I have been warned about the famous “terrible two’s”. I have been told that my sweet baby will suddenly need spankings to be well-behaved. I have heard stories of two year olds that are constantly tantruming and hitting and acting out. But I can’t picture any of that happening because right now my two year old is one of my best friends.
We flow together and enjoy life together. I don’t feel like I’m always striving against him. We are on the same team.
He’s happy to do housework with me and sometimes cleans up all his toys without me asking. He helps me care for the baby. He picks flowers for me. He sings songs with me. We laugh together. What more could I ask for in a friend?
I talk about what we are doing next so he is not caught off guard and he flows easily into the next activity. In general, he accepts my judgment when I say it’s time to do something else even if he doesn’t understand why. And though neither of us like to leave the park, we think of fun things we can do together once we get home.
Sometimes he is having a rough day. Sometimes he gets frustrated when I can’t understand what he is saying. We both work through it the best that we can. Sometimes he really wants to play with a toy that the baby is using but he has to wait so we find something else to do while he waits. We get through all the struggles of life together.
Sometimes he gets really out of sorts and hits his baby brother for no apparent reason or starts to do things he knows are not allowed. I see this as a cry for help and for connection. So I listen a little harder and try to find out what he needs. Sometimes he is just hungry. Sometimes he needs a cuddle. Sometimes a little rough housing can turn a sad day into a happy one. Sometimes he probably feels a little bored and we need to get out of the house and run around.
There is a reason for everything he does even if I can’t see it right away. He is never trying to give me a hard time. He is having a hard time. And since he is my friend I will be right there to help him through it. I’ll be his greatest encourager.
My two year old is my friend. He is not my little enemy. I don’t spend my days trying to change him. I spend my time enjoying who he is and who he is becoming. And when he has a bad day I’ll be right there to help him because I want to be a good friend to him like he is to me.