Tuesday, 2 February 2016

All hail the parents of a 2 or 3 year old

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Let's just take a moment of silence here for all of the parents of either a 2 or 3 year old.

I bow to you.

I salute you.

Because I fully, fully GET it.

Here's the deal. There's something quite magical about 2 and 3 year olds--there really is. They are flippin' cute, hilarious, curious, adventurous and cuddly. Their little voices, their little words, their excitement to start each day, their absolute adoration for you--it's just the best thing in the world. I mean, Carter--the little boy love of my life, he will hug you and kiss you a million times a day. He will snuggle you, squeeze you and make you feel like you are the most precious thing in the world to him. When Sophia cries, he runs to her, hugs her (too tight most times, but nonetheless...he still tries) and sings lullabies to her when nothing else is working. As I tell him daily, he is my absolute favourite 3yr old little boy in the whole world...and he then, without fail, tells me that I'm his absolute favourite old mom in the whole world.

But, having a 2 or 3 year old also means that they have this incredible ability to bring you to your absolute breaking point--then just when you feel like you're losing your mind...just when you feel like your mind is actually rolling down the street, they take their one little finger and give you a little push to just push you right over the edge. Just for kicks.

"I don't know what happened mom"- Carter
Because 2 and 3 year olds are NOT always easy.

So if you are living with a tiny human who has been alive now for about 2 or 3 years, you know what I mean. Because isn't there always something that you're working on with these pint size humans? There's always something that you're trying to teach them, trying to change in them, trying to curb. Like, in our house for example, we're working on not interrupting and acting out when mom is talking to friends or family members who come over. We're working on not tearing around the house like a madman, jumping on couches, climbing on me or asking me a million questions as I'm focused on talking with whoever has just knocked on my door. Because, you see, these tiny people really do actually believe that the world revolves around them--it's developmental, but it's real to them. So if mom is focused on talking to someone else for even a couple of minutes--well, let's make all hell break loose and be on our worst behaviour. Because we're 3, and the trying threes are real.

So if you happen to come over or expect to talk to me in any way, shape or form at any location, I apologize in advance--we're working on it, daily.

But, if you're sitting there living through what they call the terrible two's or the trying threes, please just know this: with a lot of work, consistency, consequences and boundaries, IT WILL PASS. It really will (I'd like to tell you it doesn't take all of those hard things to get you there...but I can't lie). And on those days when it feels like it's never going to end, well it's also okay to feel like you just want to run away for a while--just to HomeSense for an hour or two to quietly stare at all the pretty, breakable things that you can't yet have in your house, but runaway nonetheless.

But, you see, even though they call them the terrible twos, it's not that 2yr olds are actually terrible--it's just that as a parent, some moments during the day can feel pretty terrible. And when you hit the trying threes, it's not that 3yr olds are always trying...it's just that there are moments during the day that can feel pretty trying. Because little people are still learning. Little people are testing boundaries. Little people are looking for guidance (and sometimes in the most reckless, annoying of ways). So hang in there moms and dads of these tiny people. We'll all get through it together. Because every single hard part of parenting is just a phase. Some are long phases. Some are short. But everything really is just a phase that will eventually end--with a lot of patience, boundaries, consistency and love. It will all eventually be a distant memory... *or you might just choose to block it out--whatever floats your boat and keeps you going.

Because with every hard, exhausting part of having a toddler or preschooler in your house comes a million easy, amazing, wonderful parts as well. This is why children are designed this way--I'm sure of it...so us parents can flip a switch as quickly as they can. It's pretty much like giving birth. The moment that it's over and you're holding that baby in your arms, you all of a sudden forget the agony that that baby just put you through and all is rainbows and sunshine again. Childbirth "wasn't that bad" I do remember people telling me before I gave birth to my first. Which is probably what I will say when I have raging hormonal teenagers in my house and I'm reminiscing about how cute and adorable and lovable our kids were when they were little. Because they really are.

So, you see, somehow we're able to forget about that toddler temper tantrum in the grocery store, or the smack that your 2yr old handed over to a friend on a play date, or the fight over putting pants on every single morning, or the pee on your floor. With one "I love you mommy" or unexpected kiss for no reason, or snuggle on the couch, we forget the hard parts and love these little humans to the ends of the earth. Because they really are so flippin' lovable.

So to all of the parents out there with the barely 2 seconds that you have to read this between calming toddler temper tantrums, cleaning up a million messes, fighting over getting dressed, convincing them to eat what you've made for dinner or reminding them that the word "no" can not be the only word in their vocabulary...please know that it gets better, eventually. And those moments when they come up to you and squeeze you, and love on you, and cuddle you, and ask you to lay with them at night--well those are the moments that we'll remember when we're staring blankly at our spouses when our 16yr olds are really giving us a run for our money.

Everything is a phase, I keep reminding myself. Everything is just a phase. 
And if you know someone who has a 2 or 3 yr old in their house, pour them a glass of wine.

Erica xox  

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