Thursday, May 3, 2012

Behind the Scenes of Terrible Two

I wrote about us officially going through the terrible-two phase about three months ago.  When parents would say Oh, we are on the terrible phase now - the normal reaction is an empathetic with a sorry-feeling "uffff, let's hope she'll go past that soon..."
Terrible two phase has such a negative conotation like it's a hurricane one need to be prepared for.  The tantrums, the fits, the meltdowns are thought to be the protagonists of this phase but I'd say they are actually the antagonists.  These antagonists often overshadow the other milestones and wonderful changes in this phase.  When we normally here the phrase terrible-two, we hiss and grit our teeth and do the empathetic bending of head sideways followed by a non-verbal-poor-parents pout.

It seems that every emotion of a 2-yr old toddler is hightened to a ten-fold level - not only the anger and the frustrations but also the happiness, the excitement, the empathy, the sadness, the admiration, the surprise, the anticipation... every.single.emotion. And that is not exactly an unfortunate thing.

I, for one, have been wishing that this "terrible two" phase would be over soon... I was getting clouded by the frustrations and pressure of her meltdowns and for many parts, failed to see pass this behavior.  All I was seeing was her tantrums and meltdowns especially upon waking up from her naps and I just couldn't understand where are these coming from. I was feeling helpless and finding myself defeated.  I am really thankful that I have a husband who knows when to step in and help me see beyond what is just obvious.


At 2 yrs old (or maybe a little earlier), children are discovering tons of great new abilities, interests and a whole new exciting stimulants around them.  This is what is exactly happening to our Little Spanish Pinay.  She's been learning new abilities and independence that most often than not, she doesn't know where to start and at the same time she feels like she can even do more when she's still limited with some of her physical abilities.  She wants to explore everything and do everything at the same time because y'all? These are all new and in the eyes of a 2-yr old, eager to absorb everything the world can teach her, she.must.try.everything.because.she.can.  So, imagine the frustration and disappointment if met with sudden limitations... can be too much for a 2-yr old to handle.


But on the other side of the coin, where her needs to discover, to explore and to express herself are met, it's a whole new world ala Jasmin and Aladin in their flying carpet.  Even for us parents.  Seeing her squeal and open her mouth in such awe and excitement upon arriving at her favorite park is beyond joy.  Receiving an unexpected hug and brute kiss from her (even if it means she'd step on my foot and head-butt on my nose) is a reward to keep for life.  When she tells different stories on her words with ultra cute and funny expressions, our hearts are filled with laughter filled with admiration.  These moments would then make me wish she'd be in this phase forever or she'd carry over this characteristics on to different phases of her development.

One time, she was eating her sandwich and suddenly she wrapped it around her dress smudging it with tuna and cheese. With my hand on my head, first in my brewing tempter was the dress! the stain! the work needed to remove the stain! As I tell her that this is not right to do, she defensively tried to tell me El tawiks tiene frio! (The sandwich is feeling cold!)  She was definitely playing one of her make-believes games.  She then told me that it's a baby tawiks (sandwish) and therefore it's cold.

I couldn't get mad with this 2-yr old just trying to explore on her imagination (tender andcompassionate if I may add).  The ruined dress? I can just exhale a big sigh.  I told her that the baby sandwich is now fine and prefers to be eaten by her because it will never feel cold inside her tummy.  It took her a few seconds to digest what I just said and told me no and a a lot of thumping and crying.  Yeah, I know another sigh.  I figured she's not hungry anymore so I took the sandwich and told her that the baby sandwich needs her mommy sandwich so we have to bring her to the mommy.  It took a bit while to convince her but in the end, she agreed. I gave her her doll so she can continue to play-mommy.  This hasn´t been the first time this happened and by the looks of it, it wouldn't be the last.  Yesterday, she wrapped a lollipop with her trench coat.... with the same story.


