I’ve braced myself for the Terrible Twos, but no one ever told me about the Wonderful Twos. Now just shy of 2.5 years old, Ellie has reached an explosion in language. At first it started with “What’s that sound mama?”, which she starts asking from the moment she wakes up until she falls asleep. Soon it progressed to:
“Gasp! What’s that mama?”
“No, I don’t like that one mama.”
“No, I don’t wanna [fill in the blank activity], I still playing.”
“Just a lil’ tiny piece [fill in the blank treat]”
And my favorite: “Because I wanna” with emphasis on the I. Classic toddler logic.
I also love how conversational she is when she tells a story and talks about herself in the third person. “And Ellie said “No baba, no baba! I wanna mama! And Ellie cried.” She told me one morning when she was being very willful about which parent she wanted to see first thing in the morning. Or “And then Ellie and baba go upstairs and baba fixed the light and Ellie turn on the light and baba say ‘Thank you!'”
I guess what really amazes me is how much she has already figured out about how the world works. She was just silently absorbing it all until now, when she suddenly has the vocabulary to describe everything she observes. This realization made me painfully aware of the improvements I need to make in my own behavior, because surely she is picking up on way more than I mean to teach her.
As fun as this stage is, she still has tantrums and I still lose my cool. But I realize now that we are BOTH learning how to be better at regulating our emotions and using our words. This quote by Rebecca Eanes is something that I want to remember everyday from here on out, so that I will remember to treat my daughter with more empathy and to hold my own behavior to a higher standard:
“So often, children are punished for being human. Children are not allowed to have grumpy moods, bad days, disrespectful tones, or bad attitudes, yet we adults have them all the time! We think if we don’t nip it in the bud, it will escalate and we will lose control. Let go of that unfounded fear and give your child permission to be human. We all have days like that. None of us are perfect, and we must stop holding our children to a higher standard of perfection than we can attain ourselves. All of the punishments you could throw at them will not stamp out their humanity, for to err is human, and we all do it sometimes.”