My son is almost two. If you’ve ever had a two year old you may cringe just reading that sentence. They don’t call it the terrible two’s for nothing and I’ve been learning that already. While it’s great that my little monster is rapidly improving on his communication skills, there are a few phrases that I often wish he would un-learn…
“I’ll do it!”
This is a popular one in our house. Whether it’s putting on shoes, walking down the stairs, turning on the lights, opening the cheese stick, fastening the car seat buckles, driving the car, or one of the million other things that he actually isn’t physically capable of doing completely on his own just yet, my son will insist (with tears, pointing, and fury) that he absolutely must do whatever “it” is. Because of this, doing literally anything takes about twelve minutes longer than it actually needs to with about four times the necessary hassle.
Oddly enough, this also often comes right before an, “I’ll do it,” which is not only confusing, but fairly frustrating. It also comes at exactly the second your six week old latches on to breastfeed. Also, there is no audible difference between a, “help!” when a block tower needs building and a, “help!” when your child is stuck after somehow managing to climb onto the second or third level of his toy shelves.
“Mama do it!”
Remarkably, this is different from the other aforementioned toddler-isms. This one comes when my son wants me to do a strange dance, get something he shouldn’t have that’s out of his reach, play on the floor, build a block tower, or do something that is actually physically impossible for 96% percent of the human population. Also occurs mostly when the baby is nursing.
“Baby is crying!”
Self explanatory. I know, kid. Trust me, I know.
Do you think it’s okay to put the toy cow just anywhere in the toy barn? You’d be wrong. Can the chair be pushed up to the table in just any old spot? Absolutely not! And block towers apparently have some secret schematics that I am not privy to. So that’s cool. It’s like a constant game of minesweeper but the bomb you can’t click is a two year old and the consequences vary from having to move said object repeatedly until you find the exact correct location to total toddler meltdown.
Anyone with a kid between the ages of 18 months and about three years will tell you that there are many, many more toddler-isms. And yes, they drive me so crazy. Sometimes my son’s strong-willed nature and spirited personality and my desire to be a good, organized, successful parent really clash. While I could stop here and probably have people nodding along and offering their condolences, but I won’t, and here’s why: there’s always another side to the story.
“I’ll do it”
My son is becoming independent. He is so confident in his own capabilities that he literally knows no limits. How beautiful is that? I want to be a mother that fosters my babies’ self assurance and encourages them to chase their dreams, even if their dream right now is just to put on his shoes or open a cheese stick.
He needs me. And he won’t always.
“Mama do it!”
He wants me. This is even more magical. There will come a day when he would rather be out with his friends or will be embarrassed by my dancing. It’s hard to remember to cherish the times spent on my knees, crawling around and pretending to be a bear or and elephant or a dinosaur. Cherish it, every second.
This one will always seem frustrating at first. But if you think about it, it means he cares about his tiny little sister. He’s worried about her and usually wants to help. He’s developing a sense of empathy. (In fact, on a few occasions he’s let me know that she’s crying a few seconds before she starts to fuss. I’d usually chalk this up to coincidence but after the third or fourth time I’m not so sure…)
Okay people, not everything means something. He’s just particular. He’s two.