They call this age the “Terrible Twos” and having two of this is like…
I have a problem. I always look around at other parents, wondering how come they seem to know exactly what to do with their kids, so effortlessly, while I’m struggling to not go out of the house each morning looking like I just emerged from a snot bath (enjoy the image). While I struggle to keep some of my physical energy so I will be able to lift a few pounds at the gym, and to be sensitive enough to my kids so they won’t end up spending three decades in therapist’s offices like I did.
I absorb any parenting advice that anyone has ever given me since I was 7. Somehow it always seem that other parents have an easier time than I. Also, how come other people’s kids grow faster than mine? When will my kids be big enough to communicate in words if part of their body hurts, or understand that shoving a plastic dinosaur head into the electrical socket is ill-advised – or that you don’t wash your hands in toilet?
My name is Yan, I have 2 two-and-a-half year old boys, and I’m exhausted. They call this age the “Terrible Twos” and having two like this is like trying to fill two glasses of champagne placed 3 feet from each other, with two different bottles. At the same time. While looking at the ceiling. This analogy confusing to you? I’M TIRED!
Here’s the Billboard Top 3 reasons why the Terrible Twos suck…
1. Attitude of Selfhood
I didn’t read any of the parenting guidebooks – maybe I should – but it seems that at this age they figure out that we are there to make sure that they get everything they want. So they start wanting everything.
There must be a psychological term or a developmental stage for it, but let me explain it to you like this: they realize that the sun is coming out of their little tuchesses – which are our job to wipe.
They keep wanting and wanting and wanting stuff and they think it’s our job to say “yes” to everything and give it to them right away. Because if we don’t? TANTRUMS. And tantrums are a powerful weapon. When they start screaming all you want to do is run screaming in the other direction and go hug your dog in bed with earphones playing full volume on. You can’t suggest that they want something other than what they want – because what’s the point in their ability to want something. They don’t care if you are tired, or sick, or want to go pee really badly, or having a crises at work. T H E Y W A N T!
This attitude of selfhood is really tricky, because somewhere along the line you have to figure out where they cross the line and become spoiled. You don’t want your kid to be spoiled. But on the other hand, they are so adorable when they get what they want. There’s no better drug than seeing your little monster happy and giggling with satisfaction.
2. Trial and Error
I don’t know how it is with girls, but my boys have no concept of “danger.” If they do, it has the same meaning to them as, say, “pizza.” You have to question Darwinian theory: how is it possible that humanity made it this far when the children seem so hell-bent on throwing themselves off the furniture, grabbing for the steak-knives, etc.?
My boys will try everything: from jumping on and out of every piece of furniture in the house, to throwing stuff at the mirror or the TV to see what happens. If you give them the choice of climbing on a chair on top of a table or playing with blocks, their choice will be clear. Let’s put a chair two feet away from the bed and try to jump on to the bed while singing “Shake it Off.” What’s the worst that can happen? It’s not like it’s our job to be safe. It’s our dads’ job to keep us safe! Banzai!!!
3. Dance, Monkey!
The amount of energy that they have at this age can be overwhelming for the average gay couple, whose biggest problem every evening before the kids came along was where to go out for dinner. Now, it’s all about keeping our kids entertained from the minute they wake up, or else they will tear the house down (along with my precious Kylie Minogue record collection). And we don’t want that.
So we bring them toys, snacks, show them videos on YouTube, play with them, drive them to places, read them a story, and then read it to them again, and then read it to the again, and then take a selfie with them, and then read the story again. We have to keep them entertained all the freaking time. The result is that in order to have a reason to brush our hair on the weekends (that’s metaphorically, we don’t really have a hair to brush) we must have a babysitter for a few hours (five).
Running around two two year olds every waking hour sucks. Sometimes I look at my phone and see that I haven’t replied to a friend’s text message for five days or so, that there’s so much dust on the cover of book I’m reading every night before bed, and that there’s a whole season of The Goldbergs I didn’t watch sitting on our DVR threatening to delete itself because too much time has passed. There MUST be a way to feel less exhausted, have more time to develop yourself as a person and feel like you’re a good parent.
We love our kids so much. We weren’t sure we did at the very beginning but today we are both out of our minds for them. But my G-d! Actually, wait a minute – let’s talk to Him directly: G-d, what on Earth were you thinking with the Twos?!
And for those of you whose fingers are hovering above your Commenting Keyboards poised to tell me “Oh, you ain’t seen nothing yet, wait ‘til they’re 3 – or 12!,” please just allow me the bliss of my ignorance!