It wouldn't be easy and I am sure that there will be times(many) that I will lose my composure and just see the mess that's been made but knowing and understanding what's behind her different behaviors, it'll help me see passed the tantrums and the meltdowns and the messing around the house.  It's not that she misbehaves rather, she's just a 2-yr old filled with life and emotions and hunger to learn and explore her environments, her abilities and her own limitations. And my role? Participate and help foment his development through discovering, experimenting and playing.

17 comments:

  1. good luck! I very much remember those days..they are mile and uneventful when compared to the teen age years!! at least you know where she is every minute and who she is hanging around with! oh the joys and lessons of parenting...never stops!

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  2. more patience mommy! I know it wasn't easy, been there and time-outs worked for me. As in, ako ang nag ta-time out,hehe. I walked-out and take a deep breath, then after 3min or more, I came back in ready for another battle.

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  3. First, happy Mothers day! Ours isn't until next weekend. Enjoy a day all for you. Hopefully it will be full of LSP kisses and hugs!

    I am right there with you in the trenches of the two's. It is so very easy to be consumed by the stress of dealing with the the tantrums and melt downs. Like you said it is AMAZING to watch the other emotions unfold. When I see Little Bit playing pretend or when he smiles so big that it looks like the smile will touch his ears it makes me so happy to have a two year old.

    A nice deep breath and a little uttered prayer for the bad times and a word of thanks and praise for the good times :D

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  4. Natawa ako sa sandwich part. Hehehe!

    You do have a point that kids throw tantrums because they just don't know how to explain themselves. It's a scary phase but it's part of them growing up. =)

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  5. I remember nearly losing it when my daughter was at that stage. I think you're handling things pretty well. It will pass... Yes, it's part of their growth :)

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  6. i lose my patience with my very strong-willed 2 year old. he is even more strong-willed now here in Pinas because he knows he has his grandparents to run to... ahhh challenge! but he smiles! and smiles! and says "ayayu, mommy!" there! i couldn't help but say "i love you" in return.

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  7. It's a good thing they're as cute and adorable as they are!!!!

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  8. Awww i love this post sis. I'm not a very patient person but I learnt to be one because of Poj. It's funny how our little ones could teach us this (as well as a lot of other things, but more importantly recognizing the things that really matter. Don't sweat on the small stuff and appreciate their achievements and the fact that they are kids, coz they won't stay young forever.
    Tala is über sweet sis, kakagigil... Wish we live closer to each other so that I could have a cuddle. She's proving to be a clever little lady =)

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  9. natawa ako sa pang apat na picture..

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  10. awww.. makes me a little scared now. but tala si still such a cutie, especially in the mommy and baby sandwich story. very creative little gal :)

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  11. I love love love how you perceive the terrible two's. I've never thought about the fact that they have to learn how to deal with this phase. I've never thought past terrible two as being anything but just something we should dread ha. Thank you for sharing this, I have a friend or two I need to send to read this post.

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  12. I love this post! I think it's good to remind yourself that the littles aren't acting that way to 'be bad' or annoy us. They just don't really understand how things work yet. How better to learn than to test boundaries? We are not quite at the "terrible twos" yet but Aura is already becoming very independent and strong willed. It's frustrating sometimes but definitely a good sign that they are learning and growing. Glad I stopped by to read this! Talk to you soon.
    Angela @ First Comes Baby...

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  13. I prefer to call the terrible two's the TERRIFIC TWO's. It's never easy, but like you said when a mom understands what's behind the behavior it's a lot easier for us! Enjoyed reading your post...brought back some funny memories!

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  14. These pictures are adorable! But yes, it takes patience! :D You aren't alone in that battle. New to your blog, would love a follow back at http://sassyshopperreviews.blogspot.com/ Thanks!!

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  15. My son is 17 yrs old and the terrible twos are a distant memory! It's good you are able to understand and appreciate instead of fighting it! Patsy from
    HeARTworks

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  16. I should give you a reward: the most patient and understanding mom . With a mother like you, she will surely be fine:)

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  17. Sa cute nmn kasi ni LSP sino b nmn ang hindi makakatiis sa knya once she flashes you with that smile. At ang eyebrows ha, nainggit nmn ako to the highest level :)

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