All throughout the twos, people with far more experience than us in this parenting game warned us, “Terrible twos? That’s nothing. Just wait til they turn THREE!” So it was with more than a little trepidation that I anticipated this summer, but one week into the dreaded age, things seem to have taken a different turn and I’m wondering if we’ve been given some kind of cosmic pass, one that will surely come back to bite us when Will is 16 and wants the keys to the car.
Not to say we haven’t already experienced some…difficulty.
Two and a half? That was challenging. That was the beginning of “I do it myself!” which really should have come with subtitles: “I DO IT MYSELF…
…even if I end up pouring a jar of BRIGHT PURPLE poster paint on the floor!
…even if I strangle myself in my own pajama top!
…even if I fall into the toilet because I refuse to sit on the potty seat designed for skinny two-year-old bottoms!
…even if I spill a jug of
liquid gold organic milk all over the table!
And two-and-three-quarters? Now THAT was challenging.
But the other night with two sleeping boys upstairs and, oh joy, a box of Dove bar miniatures on the table in front of us, we dared to voice what we each had been thinking: “He has been SO good recently!”
Every interaction for the last six months has resulted in some kind of negotiation, and using those parent superpowers of Redirection and Distraction just plain wears down your battery if you’re using them, say, EVERY HOUR OF THE DAY.
But now? Maybe we’re in the eye of the storm or something, but the inevitable negotiations and meltdowns and poking of brother just aren’t happening every day. And not even every week. And he’s making reasonable, measured statements to me before I have a chance to say them to him, like “Okay Mommy, maybe we’ll have ice cream ANOTHER DAY.” Or, “Okay Mommy, maybe we can go to the pool TOMORROW.” (I’m starting him young on the overuse of capital letters, what can I say!)
In fact, he’s just so darn agreeable and cute right now, I can hardly stand it. Like last night, when he took the hand of a new friend looking for a wayward toy and said, “Let’s look for it together as a TEAM!”
And the best recent quote from Strangely Agreeable Boy? On the way home from grandma and grandpa’s this weekend, Henry reached across the abyss between their two car seats, and Will, instead of batting Henry’s hand away or squeezing the heck out of it, just reached out and held it for a minute and said, “Look Mommy! We’re friends!”