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Ta-ta terrible twos. Hello team of two.

posted Dec 1, 2015, 4:07 AM by Kanika G   [ updated Dec 1, 2015, 4:07 AM ]
I hope I haven't spoken too soon but I think we are finally out of the terrible twos with my toddler. Terrible twos, in my experience, unlike the name suggests, lasts far beyond the third birthday. But finally I see it going away. What a relief!

Like most first time parents the first year of parenting was a really bumpy ride. Sleep deprivation coupled with being unused to putting the baby ahead of your own basic needs like taking a shower and eating an occasional hot meal can be very frustrating.

But then around 18 months my daughter became an angel. She knew enough words to communicate fairly well. She was learning to construct sentences. She started understanding stories. Reading to her was great fun as was teaching her songs, she would memorize perfectly. Introducing her to new experiences like painting, playing with dough and sand, blowing soap bubbles, folding paper to make boats and planes, I relived the childish excitement of discovery through her. This was a magical magical time for both of us.

I had heard of the terrible two's but we sailed through her 2'nd birthday without much drama. I began to wonder if may be I was lucky enough not to have to deal with the dreaded terrible two's. I went so far as to delude myself that hey I might be such an awesome parent that my kid would never be terrible. Ha! Delusional, is exactly what I was. This was just the lull before the storm.

The terrible twos are sneaky. Just as I thought I had escaped their pointy claws, when I least expected it at 28 months, they pounced upon me with the energy of a goaded beast. The next few months were a nightmare where I was making futile attempts to communicate with my baby, the angel, but a new management had taken over. This one was not sweet and complaint but wanted to play hard ball.

The hardest part was accepting that things had changed. I tried not to yell and scream at her but my self control balked under the strain of repeated assault. Sometimes I'd fly off the handle and sound completely crazy.

The thing was pleading, bribing, logic, threats, distractions, time-outs none of it really worked. Only time did. If I gave her enough time she would eventually come around. But that amount of time was not always available. Often things needed to be done before she was ready to do them. Then too, just because something had been resolved today did not mean it would stay resolved. More likely than not, we would have to fight the same battle again tomorrow.

I have no idea how I got through it. But taking it one day at a time, learning to apply a mixture of parenting techniques, forgiving myself for being human, many pep talks from a very supportive husband and useful much needed breaks when he took over so I could calm myself helped a lot.

But finally, now that my daughter is 44 months old I am seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. The last couple of months have seen great strides of improvement. My daughter follows logic a lot better. So I can get through to her. I guess I have learned to be more patient too. I repeat my logical argument without losing my temper 2 or 3 times for it to sink in. I also have a better idea of how long things take and budget in the appropriate amount of time so we are not in a great rush at the end.

My daughter is now keen to be given responsibilities. On one occasion she was reluctant to do something and I told her “I need you help sweetie, because we are a team” and that idea really impressed her. So now she loves doing things for the team and says “I'll help you mama, because we are a team.”

Phew this is good, but I wonder when the next storm will hit and what it will be about.