Sunday, 1 February 2015

10 things I've learnt about 2 year-olds

I mentioned in a recent post that Bobble is only a few weeks away from turning 3. So as the so-called terrible twos draw to a close, I thought I'd make a handy little list of everything I've learnt about 2 year-olds.

1. Sleep battles

Sleep regression hits big time at 2 years. Don't be mistaken into thinking that this is the end of naps, it's just a phase! It's exhausting and frustrating in equal measures, but don't let the daytime nap go. Regression usually takes the form of night-time awakenings (for hours on end... sorry about that) or refusing to nap. Ride it out and keep offering naps until it really impacts on the time they go to sleep at bedtime.

2. Shouldn't they know this by now?

At some point during this year you will compare your child to another child. You will worry that they don't know their colours, they can't count to 10 and their sentence structure is never going to come together. There is little point stressing about this. One day, everything will just fall into place.

3. Tantrums without tiaras

Repeat after me. The emotional and behavioural meltdowns do not take place because your child hates you. Your child is simply struggling to manage their emotions. It can be embarrassing and frustrating. But it's not personal.

4. And breathe...

During these meltdowns the best thing for you to do is to offer cuddles and reassurance. You're going to have to fight every instinct on this one! But shouting at your toddler is not cool and does not make you feel like a good person. Leave the room and take a breather. Or scream into a pillow. Whatever makes you feel better.

5. Mute button?

Can't wait for your toddler to become more vocal? Just you wait. By the end of the year you will be desperately looking for an off button for this little chatterbox!

6. Mirror, mirror on the wall

Two year-olds are curious about everything and absorb so much detail day in and day out. Before you know it, your language, behaviour and habits will be reflected right back at you. So prepare for your language and the way you do things to be repeated in public!

7. Fun in the unlikeliest of places

Two year-olds make excellent companions. Their enthusiasm and boundless energy for what you might have classed as the mundane is a revelation. Adventure can be found anywhere.

8. This one, or this one?

Opinions and control are big currency to a two year-old. Make life easy by offering two options for everything from what they eat, what they wear and what they want to do today.

9. Bribery without the corruption

It's time to bring out the lawyer in you. Negotiation, manipulation and compromise will be required, as well as a willingness to pick your battles. There is also no shame in offering stickers and chocolate buttons in exchange for all manner of things!

10. Simple creatures

Above all else, two year-olds want nothing more than to feel loved, to make you laugh, to be able to communicate their needs and to play.

Bring on the big 3!

On the whole, I've enjoyed the twos. Sure, there have been challenges and moments when I've been a few clicks away from giving Bobble away on Gumtree... But it's been a fun year. It's a shift from toddler to little boy. The end of the horrors and catch-all scape-goat that is teething. And the true blossoming of a personality - full of quirks and jam-packed with loveliness. I can't wait to see what happens next.

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