, it is more fragments of a phase that I don't like rather than a toddler. After all, it is actions performed by an immature boundary-pushing brain that I am perceiving with my adult and emotive-parent brain. But my goodness, it is EXHAUSTING.
Not that that always helps when you are in the moment, the zone of toddler-warfare with your entire house emptied upside down around you and refused biscuits crushed into the carpet. But step back for a second (ie. put the kettle on, preferably without small person clamped to your legs) and breathe. I am finding two things helpful to think of whilst waiting for the water to boil at this point. 1. I was this tiring/irritating/incessant/repetitive/stubborn/single-minded once and 2. The only person expecting me to be Mary Poppins is myself; just getting through the day and trying not to loose my rag- that will do for today. And apparently read 5 MILLION BILLION SQUILLION stories and put the teddy in the box-but-not-the-right-box-oh-god-its-the-wrong-box-quick-where's-the-other-bloody-cardboard-box and patiently open and close and open and close and open and close the same door on the advent calendar whilst balancing an 11ish kg weight (otherwise identified as a child).
Would I have it any other way?
Maybe a tad less whinging (please).
Same again tomorrow then.....
*some of the time
**I haven't. Yet